Title and Author(s): Saint Augustine Confessions Release Date: February 15, 2009
Reasons for Reading: My first time with Augustine of Hippo happened in one of freshman courses at Baylor. While not exactly resonating with me, I sensed the impact of a work from the father of theologians. Along with The Prince, Augustine’s Confessions won in the Revisited Challenge. While the cover to the right comes from Jorie’s Store on Amazon, I downloaded a copy to my Nook.
Summary: Considered one of the earliest autobiographies, Augustine of Hippo penned these confessions of his youth. He tells of a sinful youth in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries A.D. in Northern Africa. As Augustine was in his early forties when writing Confessions, these don’t tell his entire life story. Still, he sheds insight into his life before conversion to Christianity. Augustine regrets his indiscretions prior to his Christian life. A classic example would be stealing pears.
While his father is a pagan, his mother, Monica, is a Christian. In Augustine’s early years, Monica prays for her son’s salvation. She goes as far as to ask God to send someone to intervene. God places St. Ambrose in Augustine’s path.
When Augustine accepts Christ, he goes on to become the Father of Theology. He influences people to this day. Also, he shows how Christians are not perfect but those who have accepted forgiveness and salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
One Thing I Learned from this book: His mother is now known as Saint Monica. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery or unfaithfulness, victims of (verbal) abuse, and conversion of relatives. One of her namesakes is Santa Monica, California.
What I Liked: Augustine’s writing style is straightforward and easy to follow. An easy outline helps readers comprehend his life story, Monica’s fervent hopes, and Augustine’s general call to action. He truly leads by example.
What I Disliked: I think Augustine does need to give himself a break. None of us are perfect. Besides, guilt does nobody any good.
You might also like:
- Philip Brooks’ Hannibal: Romes Worst Nightmare (Wicked History)
- Virgil’s The Aeneid
- Gloria Fiero’s The Humanistic Tradition
For more, check out the following sites:
- The Best Christian Book of All Time: The Winner | The Emerging Scholars Blog
- St. Augustine of Hippo | YouTube
- Augustine’s Confessions: A Theological Dialogue | One Theology