TLS Touchstones #7 – fides et intellectus sub cruce Christi
Given that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” looking at our new school seal is probably more worthwhile than reading what I have to say about it. I won’t be bothered at all if you just look and don’t read— I won’t even know! If, however, you happen to be curious about the details, read on.
The new seal began with a new motto: fides et intellectus sub cruce Christi; “faith and intellect under the cross of Christ.”
Fides, “faith,” is first and foremost. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). As Christians we receive everything from God in faith— everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, and everything that has to do with our salvation. And, of course, we are saved through faith— not by itself, of course: by grace alone, on account of Christ alone, through faith alone. By faith we perceive God as the source and author of all our good, both that which is temporal and that which is eternal.
Intellectus, “intellect” or “understanding,” is second. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps 119:130). As a species of reason, broadly speaking, intellect is secondary to faith. Credimus ut intellegamus, “we believe so that we might understand”; we do not reason our way to faith. Still, reason is a gift of God, as we confess in the Small Catechism, and we want to use it rightly, not forsake it. For the new motto, we decided to use the word intellectus, however, rather than the more common word for reason, ratio. “The medievals distinguished between the intellect as ratio and the intellect as intellectus,” the philosopher Josef Pieper writes;
Ratio is the power of discursive thought, of searching and re-searching, abstracting, refining, and concluding [cf. Latin dis-currere, ‘to run to and fro’], whereas intellectus refers to the ability of ‘simply looking’ (simplex intuitus), to which the truth presents itself as a landscape presents itself to the eye.
Though different, these two faculties of the mind are not necessarily at variance with one another. We possess both of them for a reason (no pun intended!), and here at Trinity we certainly seek to develop and engage both of them in our students. Yet intellectus can be seen as higher and more complete, in the same way that wisdom is higher and more complete than mere knowledge. For this reason we opted for intellectus.
With this new motto in mind, Pastor Hinton and Mr. Demarest enlisted the help of Mr. Matthew Carver, a Lutheran translator and graphic designer in Nashville, Tennessee. Little more than the motto was given to Mr. Carver: his artistic vision carried the project from that point forward and filled in its details, with Pastor Hinton and Mr. Demarest answering questions and making small suggestions along the way.
The book represents the Bible, which is the very Word of God written. It also brings to mind the fact that the reading of great books is elemental to what Trinity, as a classical school, is all about. The cross is central, superordinate to both our faith and our understanding. Our faith is in the cross of Christ, in Christ crucified upon it, and receives the fruit of that blessed tree in humility. Our understanding cannot go beyond the mystery of the cross— indeed, cannot even grasp it— but must bow and submit to it. Thus the apostles of old and the ministers of the Church today “preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Co 1:24-25). The rest of what we teach and learn at Trinity must be framed by this wisdom which the world calls foolish, or it is vain and without value.
“The rest of what we teach” is signified by the seven stars, which represent the seven liberal arts: grammar, logic, and rhetoric (the Trivium), and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the Quadrivium). (A further discussion of the Quadrivium will have to wait for later— for now I will simply say that “astronomy” can be thought of as representative of natural science in general.) Their position should not be interpreted as being “above the cross” per se— sometimes a designer just needs space to put things!
At the bottom of the seal is the date of Trinity Lutheran Church’s founding: AD 1892. In the late nineteenth century it was virtually unheard of for a Lutheran congregation not to have a school, as the Christian nurture and education of the young was of the utmost importance. To that end, the parochial model (congregation or parish school) was the only game in town, so to speak. There are other educational options now for Christian parents, some of them quite good, but we think there’s still something to be said for the brick-and-mortar Lutheran school. We’re honored to have been part of that tradition for 125 years, by God’s grace and provision.
Hearty thanks are due to Mr. Matthew Carver for his excellent work on our school seal. A great way to say “thank you”— and one which would bless you, too— would be to peruse the catalog of Mr. Carver’s other work. As mentioned above, he is a well-known translator of Lutheran devotional writings. Pastor Hinton has read selections from some of Mr. Carver’s translations as homilies at Trinity’s chapel services and special events, so you may already have enjoyed some the fruits of his labor without knowing it.
