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Augustine and the Early Church Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown Live Oak Public Library, STACKS 270.2 BROW Q5. In Augustine’s unfailing attempt to fight the heresies that plagued the early church, he realized that much of his colleagues and congregation lived by unquestioned faith in the Catholic Church. He also realized that this left them without a strong foundation for which they believed. (Brown, 354) His contributions to the written theological doctrines of Catholicism helped to strengthen the Church’s authority on controversial topics. Due to the lack of clearly written doctrines, ideas such as Pelagianism had filtered into the church through philosophies taught by seemingly earnest men. Augustine however, was able see that these ideas diminished the very foundations of the Catholic Church. (Brown, 354) Therefore, Augustine’s wrote to establish a formal affirmation of what the church really believed. Augustine could see that people within the church, even many bishops, did not have a sturdy doctrinal foundation, for they were unable to determine if Pelagius’s ideas really contradicted their theology. They wanted to treat Pelagius by his merits even though they were not sure if his teaching were consistent with traditional orthodoxy. (Brown, 355) Augustine wrote letters and books to help clarify the church’s stand on many subjects, for instance, he wrote letters correcting the false teachings of the Donatists, which also weaved their way into the teachings of the Catholic Church. (Brown, 360) Augustine strove to ensure his writings were correct, as he would ask God to help him to understand the writings of the Bible. (Brown, 165) Augustine, in his later years, was able to clarify ecclesiastical authority through what... ... middle of paper ... ... In Augustine’s early years as a bishop, there were some bishops who viewed him with distrust and refused, in the beginning, to recognize his position. (Brown, 203) This mistrust, due to his Manichaean past, led Augustine to deem it necessary to justify his beliefs, for Augustine thought he still had a lot to explain. (Brown, 163) Nevertheless, the vast majority of the Catholic community considered Augustine’s work to have had a great impact on their doctrine, not only for his generation but also for the generations that followed. (Brown, 429) Works Cited ______________________________________________________________________________ Peter Brown. Augustine of Hippo. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967. Print. Works Cited Peter Brown. Augustine of Hippo. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967. Print.


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