Thursday, September 3, 2009

Delicious Quotes From Augustine's "On Christian Doctrine"

I love the fact that I can go to newadvent.org and read things like St. Augustine's "On Christian Doctrine". The best things in life are indeed free.

I think the Fathers are a fascinating glimpse into the early church. Often, the topics they find worthy of attention seem somewhat alien to our 21st century. At other times, the Father could be mistaken for writing in our own time. The following two quotations from the preface belong to the second category.
But now as to those who talk vauntingly of Divine Grace, and boast that they understand and can explain Scripture without the aid of such directions as those I now propose to lay down, and who think, therefore, that what I have undertaken to write is entirely superfluous. I would such persons could calm themselves so far as to remember that, however justly they may rejoice in God's great gift, yet it was from human teachers they themselves learned to read.
Oh, how often I have conversations in which people entirely dismiss the value of any systematic, calculated approach to interpretation of the Scriptures!
In the last place, every one who boasts that he, through divine illumination, understands the obscurities of Scripture, though not instructed in any rules of interpretation, at the same time believes, and rightly believes, that this power is not his own, in the sense of originating with himself, but is the gift of God. For so he seeks God's glory, not his own. But reading and understanding, as he does, without the aid of any human interpreter, why does he himself undertake to interpret for others?
Excellent question!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting quote, David. Thanks for posting it as I don't think I had read this one.

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