Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hump Day History: St. Augustine’s City of God

We’re still in Book XX of The City of God by St. Augustine. This is the second (or third if you count the intro) in a yet-to-be-determined series of thought-provoking or insightful (by my standards) quotes from St. Augustine. Go here for last week’s post and here for the introductory post.

St. Augustine is never short on opinions, but I like how he grapples with the challenges of Revelation:
“No doubt, though this book is called the Apocalypse, there are in it many obscure passages to exercise the mind fo the reader, and there are few passages so plain as to assist us in the interpretation of the others, even though we take pains; and this difficulty is increased by the repetition of the same things, in forms so different, that the things referred to seem to be different, although in fact they are only differently stated. But in the words, ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, but there shall be no more pain,’ there is so manifest a reference to the future world and the immortality and eternity of the saints – for only then and only there shall such a condition be realized that if we think this obscure, we need not expect of find anything plain in any part of
Scripture” (p. 737)

While there are plenty of challenges when it comes to engaging Revelation, it’s good to stay focused on the things that are sure and, even if we can’t nail down all the answers, hope in those fixed points God has given that we might have hope.

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