St. Augustine's Concept of Grace and Salvation Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2224 words)  ·  Style: Turabian  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Augustine is considered as the founder of the Western Christianity. Augustine was professional Christian thoelogist. His services had little impact on the Western civilization; however his contributions towards Christian Church are prominent and manifold. Augustine is also viewed as psychologist. Augustine is also viewed as among the last patristic. He worked on all main motifs of Latin Christianity from Ambrose to Tertulliam, and conserved them. He also researched on the heritage of Nicene Orthodoxy. Augustine has association with Roman Empire, and during this period he synthesized all his teachings and research which is still widely practiced all over. He transformed the religious philosophy of the Greco Roman World, and introduced modified Christian proclamation. His philosophy was not considerably eclectic, and little did his research focused on the religious authority. It is believed that, in his Holy Scriptures, the center of system transformed his heart and mind.

AUGUSTINE'S DOCTRINE

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It was Augustine's modified patristic traditions, which intended to shape the European Christianity. The role and authority of the Augustine was more like an innovator, rather than summator. He played a role, in which he defended the Church's faith, rather than introducing the reforms. Historians conclude that Augustine's aim was to protect Christianity from the religious belief that opposed orthodox doctrines of the Church. Augustine wanted to protect the Christianity from false and malicious statements of pagans, further more he wanted to renew the religious hearings of the gospel. He also emphasized on introducing and explaining the God's abundant grace.

Term Paper on St. Augustine's Concept of Grace and Salvation Assignment

Augustine shared major influence during Middle Ages; Aquinas was found having deep affiliation with Augustinian than Aristotle. During Protestant Reformation, Augustine introduced such teachings that condemned that corrupt practices of Catholics. A brief explanation of all the Augustine researched, introduced and evolved is impossible. His thoughts are heavily complex, and his methodology is found digressive. The reason that can justify this nature of Augustine's thoughts was that his career was experienced tense environment, and he and his surrounding had feeling of prejudice.

DOCTRINE: GOD'S GRACE, PREDESTINATION, AND ORIGNAL SIN

His doctrine emphasizes and relates two different concepts, one is that of Plotinian notion of divine unity, and another is Biblical teachings related to the sovereignty of God, and His involvement in the creation of humanity and nature. His devotion towards Jesus Christ is not analogous to what he researched over, his theology was not Christo-centric, and from this it was concluded that Augustine applied his personal conception into Christianity.

Augustine's doctrine had major emphasis over doctrines of original sins and transmission of guilt; however his doctrine had homogeneity with doctrine of infant baptism. The doctrine of infant baptism ignores birth sin and hereditary guilt. However Augustine has diverged from the infant baptism, and avoids complete understanding with this doctrine. Augustine has mentioned that mankind is condemned to wholly just and appalling damnation. He has rejected and opposed the notion of linking the committed sins with human irresponsibility. He had insisted on predestination and God's grace, i.e. irresistible.

The Catholic Church has given the title of 'Doctor Gratiae'. All the doctrines proposed and offered by the Augustine has theme of 'Sovereign God of grace and the sovereign grace of God'. Augustine has explained Grace as the freedom and right of God to perform and act without any reasoning or necessity. God has the authority to act beyond human understanding and human control, God's authority need not to subject under any sort of humanely obligations. According to the doctrine, the Jesus was assigned the role of mediator. The objective of the mediator was to provide the Churches with the Holy guidance. The Holy guidance can be applied to modify and envisage the destinies of all creation. The objective of the Holy guidance was to shape the ends of the two human societies i.e. 'city of earth' and the 'city of God'. According to the doctrine of Augustine, God's unmerited and unquestionable lover, non-challengeable favor is Grace. It soothes the human soul, and guides the followers. The Grace of God guides the soul to repentance, faith and praise. The Grace of God turns the human soul capable of doing well. The man's anxiety is replaced by spiritual bliss through forgiveness and hope. The human nature of feeling proud is subdue by Grace and replaced by Christian humility. According to the doctrine, Jesus is the manifestation of the God's Grace. Augustine's Christian outlook and philosophy can be regarded as consistent and logically connected and well articulated. He devoted his entire life towards the understanding of God's Grace and man's salvation.

