Augustine of HippoPosted: April 12, 2007
Although his father was not a Christian at all his mother, Monica was a tremendous influence on him for she was a devout follower even in the years he completely turned his back on her religion. During his young adulthood he would go into the city of Carthage and waste no time indulging himself in the sins of this world. He had for himself a concubine and fathered an illegitimate child before he was 20 years old. Soon he become involved in a religious system known as the Manichaeism, which held to the belief that good, and evil, light and dark, were eternal. This way of thought seemed to deal with evil in a more superior way than Christianity and that appealed to Augustine. The fact that it had less moral burden put upon life let him live as he wanted and desired too do. He soon saw that this Manichaeism way of thought was not as it seemed and many times left him searching for more answers. He found those answers in the bishop of Milan , who helped him see that many of Christianities down faults were not because they were true but because they were misconceptions of the truth based upon the faith. For a small while Augustine dabbled in skepticism and following that was the writings of certain “Platonists”. By seeing the inconsistencies in these other religious ways it gave him the foot stones for the path to Christianity. In Augustine’s conversion he claimed to have heard a voice saying to him to go up and read, so he pick up the volume of the Apostle and read verses that spoke of giving up his old life of drunkenness and lustful youth and picking up the sword of the Lord and moving on in faith. So after being baptized he gathered up his son, Adeodatus, and his partner Monica. Later after both his beloved Monica and son died he studied philosophy and theology. He wrote many a short book including the works, “Against the Skeptics”, “On the Happy Life, and “soliloquies”. Soon he would complete what would be his best work yet, “The Confessions” in the year 400. This book provides a look into his life prior to 387 and shows most importantly the moral of his spiritual journey. “The City of God”, was later written in response to the pagan accusations about the Christians. After the Manichaeans had ridiculed faith as an “activity unworthy of any cultured and educated person” Augustine began to write works stating that all knowledge begins in faith and is a fundamental part of any religion. If anyone is going to understand the history of Christianity it is not possible to skip over the life and writings of Augustine of Hippo, for he laid many new foundations for the faith.