If you have questions or comments about the new seal, send them along. Pastor Hinton and I would be happy to answer them— or, if need be, to send them along to Mr. Carver!
TLS Dean of Academics
Reminders for the next two weeks
Tuesday, March 6, is school picture day. Students should come in uniform with an outfit to change into for pictures.
The third Lenten midweek service will be held on Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30 PM, with a light meal beforehand at 5:30 PM. Lenten midweek suppers and services will be held at the same times for the two weeks following, the last one being March 21. All are welcome.
Thursday, March 15, is the end of Quarter 3. Friday, March 16, is an optional parent/teacher conference day, and school will not be in session. Daycare will still be available, however.
View the 2017-2018 TLS Calendar here. Subscribe to the TLCS calendar with iCal or Google Calendar. If you need assistance subscribing to the calendar on your computer or mobile device, please contact Trinity’s webmaster
What’s new at TLS
February 9 was the 100th day in the 2017-2018 school year, and some of our TLS teachers and students marked the occasion in high style. Below are some pictures from the day’s special events, some more from “Dr. Seuss Day,” and a few more from out and about in the school.
Highlighting our Teachers
Mrs. Cheri Pollom, 1/2 Grade
by Mrs. Dillingham
Mrs. Pollom teaches 1st and 2nd grade and lower school Theology at Trinity. A veteran schoolteacher, she has served Trinity as a teacher for twenty-five years! Mrs. Pollom was raised in North Dakota and moved to Cheyenne after graduating from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. She has been here at Trinity ever since. Mrs. Pollom is married to Mr. Tim Pollom, who is himself a veteran TLS teacher (now retired). They have four children— Courtney, Aubrie, Kylie, and Garrett— and this year became grandparents to baby Adelaide.
One of the little-known things I was told about Mrs. Pollom is that she is great at impressions and tongue-twisters. In her free time she enjoys hiking, visiting family, and biking. She is a “foodie,” and her favorites are lasagna, pizza, and “any type of soup.” Mrs. Pollom is truly loved by her students, some of whom are now grown up with children of their own. Thank you, Mrs. Pollom, for your dedication to our school!
Memory Work: Week of March 4
Liturgical Week: Oculi (Third Sunday in Lent)
A Note on Memory Work during Lent – During Lent our Memory Work will be drawn from the King James, or Authorized, version of the Bible. An acquaintance with the King James Version is a necessary part of a classical education. It is the language of the Lord’s Prayer, of the historic Lutheran liturgy, and of much else besides. Its beauty and vitality have commended God’s Word to the hearts and minds of English-speaking Christians for generations. For these reasons we will from time to time make use of it as part of our memory work curriculum. See the following articles from Memoria Press for more extended apologies on behalf of the KJV: “What the King James Bible Hath Wrought” and “The Noblest Monument of English Prose”
An Additional Note – Parents of students in grades K-2: your child’s teacher will choose a selection from the full-length memory work assignment. Please be sure that you are reviewing the memory work with your child on a daily basis.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (Ephesians 5:6-8)
The Lord’s Prayer, Conclusion:
[For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.*] Amen.
What does this mean? This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen means “yes, yes, it shall be so.”
*These words were not in Luther’s Small Catechism.
View the complete text of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation here.
Our sincerest apologies for debuting this section late in the school year. Unfortunately, this means we’re failing to recognize birthdays individually up to this point. A very happy birthday to all those born from August to February! We will recognize summer birthdays at the end of the year.
Alexander Tibbetts – March 3
Jacob Garland – March 3
Emberlynn Fluellen – March 4
Austin Christensen – March 5
Nathan Mueller – March 8
Clara Baikie – March 16
James Royer – March 23
Daniel Garland – March 29
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
– Deuteronomy 6:6-7