Augustine?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Colin, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Colin

    Colin
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    Hi there, anyone have any thoughts, positive or negative, about Augustine of Hippo? Is it a good idea to use his Confessions as youth-group matterial?
    Thanks, Colin
     
  2. Bible-boy

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    I doubt they have been trained to have a deep enough attention span to read such material. His City of God is great if you want to learn how to engage pagan thoughts and beliefs with the truth of Christianity. Basically it is his defense of Christianity against the false claims that it was responsible for the fall of Rome.
     
  3. mioque

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    The widespread adoption of infant baptism among Christianity is in large part the influence of Augustinus.
    Not a good thing.
    On the other hand the view of salvation by grace that is held by Conservative Christians is also heavily influenced by him.
    Which is a good thing.
     
  4. mioque

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    Bible-boy
    I found the Confessiones a bit more readable than the Civitate Dei. Neither of them is exactly standard youth group material.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    There's a hippo in our zoo, but I don't think he is named Augustine. :D

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. Bad John, bad John. Must go to bed and stop the nonsense. [​IMG]
     
  6. Helen

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    Colin, no don't use them. I tried one year and one of the students noticed that Augustine was claiming that since God was everywhere he must also be in hell. We dropped 'Confessions' at that point and went back to the Bible itself. It is still the best study book there is!
     
  7. Calvibaptist

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    So, you don't think we ought to look at what great men of God had to say?
     
  8. Calvibaptist

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    Colin, Augustine had some great deep thoughts about God and the Bible. Martin Luther and John Calvin were heavily influenced by Augustine's view of the nature of man and the nature of salvation (all views taken from the Scriptures). However, the Roman Catholic Church was heavily influenced by Augustine's view of the Church (a view he also claims to have found in the Bible). As with any human teacher or theologian, you have proceed with caution, because we are all fallible.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I am teaching a college-level course this quarter in our Bible Institute on church history (ante-nicene to post-nicene thought, 100-500 CE) and it is HARD SLEDDING for adults. Think maybe some "summaries" and selected quotations of Augustine et al would be more in line for youth.
     
  10. Helen

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    I agree with Dr. Bob here. Calvibaptist, it is not that we shouldn't study what others have written and thought. The question is what is appropriate for youth group (which I am supposing is high school) material.

    When I was director of education at a church in the SF Bay Area, we chose something that I still think is wise: high school students would study the cults and compare their teachings to the Bible. This accomplished two purposes: they got to know the Bible REALLY well in a very practical way and, second, they understood why the cults are not biblical and how even the best sounding things can be a lie if the Bible is taken as the plumb line of truth.

    To the best of my knowledge, not one of our students from that time ever ended up marrying into a cult or becoming a cultist. Studying the false vs. the true helps the student know both better and why false is false and why true is true.

    In Jr. Hi, we had the letters of the NT as the main focus, with constant references back to the Gospels.

    All the lower grades were dedicated to knowing the Bible, first the stories, then Psalms and Proverbs, some of the prophets, the Gospels, etc.

    College and beyond is the time to study what OTHERS have said about the Bible and doctrine. It is only confusing if the student does not know the Bible well first.
     
  11. Calvibaptist

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    I agree that someone who wrote in the 400's is hard to read, especially for a youth group. I have a hard time following Jonathan Edwards. It was the way that you were totally rejecting Augustine outright as if he were a heretic that bothered me. He probably isn't the most appropriate person to study in a youth group Bible Study.
     
  12. Helen

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    I do think Augustine was the promoter of some heretical material -- which we find in Catholicism today. But that is another thing, another time, another thread. It is interesting to study him because he was a deep thinker and some of what he said was spot on while other disagrees with the Bible. Going through his works and comparing what he said with Bible is definitely an adult passtime, however!
     
  13. Ransom

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    Colin asked:

    Hi there, anyone have any thoughts, positive or negative, about Augustine of Hippo? Is it a good idea to use his Confessions as youth-group matterial?

    I would heartily recommend the Confessions to anyone who wants to read one man's story of how he came to faith. But I wouldn't recommend it to a youth group, if by that you mean high-school level. For study material, it's more advanced than that.

    College-age students are better equipped to appreciate the Confessions in their own historical context. I've used some of Augustine's stories as supplemental material with the college and career Sunday school class.

    And the last three books, which are philosophical rather than autobiographical, are going to be pretty rough going for any adult, let alone a teenager.
     
  14. Colin

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    Dear all,
    thanks for all the helpful views, much appreciated. I am not leading the studies on our Spiritual enrichment weekend, but will let you know how they go.
    Thanks again, God bless, Colin
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    If Hell exists . . . and of course, we all know that it is there . . . then like any thing that does exist, it exists because it is sustained by the mind and purpose of God.
     
  16. StefanM

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    I would think that would be the prudent conclusion, Paul of Eugene.
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    Augustine was also anti-semitic.
     

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