St. Augustine City Of God
St. Augustine: City Of God
Saint Augustine was one of the foremost philosopher-theologians of the early Christianity and the leading figure in the church of North Africa. He had a profound influence on the subsequent development of the Western thought and culture. He also was responsible for shaping the themes and defined problems that characterized early Christian theology.
Augustine was born at Thagaste in Numidia, which is part of present day Algeria. His father was a pagan, who was later converted, and his mother was a devout Christian. She pushed so endlessly for her son’s conversion who in fact was later canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. As a child he was schooled in Latin literature and later went to Carthage to study rhetoric, where he became a teacher. By the age of twenty he turned away from his Christian upbringing. He was repelled by its codes of behavior, but he never completely, but renounced it.
At Carthage he became enthusiastic about philosophy after reading Cicero’s “Hortensius.” He considered becoming a Christian, but experimented with several philosophical systems before finally entering the church. For nine years, from 373 until 382, he adhered to Manichaeism, a Persian dualistic philosophy then widely current in the Western Roman Empire. With it’s fundamental principle of conflict between good and evil and it’s claim of a ration interpretation of Scripture, it seemed to supply Augustine with a reasonable amount of ethics. After he realized that the moral code of Manichaesism was unpleasantly strict, he abandoned this way of thinking and turned to skepticism.
After reading “On The Two Cities”, Augustine’s thoughts on good and evil are very rational and fit together in my mind. Augustine makes a point that God created evil in order to contradict the good of the earth. There had to be a power or force that tries to draw you away from the right path. His thoughts and impressions of what God created are present in everyday life. If you really sit down and think about it, good and evil are in every movie, story, and tale from the beginning of time.
In my own words this is what I believe happened when God created good. God is the supremely good creator of good natures, and he is also the creator of evil. God caused the devil to be evil. The devil was originally an angel that was teetering on the edge...