Confessions Summary

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021

St. Augustine might have written his "Confessions" during the fifth century (AD) but the tale of his journey to Christ might have been written today. Like many young men across the ages, Augustine was born to a Christian mother and a pagan, or non-Christian father. He was given a good upbringing for his time and sent to school where he excelled. Like many young students he sought for meaning in his life in many places. He sought it in excellence in his studies where he became one of the leading teachers of rhetoric in his time. He sought for meaning in his relationships with women. He lived with one woman for eleven years siring a child with her yet refusing to marry her for fear that her lower class status would hurt his career. He later had brief affairs with many woman and may have suffered with what current psychologists call a "sexual addiction" He sought for meaning by joining a pseudo Christian cult called the Manichees andremained a Manichean for many years. He struggled for years with the belief that he has to give up his sins, particularly a fondness for drink and women," before he can be worthy of becoming a Christian. It is not until he has a religious experience in a garden when he believed he heard a voice telling him to pick up the Bible and read that he found the truth. He read in Romans 13:13 and he realized that he could come to Christ as he was and that Christ would give him the power to overcome his sins. At that moment he accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour. He claimed that he was never tempted by women or drink again.

The second part of Augustine's book deals with his decision to leave his successful career as a scholar to join the Church. This decision leads to a second successful career as he becomes a Bishop at Hippo and leaves a lasting legacy of scholarship to the church that is still powerful today. He also deals with the loss of his mother to whom he was very close. In the final three chapters of The Confessions', he wrestles with some of the controversial issues of Christian theology in his day including the nature of time and the truthfulness of the stories of Genesis. Augustine's Confessions'' is truly the story of his journey of life which resounds over the centuries to still touch readers today.

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