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Brueghel Prudence

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
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Brueghel prudence 1559

Brueghel prudence 1559

Please click the above image for a larger version….
The original drawing, in the Royal Museum, Brussels, is signed “Brueghel” and dated 1559. This is probably one of the earliest finished Virtues drawings, as it is one of only 7 that included an H in his signature.

Prudence was not to be understood as merely caution or circumspection, it was wisdom, good sense, the ability to distinguish between good and bad and to guide action accordingly. The Latin motto indicates something of the scope and special standing of prudence ” If you wish to be prudent, think always of the future, and weigh all conceivable outcomes (contingencies).” According to Coornhert, prudence was the prerequisite for a good life – that is, a life of goodness. Is there anything more worth mens striving than wisdom?…Wisdom is the sole mistress who can lead men to the right use of wealth, health, life itself, and also the other virtues; for without wisdom, all other virtues are blind. Thanks to wisdom, the wise man knows how to avoid the broad path of sin; it helps him to choose the right , straight way which leads to a virtuous life.

The allegorical figure of prudence stands on, under and next to objects symbolizing various kinds of such wisdom: On her head she carries a sieve (to sift between good and evil), in her hand a mirror (self knowledge), and a coffin – the inevitable death that awaits all men. People prepare for winter, getting food stored, bundling fuel, saving money. The buckets represent the quenching of human passions that can rage and destroy. A man lies sick in bed, preparing his last will and testament, while a doctor tests a fluid, presumably from the dying man. In the lower right corner is a bowl with a spoon standing upright, which is an allusion to a popular Dutch ditty expressive of one’s joy in knowing tomorrow is secure.
(from the book Graphic Worlds of Peter Bruegel The Elder H Arthur Klein)

wiping with the shack

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
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As a Christian it is difficult to refute all of the garbage being spewed by the enemy in this world we live in. There is not time or space to list all of the potential folly and distractions the enemy places in front of us at any given time – so prudence would suggest an ignoring to a large degree of the cacophony of potential distractions as they fester around us.. We don’t need to go hunting for arguments or error – it’s everywhere. You might find this a strange intro to a book that is being hailed as a Christian classic – but I am convinced this book – The Shack – is part of a larger initiative by the enemy to confuse, muddle, deceive and prep for more error anybody that would care to read it – especially Christians. While I can name a long list of reasons this book is bad – you might find the comprehensive review by Tim at Challies… DOWNLOAD PDF and while I am not Calvinist as Tim is- he does a great job revealing this book in light of scripture. Tim is a lot more thorough than I would care to be about this book. For the record I believe this books main goal is deconstructing orthodox Christianity. I heard a sermon by the author and he twisted scripture, replaced healing for salvation – and described writing this book for his children under divine guidance (nice abduction murder story for the kids night night time) and emphasized his main reason for writing it was to portray his healing from an adulterous affair he had, hence the going to the shack i.e. – you have to revisit the past to heal – psychobabble. One more point I would like to make is this; I love fiction. I love fantasy and I love story telling. There are a lot of really good books out there I would suggest in place of the shack – especially when one needs edification (it isn’t just taste buds). While the book may not be ideal wiping tissue in your nearest outhouse – winter is coming – and I am pretty sure this will catch a match rather nicely.