Augustine of Hippo or “ St. Augustine ” ( a.d. 354-430 ) was said to be the last and greatest of the “ Church Fathers. ” He is recognized by Christian authors and historiographers as the most influential mind, as an vindicator and theologian that Christianity has produced during the past two millenary. Even Jerome and Ambrose, work forces “ honoured with the rubric of physician by the medieval ” could n’t mach with Augustine ‘s celebrity and prestigiousness.[ 1 ]Although the eastern Orthodoxy had treated his plants skeptically, his parts to the cause of Christianity are good recognized by both the Catholic and Protestants. Even the well known reformists of the 16th Century claimed to be Augustine ‘s “ followings and translators. ”[ 2 ]His profound work as a theologian, philosopher, vindicator, and church bishop had majorly influenced, particularly the Western Christianity.
Among his elaborate plants were His volumes of City of God. Augustine ‘s City of God became five volumes which dealt with those who worshiped God for felicity on Earth, another five volumes that dealt with those who worshiped God for ageless felicity, and twelve volumes refering the beginning and ultimate fates of the symbolic metropoliss of Babylon and Jerusalem. In his life clip he ‘d contributed over one hundred books, five hundred discourses and two hundred letters.[ 3 ]
Augustine ‘s position on History
Augustine is majorly known in his plant of the Confession and the City of God ”[ 4 ]In the Confession, he wrote about his “ religious formation ” , and Man ‘s iniquitous behavior including his ain and the nature of adult male. The City of God was written in connexion to the devastation of Rome by Alaric in the twelvemonth 410. Harmonizing to the heathen societies the autumn of Rome was a effect of the choler of their Gods on the “ Christianization of Rome ”[ 5 ]In his excusatory attack against such position, Augustine offered his ain account on the footing of both classical doctrine and Christianity. The land for the job of history, harmonizing him were:[ 6 ]the nature and fate of world, the character and intent of God, the redemptional work of Christ and the map of church and province. For him Rome was destroyed because of its wickednesss and corruptnesss non because of its Christianization. Augustine proposed the impression of two metropoliss, viz. the metropolis of God, which is based on the love of God and the Earthly metropolis, which is based on love of ego. Harmonizing to him merely the metropolis of God will stay ; the earthly metropoliss like Rome will finally fall because of their evil. Augustine besides, in his effort to cover with the issue of whether Christians can affect in war against the savages, he came up with the impression of merely war. On the top of the classical codification of war, that formulated that war is legitimate merely if it is carried by a province for the intent of justifying justness and reconstructing peace, Augustine added that the motivation for war must be love and the other party must be unfair. This made him to be known as the male parent of “ the war-guilt theory. ”[ 7 ]Many Historians agree that Augustine ‘s work of the City of God was non merely Theology but besides political theory, history and doctrine that proved that both the heathen universe position and the Romans were “ basically flawed. ”[ 8 ]
Augustine ‘s View on the nature of world and redemption
In his resistance to Pelagius, who taught that moral flawlessness could be achieved without the aid of God ‘s grace through human free will[ 9 ], Augustine came up with his position of original wickedness and redemption through God ‘s grace. For Pelagius, wickedness was the consequence of wont non nature, but Augustine held that wickedness was a direct consequence of Adam ‘s noncompliance to God and all people have sinned through Adam[ 10 ]. Harmonizing to him, the human race, because of original wickedness, is so “ hopelessly corrupted ” that we are perfectly incapable of making any good by our forces. Augustine believed that human ability to take between good and immorality has been perfectly corrupted by wickedness. Any individual harmonizing to him, adult male must have the grace of God to be saved and such grace can merely be given by God randomly and as a consequence of God ‘s Godhead clemency. The deeply rooted human corruptness for Augustine can merely be cured by the operation of salvaging grace that was granted by God through the decease and Resurrection of Christ.[ 11 ]His strong position on the necessity of the grace of God has made him known by the Protestants as the “ precursor of the Reformation ”[ 12 ]
Augustine stretched his position on the consequence of the autumn to the proposition that homo will is wholly disadvantaged and perfectly unable to take good from immorality. He so said, God ‘s grace is “ resistless and is directed to those predestined for redemption.[ 13 ]Augustine believed that people are predestined in their lives to come either to redemption or to punishment on the virtue of their wickednesss. The Calvinists nevertheless stretched that to even keep the predestination of the damned.
His position on Church credos and sacraments
St. Augustine was besides extremely regarded by the Roman Catholics because of his accent on direct function of the Church in go throughing the salvaging grace through sacraments including infant baptism and Eucharist. For him a sacrament is an outward and seeable mark of an inward and unseeable grace, a phrase that reappears in Catholic Sunday Schools today. However, Augustine had something wholly different in head than the seven-sacrament system of the modern Roman Catholic Church, because he considered the Nicene Creed and the Lord ‘s Prayer to be sacraments[ 14 ]
His Position on Eschatology
Augustine, who is frequently referred to as ‘the male parent of amillennialism had seemingly, ‘ popularized the positions of Tyconius, an African Donatist of the 4th century. Tyconius was one of the earliest theologists to dispute premillennialism who rejected the eschatological and futuristic position of Revelation 20. Alternatively, he said that the millenary was being fulfilled in the present age and that the thousand old ages mentioned was non a actual thousand old ages. Augustine abandoned premillennialism because of what he considered to be the surpluss and pruriences of this position. He besides interpreted Mark 3:27 to be a present binding of Satan. His ecclesiology was more to the full developed in City of God. There he conceives of the church as a celestial metropolis or land, ruled by love, which will finally prevail over all earthly imperiums which are self-indulgent and ruled by pride. For Augustine, the bishops of the Church are the replacements of the apostles and he besides believed in apostolic domination.[ 15 ]Augustine was the first to place the Catholic Church in its seeable, empirical signifier with the land of God. For him, the millennian regulation of Christ was taking topographic point in and through the church, including its sacraments and offices.
Augustine ‘s amillennialism rapidly became the recognized position of the church. Amillennialism became so recognized that the Council of Ephesus ( 431 ) condemned the premillennial position as superstitious.
His position on the gifts of the Holy Spirit
Although in his early old ages Augustine believed that all miracles had ceased by the terminal of the lives of the apostles, his position was transformed by the compelling grounds of many well-attested miracles that occurred during a powerful resurgence that occurred throughout the churches of North Africa that were under his supervising. In the last subdivision of his heroic poem work The City of God, Augustine wrote about legion miracles that he had personally witnessed and investigated, including singular marvelous healings affecting chest malignant neoplastic disease, palsy, sightlessness, and even people who were resurrected from the dead. He Believed miracles in the name of Christ can go on merely by few holy people.
Augustine was the first of all to synthesise the great theories of the autumn, grace, and free will ; and moreover it is he who had done his best to accommodate them all. Protestant reformists such as Martin Luther and John Calvin have accepted his philosophies on effects of the original wickedness on adult male ‘s autonomy and the demand of Gods grace for redemption. He is besides good known by the Catholics for his instructions on the Church ‘s credos and sacraments. However, he was besides responsible for some of the unbiblical retentions of the Catholics such as: the cryptic efficaciousness of the sacraments, Mary ‘s virginity even in childbearing, the tenet of the speckless construct of the Virgin Mary, the apostolic domination and infallibility. Furthermore his retentions that the gift of the Spirit was given merely to “ establish ” the Church and can merely bee vested upon few holy people and his confusion between sanctification and justification are some of the issues that weakened his bequest.