Where Augustine actually gets it right

I am not a big Augustine fan.   I think most of his  treatises are painful and tedious.  Despite the loud protestations from the East that he simply does philosophy and doesn’t represent the Tradition, the fact is he shares the same worldview of “Overcoming Estrangement: vis-a-vis the body.

I am currently reading his Anti-Pelagian writings and it is refreshingly different.  For the most part he sticks to exegesis and exalts the clear promise of God to mankind in Christ Jesus.


5 comments on “Where Augustine actually gets it right

  1. Andrew says:

    what do you make of Augustine and original sin in relation to over coming estrangement;? particularly how he construes nature and, then, fallen nature?

    • I know what you mean. For the most part he remains in the estrangement paradigm. I’m not an expert on Augustine’s anthropology. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

      • Andrew says:

        I’ve no settled thoughts on the question. But the metaphysics respective of different Christian traditions is interesting in how the original sin issue is dealt with (Augustine being [in]famous here) – I’m thinking of Tillich/Horton and the three dramas and then the ontology entailed by each (say, Horton’s dichotomy between participation and covenant/relation).

        The fall, certainly in the Western tradition, is said to have effected a change in human nature (corruption), a heritable change at that. But the notion of a fall raises the questions of ‘what fell?’ and ‘from where?’. And ‘over coming estrangement’ (OCE) and ‘meeting a stranger’ (MAS) would seem to give (or provide) different answers to these questions.

        Reformed protology (particularly how it construes nature/grace or nature/supernature) is this world affirming in a way that Roman Catholic and Orthodox protology are not, at least part of the reason why OCE isn’t a good model for the Reformed tradition. And if we take the creator/creature distinction as, perhaps, the fundamental principle of Reformed theology, that goes some way to explaining why MAS is helpful for us.

        So if we are committed to something like MAS then what do we do with our protology and then our doctrine of original sin where they require (or, seem to require) a participationist metaphysics and the kind of realism that follows from it (particularity as the instantiation of universals)?

      • Wow. You said in one comment what I have tried to say all year.

  2. Andrew says:

    Your writing on these things has been thought provoking. Very few Reformed blogs, at least the ones I’m aware of, are making such connections. I guess that comes from having read widely – this, again, is a lacuna.

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