In Saint Augustine Confessions, Augustine talks about his conversion from Manichaeism to Christianity. He believes in order to become a wise individual; one must have a transformation of his mind inward and upward towards God. Augustine’s intellectual conversions that preceded his conversion to Christianity, made him recognize that the Manicheans were wrong. Manichees viewed God as a material thing, which is something that passes and is destroyed, but God cannot be viewed this way because God created materiality. They also thought there were two forces good and evil, which were constantly battling one another.
What sets Paul apart from Jesus, is also the massive interest in the Holy Spirit and the Gentle mission, his negative attitude toward the Old Testament, and teachings on the church as a ‘body’. In my opinion, Paul taught a doctrine that opposed teachings attributed to Jesus. He replaced Jesus’ selfless actions with a selfish desire to gain the gift of salvation. Despite the widespread, uncritical adulation of Paul by those who listen to others instead of thinking for themselves, Thomas Jefferson, wrote in a letter to James Smith, that “Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Works, 1829 edition, vol.4, p.327.) And finally, English playwright quoted “it would be a better world if Paul had never been born.”
A closer analysis of the text of St. Augustine’s Confessions will provide some insight into these fundamental questions. Later, after much study and introspection, Augustine discovers that he has been mistaken in attributing a physical form to God. Yet, he still presses on to reconcile his mind to the true precepts of Christian ideology. But what does he... ... middle of paper ... ...same time transferring the focus of his text to the glory and wonder of God, causing his readers to shift their focus as well. We don’t finish the Confessions and marvel at the depravity of the young St. Augustine, or even at the incredible mercy of God for taking in such a self-proclaimed sinner.
All the way up until Saint Augustine’s full conversion to Christianity, he continued to struggle with evil or sinful acts. After his conversion to Christianity, is when he reflects on his previous decisions in life and gives his confession. This is where the fascination of evil and its origin become clear. It seems that Aurelius real question is whether or not evil actually exist or as stated numerous times, it is just the decision of man to commit sinful acts. Depending on who is answering the question one may get many answers.
My second example involving our perception also shows that God can deceive us, whether he is deceiving us intentionally or unintentionally. Overall, Descartes argument is strong, but if he were to provide solid examples for his ideas, then they would be stronger.
The existence of pain and suffering in a world created by a good and almighty God is a fundamental theological dilemma and may be the most serious objection to the Christian religion. In the book, The Problem Of Pain , author C.S. Lewis addresses the issue of pain as a mere problem that demands a solution; he formulates it and goes about solving it. "If God were good, He would make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy.
I have almost gone into hiding, if you will, from God because I feel that I cannot be forgiven over and over of the same sins. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (New International Version, Romans 7.15). I realize, however, that in my weakness that Jesus’s power is made perfect. “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
Cervantes’ Don Quixote and St. Augustine’s Confessions Christianity teaches that in order to be able to truly serve God, one must give up worldly pleasures, which are deemed selfish. Throughout literature, many authors touch on this subject, some in very direct manners. Such is the case in Cervantes’ Don Quixote and St. Augustine’s Confessions. In excerpts from each, the narrator describes how he had undergone a change from relishing in worldly and selfish activities to renouncing such immoral pleasures in order to follow the moral path to God. As each passage progresses, the narrator tells of his past and his new thinking in the present, and ends by praising God for His mercy.
Cleansing makes it imperative for us to be truly contrite. We must sincerely be remorseful for our sins, not because we fear the punishments, but because we have offended God, who is all-Good. Once cleansed, we must lead a life of grace. Reason enlightened by faith is a primary factor in this life of grace. Living in the footsteps of Christ requires the use of reason to discern the good from evil.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) Though the enemy of God, the devil, hates us and desires our ruin, we ought to not be afraid, for “the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” (Psalm 27) Today, Christians need to remind each other of this truth. Our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but with this spiritual enemy par excellence that studies us to discover our weaknesses and to cause us to abandon the Faith. In his first letter to Timothy, Saint Paul impelled him to “fight the good fight of the Faith.” (1 Tim 6:12) Living the Faith is a strife that Saint Paul was extremely familiar with given the persecutions he endured throughout his apostolic ministry. Therefore, he earnestly cautioned Timothy on this reality because of the struggle to live faithfully the Christian life. We, too, are well-acquainted with this spiritual combat, particularly when we undergo temptations, our patience and charity are put to the test, and others insult, persecute, and falsely utter every kind of evil against us.