CREATOR AND HUMAN RELATIONSHIP

Augustine is the discussion of three topics, i.e. implicit materialism (feature of Hellenistic thought); substantive dualism where the evil is allowed substantial existence; and identification of the human soul is part of Divine Light. According to Augustine, the attribute of the human soul to be part of Divine Light, however requires major demarcation between the human soul and God. The human soul irrespective of its affiliation with the God is responsible and accountable for all the sins and bad action.

Augustine has also discussed serious issues related to the role of grace and the effectiveness of unaided human will, these factors have played deterministic role in shaping his doctrine about human freedom and predestination. Augustine has viewed evil without substanializing the dark and evil forces, he has evolved with moral drama on human conditions. Augustine has viewed the human as composite of body and soul, where body is inferior to soul and the soul rule the human body and actions. Augustine has insisted upon the frequent changes involved and related with the human soul; this differs the soul from the creator. However contradictions were observed with relate to the human soul and its creation, later Augustine reaffirmed that soul has been sent by the God to monitor and administer the human body, after the soul merges with the human body, the soul introduces and applies its own will i.e. voluntarist hypothesis. Augustine has discussed the Voluntarily Hypothesis as involving cyclic process where the soul undergoes multiple incarnations, and sin on the soul's part. The remaining two hypotheses i.e. 'traducianist' and 'creationist' excluded the pre-existence. According to traducianist, the human soul diverged from Adam's soul, just like the evolution of human body the soul evolved. Therefore the produced or evolved souls are part of genealogical chain. According to the creationist hypothesis, God sent new soul for each and every body, thus creating a direct and vertical link between the creator and creation.

According to Augustine confession of sins is confession of God's supremacy, and manner of praising and glorifying God. It is a practice, based on the grounds of self acknowledgement and true humility, where grave and reconciliation persists. Some other issues discussed by the Augustine included, how does the human find the infinite God? And secondly how to interpret the God's action in producing the current world with such historic happenings and revelations. The doctrine also discusses the exploration of the man's adopted path towards God. It is a journey which begins with the sense experience and passes beyond that, and leads towards awesome encounter between the God and the human soul. However for such an encounter to occur, it is important that the human penetrates deeply into the mystery of creation, on which the foundation of our experience and history stands. Augustine has further elaborated patience, and has an opinion of loving patience, to unsolve the mysteries of creation. According to Augustine, 'The Creator is the Redeemer! Man's end and the beginning meet at a single point!' (Book XII-XIII). The concept of conversion introduced by Augustine has two different backgrounds, the first is regarding the launch of the slavery of incontinence and pride which is responsible for long-term decisive commitment towards the Christian faith. The second is regarding the understanding of Christian faith, and baptismal confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Augustine's doctrine envisages the concept of Apostles' creed and the Lord's prayer. Augustine has made classification of the nature's knowledge into important and unimportant, for the acknowledgement of the Creator. According to the doctrine, the sun and evil dominates the creation, and this is the basis of another doctrine of privative character of evil. The revelation of Jesus is linked with the God's graciousness towards supporting the fallen and failed human society. Augustine has proposed a balance between the faith and good works in the forgiven sinner. The virtue of love for Christian should be the motivated feelings of the human i.e. The heart of Christian life.

Following are the excerpts of the writings of the Augustine, these excerpts reflects the doctrine that Augustine proposed, and explains the reason behind his adherence to such concepts.

DE DONO PERSEVERANTIAE, XX, 53 (A.D. 428)

Which of my shorter works has been more widely known or given greater pleasure than the [thirteen] books of my Confessions? And, although I published them long before the Pelagian heresy had even begun to be, it is plain that in them I said to my… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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