Blog Archives

St. Augustine on the Veneration of the Saints

As part of his critique of paganism St. Augustine in City of God condemns the tradition of making “gods” out of dead heroes and great men of the past; this is one theory as to how Rome came to have

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Posted in Apologetics, Augustine, Books, city of God, Saints, Western Civilization

St. Augustine on Free Will

I have been reading City of God online edition lately, and I was pretty concerned upon starting that the thing was going to be an epic slog through swampy jargon-infested waters. I have read the first five books (out of

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Posted in Augustine, Free Will

Ancient Quotation of the Day

I like this aphorism from Horace (quoted by St. Augustine in City of God, I.3 online here; I quote from this edition): New vessels will for long retain the taste Of what is first poured into them.

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Posted in Augustine, Books, Western Civilization


The Catechism has this to say about Providence and the natural powers of the creatures that God has made: God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is

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Posted in Apologetics, Aquinas - Theology, Augustine, Calvinism, Free Will, Natural Law, Sin

Genesis and Literalism

I have written about this subject before, and it came up again today whilst I was flipping through my notes. Once upon a time when I was still Protestant I adamantly stood for the literal 24-hour, 7-day interpretation of Genesis

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Posted in Aquinas - Theology, Augustine, Creation, Scripture

Genesis 1: More Scattered Thoughts

Folks who say that Genesis 1 must be interpreted as presenting a literal chronology of seven literal days often assert that this viewpoint was never challenged before 19th century (or some other recent century). Once scientists began to think that

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Aquinas - Theology, Augustine, Creation, Fides et Ratio, Summa Theologiae

Perpetual virginity of Mary

St Augustine believed in the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God. Moreover, when that burial is made an object of belief, there enters also the recollection of the new tomb, which was meant to present a testimony to Him

Posted in Augustine, Blessed Virgin

Grammatical-historical limits

The hallmark of Protestant Bible interpretation is the grammatical-historical method, by which the student attempts to discern what exactly the author intended to communicate by his words. Generally speaking this meaning is held to be identical with what God intends

Posted in Augustine, Scripture

St Augustine did not believe in sola fide

In De utilitate credendi (“On the profit of believing,” or else “The usefulness of belief” as another translation I have puts it), St Augustine writes on the relationship of faith and reason (Burleigh, 288). In the latter part of §4

Posted in Augustine, Sola Fide

On the Canon of Scripture

More than twenty years ago I bought F.F. Bruce’s book, The Canon of Scripture. I have been dragging it around with me, through almost a dozen moves across wearyingly large swaths of the country, with the intention of one day

Posted in Augustine, Canon of Scripture

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