Archive for the 'Atheism' Category

26
Dec
07

Augustine and biblical interpretation « Green Bagginses

Augustine and biblical interpretation « Green Bagginses

Augustine and biblical interpretation 

“Augustine says this in Book 1, chapter 2: “The purpose of all the Catholic commentators I have been able to read on the divine books of both testaments, who have written before me on the trinity which God is…”

The version I have is translated by Edmund Hill, who has a footnote here which I find extremely to the point: “It is worth noting that Augustine takes it for granted that to write on the Trinity was to interpret the Scriptures. There was no question of dogmatic writers and bible commentators belonging to different species.” I couldn’t agree more. It is a fun quote, is it not?”

Lane Keister

19
Dec
07

Augustine On Spirit and Letter

 Augustine On Spirit and Letter

“How are the “doers of the law justified” (Rom 2)? Augustine explains that “they are not otherwise doers of the law, unless they be justified, so that justification does not subsequently accrue to them as doers of the law, but justification precedes them as doers of the law” (26.45). The phrase “being justified” simply means “being made righteous” by Him, of course, who justifies the ungodly man, that he may become a godly one instead (26.45). He does, however, recognize the possibility that “justified” here is used in a declarative sense: “They shall be deemed, or reckoned as just, as it is predicated of a certain man in the Gospel,” “But he, willing to justify himself,” “meaning that he wished to be thought and accounted just” (26.45).”

Peter Leithart

http://www.leithart.com/archives/001253.php

18
Dec
07

Pope Reads Augustine, Converts to Christianity

Pope Reads Augustine, Converts to Christianity

ROME, ITALY – No matter how long you are in the news business, there are some things you just cannot predict.

TBNN has learned of a scandal going on within the Vatican. Although no official announcement has yet been made, our sources tell us that Pope Benedict has converted to Christianity. How could this happen? How could the leader of the Roman Catholic Faith convert to another religion? The Pope’s journey is interesting and educating for us all. Several months ago, the Vatican began encouraging all Catholics to read great Catholic theologians. The thought was that this would increase the people’s faith in the work of Rome. Possible authors included Thomas Aquinas, Johann Eck, Karl Rahner, and Mel Gibson.

In the midst of all this, one thing occurred which no one could predict. The Pope himself began to read Augustine. The Pope apparently did not realize that both Catholics and Protestants claim him as one of their great theologians. The Pontiff reportedly started by reading “Confessions.” One source told us that he couldn’t put the book down and was late to a mass because of it.

Augustine’s journey through his “Confessions” apparently resonated with the Pope. He quickly moved on to “The City of God.” We have learned that he finished that book in just three nights.

Protestants have never claimed that Augustine’s theology was purely biblical. He made some mistakes along the way. However, he also greatly affected Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other Reformers for the good. His stress on the sovereignty of God could be heard throughout the turmoil of the 1500’s. We at TBNN assume that Pope Benedict did not know that Augustine had such impact upon Luther, etc. We don’t think Luther has yet been declared a favorite son of the Vatican.

Pope Benedict’s journey through Augustine was completed when he tackled “On the Trinity.” The Pope reportedly struggled a great deal with this one because the Virgin Mother does not play an important role in this text. In fact, she is not mentioned as a significant part of the God-head at all. She is not even mentioned as Co-Redemptrix.

This is when things got out of hand. Due to the influence of Augustine, Pope Benedict began to read the bible. He learned about the grace and sufficiency of Christ. Furthermore, he couldn’t find any mention of the immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary, transubstantiation, extreme unction, purgatory, or even a Pope. He couldn’t even find anything about those funky, red Cardinal outfits.

After finishing the books of Genesis, John, and Romans, the Pope experienced what can only be called a “dark night of the soul” that lasted for three days. He neither ate nor drank. He remained in his quarters praying and singing.

What happened next is difficult to believe, but has been verified by three different sources. The Pope came out of his room after the third night with a big smile on his face. He addressed the Cardinals in normal, everyday clothing (khakis and a Polo shirt), and told them that after reading Augustine and the bible, he had become a Christian.

It is difficult to determine with clarity what occurred after that. The Vatican is being extremely secretive about it. We do know that there was a large argument within the body of Cardinals about it. Some were excited while others were aghast. The Pope himself seemed to be filled with joy.

Pope Benedict has scheduled a public speech in front of St. Peter’s Basilica this coming Friday afternoon. We do not know what he will say, but TBNN has heard rumors about the title of the address. It will be called, “I read Augustine, and now I don’t get the Mass.”

Posted by Elder Eric

http://tominthebox.blogspot.com/2007/12/pope-reads-augustine-converts-to.html

05
Dec
07

Augustinian Antithesis

“Augustinian Antithesis”

“In the midst of collapsing culture, a North African Bishop named Augustine stood up to defend the faith. In His classic work The City of God Augustine attempted to vindicate the faith while providing the church with a more biblical understanding of her relationship to the world. Augustine reminded us that spiritual opposition drives history forward. According to Genesis 3:15, human history plays out the fundamental spiritual opposition between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. According to Augustine these two seeds are two contrasting cities:

Two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord (City of God, Book 14:28).

These two cities are not divided by geography, culture, or even politics. Rather, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent grow up together like weeds in the midst of a field of wheat (Matt. 13: 24-30). Where then does the Kingdom of God find its antithesis with the world? The Biblical/Augustinian answer is that the contrast transcends the mundane realities of this life and divides men according to their most profound spiritual allegiance.”

W.H. Chellis

http://deregnochristi.org/2007/12/04/augustinian-antithesis/
 

26
Nov
07

So You Say You’re an Atheist?

So You Say You’re an Atheist? « Questions and Challenges

“Isaiah, in the last portion of that book (55:8-9) quotes God as saying, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” The writer of Psalm 139 states (in v. 6) “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.” And Paul, in Romans 11:33, concludes an in-depth discussion of God’s character with the doxology, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Evidently these Bible writers believed that for man to search out God on his own was not to be expected, and that God to be known must choose to reveal Himself.

Thus the agnostic is correct in stating that he has not found God, but the real question may be, are we willing to be found by Him? As Augustine once said, as if it were God speaking: “Fear not, for thou would not seek Me if I had not found thee.”

R. Charles Blair
http://melcartera.wordpress.com/2007/11/24/so-you-say-youre-an-atheist/