Saint Augustine of Hippo's Confession
Saint Augustine of Hippo's confession (398C.E.) is what we would name today as a conversation story. It is a theological autobiography. The book is an account of life and confession of faith referred as an apologia. It is meant to be a defense of Christian doctrine and testimony of faith. It involves the birth of religion and not a biography as it would be termed today. Religion appears as the heart of the book. The work outlines the conversion to Christianity and the sinful life of Saint Augustine. Generally, confessions is considered as one of the most critical texts Augustine wrote. It was an influential text to all Christians in the middle ages. It will always rank as the greatest masterpiece in the western region. The work is an incomplete autobiography since, after Saint Augustine early 40s, he produced another vital task. This essay will focus on the summary of the divine topic the book and giving a theological synthesis.
Confessions is a theological work featuring insights and spiritual meditation. In work, Saint Augustine regrets believing in astrology and following Manichean Religion. He writes about Saint Ambrose's motive in his conversion to Christianity and Nebriduis role in persuading him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil. The last four books are significantly thoughtful commentaries while the first nine are autobiographical. St Augustine writes on sexual morality, and he shows deep remorse for his sexual wickedness. He wrote the books to be prayers directed to God hence the heading founded on Psalms of David. It starts with the statement "For thou hast made for thyself, and our hearts are impatient till they rest in thee." Confessions is believed to be dividable into books symbolizing different fields of Trinitarian belief and Trinity.
Confessions offered guidelines on how to convert and also it was meant to encourage conversation. Saint Augustine writes on his experiences to fit others' journey (Augustine& Albert, 2004). He knows that the Lord has shown him the way and offered protection on his life. This fact is evident in the arrangement of his writing. He introduces every book within confession with a supplication to God. For instance, books ix and viii start with" you have broken the chains that bound me; I will sacrifice in your honor" hence many argue that confessions is the pilgrimage of the grace of the life which Augustine had experienced.
Confessions not only does it suggest God's help in Augustine's life to redemption but also glorify Him. The book was written after the legalization of Christianity hence it dated when martyrdom was not a threat to Christians. It portrays how Christian struggle was mostly internally just as Augustine fought with the urge of lust within himself. The conversion of Augustine was rapidly followed by his ordination which led to his criticism. It was said to be a self-justification hence motivated his work. The phrases, "I wish to act in truth, making my confessions both in my heart and before you in the book that many will read." In chapter 1 book x, St Augustine glorifies God through humility and confesses his sins hence the two meaning defining confessions. This is to enable him to reconcile his imperfections to God and to his critics.
Saint Augustine theologian argument compared and contrasted with my theological perspective
What do Christians learn from Saint Augustine now? What is there about his life and still speaks to Christians today? And finally to what extent are his thoughts real? From these questions, Christians learn the importance of a real relationship with God, the necessity of church and supreme authority of the Bible. Saint Augustine emphasizes how he developed a personal relationship with God. It was in the era where the world was embracing Christianity at a fast rate. He would have done as his contemporaries, going with the flow. Just as it is today, social life is drifting most Christians. We find Saint Augustine confessing that he accepted to be a Christian when the Holy Spirit moved into his heart.
Next comes adherence to the church. Augustine was aware that although a Christian should have personal faith which is not dependent on tradition and outside rites, one must belong to a universal Church. Just as it is today, one cannot leave the church to live on his own with the thought that no one else is good enough for them. Believers out to be in fellowship with other believers and not distant themselves since there is nobody else as pure and right as they are. There is nothing like one is purer than the other. Augustine clearly stated that sheep and goats will only be separated at the time of judgment, so no reason for a Christian to break off from the church because others are not pure. This logic is still valid today.
Augustine taught that the word of God is not to be found anywhere else, but in the Bible. He suffered from unfamiliarity with other languages but this did not limit him from using phrased words correctly. Despite this limitation, he neither contradicted nor misinterpreted the scripture. Just as it is today, nobody gets the bible scriptures all right every time hence that should not draw Christians away from listening and following the word of God.
From the nature of Confessions, it is clear that Augustine was not writing for himself but for public consumption. Potential audiences included catechumens, those of other faiths and baptized Christians. Generally, confessions targeted people with similar experience as that of Saint Augustine. Furthermore, Augustine's background shows he had a connection with the Manichean Faith and practices. Revelations thus include an appeal to initiate conversation.
Augustine, and Albert C. Outler. The Confessions. , 2004. Print.
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