My Grace Is Sufficient: Augustine
Sources: Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (University of California, 1966); Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization (Doubleday, 1995); Averil Cameron, "Late Antiquity" in Richard Harries and Henry Mayr-Harting, Christianity: Two Thousand Years (Oxford, 2001); F.L. Cross, ed., Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 2d ed. (Oxford, 1983); Telford Work, "Topics in Theological History: Augustine and Augustinianism," seminar at Westmont College, Spring 2001.
Reading: Rom. 13:11-14.
Born of a Christian mother, classically trained, professor of rhetoric
Traveled through Manichaeism and Platonism
Arrived at catholic Christianity through Ambrose
Struggled against sin, then found his victory in God's grace
Ordained against his will and became bishop of Hippo, North Africa
Confessions creates the genre of spiritual autobiography
Treatment of self creates interiority, spiritual introspection, a new anthropology
Reaction to Manichaeism and Platonism radicalizes sin as "the absence of good"
On Christian Teaching appropriates rhetoric from other cultures for the gospel's use
On Christian Teaching justifies the allegorical method of biblical interpretation
On the Trinity sees God's essence shared among the persons
On the Trinity sees Spirit proceeding from both Father and Son (Nicene Creed: Filioque)
Correction of the Donatists sees God behind sacraments' work (ex opere operato)
On Free Will and others emphasize that sin and guilt are inherited
Response to Pelagians teaches that healing grace begins before one's choice of salvation
Response to both theologically explains infant baptism
Response to both emphasizes that the Church is a corpus mixtum of elect and non-elect
Response to both theologically justifies the use of force to restore the lapsed
City of God renarrates pagan Rome in terms of a panhistorical "city of man" and the Church in terms of an eternal "city of God"
City of God interprets the Millennium and Tribulation as allegorical and already present (Amillennialism)
A Pivotal "Doctor of the Western Church"
Augustine is the western bridge from antiquity to the Middle Ages
Augustine helps preserve medieval respect for learning and ancient texts
Both Roman Catholics and Protestants are deeply Augustinian