Confessions : An Influential Western Patristic Writers Of The Late 4th Century

1040 Words Mar 19th, 2016 null Page
Considered to be one the most influential western Patristic writers of the late 4th century, Augustine, in his book Confessions, sets up not only his own autobiography, but a document of philosophical and psychological investigation. It provides an examination of his heart and ultimately his confessions to God. Almost as though he is providing a prayer to the Almighty. One of the major questions pursued by Augustine was how can an omnipotent God allow evil to flourish? By the final pages of Confessions, he has figured out in depth what he believes is the answer to that question.
In the beginning, Augustine sees sin (sin = evil) as being deliberate and references it as such in Book II of his Confessions. “There was a pear tree near our vineyard, loaded with fruit that was attractive neither to look at nor to taste. Late one night a band of ruffians, myself included, went off to shake down the fruit and carry it away, for we had continued our games out of doors until well after dark…..we took away an enormous quantity of pears, not to eat them ourselves, but simply to throw them to the pigs….our real pleasure consisted in doing something that was forbidden” Meaning, in his terms, he did it because he could or to quote his favorite scripture writer, Paul, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. – Romans 7:15 (NRSV). As to say, sin is part of who we are and therefore it is something we cannot escape.

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