off off

St. Augustine's Confessions

← Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the PrisonRevolutionary road by Richard Yales →
Live Chat

Buy custom St. Augustine's Confessions essay

In the autobiographical work, Confessions, St. Augustine describes that human experience comes with a wholeness that defies its being broken into convenient parts for analysis. St. Augustine claims that assurance of forgiveness would be desolating were it not for the fact that at the same time, often in the same experience, Jesus has also brought an assurance of God's love and forgiveness. In fact, it may well be that it is only because there is that atmosphere of acceptance and welcome that people dare consider the truth of ourselves, putting aside our rationalizations and self-deceptions. Thesis In Confessions, redemption is the min theme which unites and helps to explain such theological concepts as good, evil, judgment and God’s love.

Confessions state that the life of love is not enjoined with any foolish expectation that all will work out well, that others will immediately respond to love's overtures, and all will be peace and tranquility. The Christian life is not generated by any scheme, nor was it meant to create a Utopia, though this has sometimes been confused with its object, the Kingdom of God. The Christian life is a response in obedience and faith to God: it is living according to God's will as set forth in Jesus Christ. And it finds its vindication not in its success, judged by worldly standards in a world which does not wholly acknowledge Christ as Lord, but in the power of God and the redemption. Redemption is the changing of life's orientation from sin to faith; sin being the determination of life's meaning and course by something other than God, and faith being the response in obedience and trust to God. St. Augustine writes: ”Their pages do not contain the expression of this kind of godliness--the tears of confession, thy sacrifice, a troubled spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, the salvation of thy people, the espoused City, the earnest of the Holy Spirit, the cup of our redemption” (St. Augustine). The possibility of this change is somehow found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Far from its being our accomplishment, to benefit from it we must acknowledge our impotence and receive the forgiveness of God which creates a new relationship and gives us new insight into ourselves, our relations with other people, and the problems which sin has left us. The redeemed life is lived with Christ as its center of loyalty and is characterized by love in its full Christian sense, a love unmistakably defined by God in Christ. This love provides a guide for action relevant to every decision we make and a power to act accordingly. Although it means living by God's will, it also involves warfare with any other principle of life, a warfare that involves suffering both as discipline and as a badge of honor.

For St. Augustine, Jesus Christ is the main redeemer. While the formulation of the doctrine did not result in a completely straightforward expression, it was honest to the mystery of the relation we have been discussing. The official position was that two "natures," the Divine and the human, were joined, but not confused, in one person: Jesus Christ. His humanity was real in every sense of the word, except as that may imply sin. And his Divinity was real as well--no mere "pointing toward" something else not there contained, but God Himself present for man' redemption. St. Augustine comments: “When the body was carried forth, we both went and returned without tears. For neither in those prayers which we poured forth to thee, when the sacrifice of our redemption was offered up to thee for her--with the body placed by the side of the grave as the custom is here” (St. Augustine). This remarks shows that while man and God can never be confused with each other, Christ was not torn by two motivations. His personality--to use a hackneyed phrase--was integrated. For this reason St. Augustine, for example, located evil in the will (the wanting, desiring part of man) and refused to offer an explanation for its corruption other than the will itself. His reasoning is simple. Temptation has no influence on a pure man but only on one who to some degree already desires evil. “Thus to the    sacrament of our redemption did thy hand maid bind her soul by the bond of faith. Let none separate her from thy protection. Let not the ?lion? and ?dragon? bar her way by force or fraud” (St. Augustine). Even if evil is traced beyond mankind to the fall of angelic beings through pride, the same difficulty presents itself. Individuals are confronted with an evil will that can be explained in no other terms precisely because a free choice is free when it is not determined by something else. The will is the locus of evil's fundamental irrationality. Any failure to adhere to God produces evil and corrupts the natural order that God created good, because created from nothing and therefore subject to change, it is perverted when directed away from God. Gold is never in itself evil, but man's greed and miserliness can make it produce evil. The redemption waits until we can recognize that God's activity is for our welfare, that He destroys only in order to create something better. Hence Jesus assures us that God's approach is not a curse but a blessing. If this Divine concern for us does not depend on our righteousness, then we dare be honest before God and ourselves about our lack of righteousness.

In sum, redemption is related to divine power. Individuals can do many things under proper motivation that would otherwise be impossible for us. A physically weak mother will display amazing strength to save her children if they are in danger. Christ inspired the motivation of gratitude in his followers--not only those who were directly associated with him in life, but those who heard from others about him. Here again, just as in his revealing our true situation and God's forgiveness, gratitude for him centers in the cross. true reconciliation can never be had by making light of sin. It can never be an escape from judgment but must lead to redemption through judgment.

Buy custom St. Augustine's Confessions essay

Related essays

  1. Revolutionary road by Richard Yales
  2. “Supersize Me” by Morgan Spurlock
  3. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
  4. The Shock Doctrine
Essays Essays
© 2010-2017 PremiumQualityEssays.com. All rights reserved