AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

Dates Lived: 354-430

Most important works:

  • Confessions (398)
  • On the Trinity (416)
  • On Christian Doctrine (426)
  • The City of God (426)

Biggest Contributions:

  • Articulated the doctrine of original sin and God’s grace through divine predestination over against Pelagius’ emphasis on free will and innate human goodness
  • Proposed a distinction between the “church visible” and the “church invisible”
  • Popularized the amillennial view of the End Times, which has become the most dominant throughout church history
  • Wrote about the relationship between church and state; he was the first to advocate the idea of a “just war”
  • Developed a sacramental theology that would form the foundation of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church

Favorite Quotes

“You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” (Confessions I, i, 1)

“Give what You command, and command what You will.” (Confessions X, xxix, 40)

“Man’s maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast;
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey;
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood;
that Strength might grow weak;
that the Healer might be wounded;
that Life might die.” – (Sermons 191.1)

“Excess is the enemy of God.”

“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”

“To sing once is to pray twice.”

“Love God, and do whatever you please.” Sermon on 1 John 7, 8

“Works not rooted in God are splendid sins.”

Related Posts:
A Look at Augustine’s Confessions
Augustine: The Early Years
Augustine’s Fruitless Pursuit
Augustine’s Conversion
Augustine: Let Me Know You

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Comments:


6 thoughts on “Top 5 Christian Theologians: Augustine”

  1. Trevin, you forgot to mention that he articulated a doctrine of justification that still holds sway in the Catholic Church today—namely, that justification is being “made righteous” by the grace of God, and that we inherit eternal life on the day of judgment according to our works. Not many people want to talk about that, but I think it’s important for a hundred reasons. His basic paradigm for justification was held by pretty much the entire pre-Reformation church.

  2. Just to clarify: He believed, as Catholics today do, that our works are by grace alone. God’s grace transforms the heart to will to do the good. The doing of the good, therefore, if done at all, is done sola gratia.

  3. barefootmeg says:

    “Popularized the amillennial view of the End Times, which has become the most dominant throughout church history”

    really?!!! i never knew that. (not only that augustine popularized it but i would have thought premil was dominant, not amil.)

    so when did pre-and post- mil views get their start? do you know?

  4. trevinwax says:

    Historic premil is the oldest position. The premil position has had a resurgence in a unique form known as Dispensationalism since around the 1850′s.

    The post-mil position is early too. It probably peaked around the 1700-1800′s.

  5. barefootmeg says:

    Interesting. Thanks. :-)

  6. Rev. Jesse says:

    Just for information sake, it is highly contested that historic premil is the earliest position. In Charles Hill’s fine work, “Regnum Caelorum” we find much evidence to suggest that the Early Fathers held to what would be considered an amil position. I would recommend the work to any who are interested in this question of chiliasm and whether or not it is really the oldest position.

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Trevin Wax


‚ÄčTrevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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