Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Augustine considers the Neoplantonists influential in his journey to understanding the nature of God's presence and the nature of sin.

C. S.  Lewis describes the parallel ideas and their difference in motivation quite beautifully.

"Christians and Platonists both believe in an 'other' world . . . for a Plantonist the contrast is usually that between an original and a copy, between the real and the merely apparent. . . for a Christian, between the eternal and temporal, or the perfect and the partially spoiled. The essential attitude of Platonism is aspiring or longing . . . In Christianity, however, the human soul is not the seeker but the sought: it is God who seeks, who descends from the other world to find and heal Man; the parable about the Good Shepherd looking for and finding the lost sheep sums it up" (qtd. in Ryken 53). 

Ryken, Leland. Augustine's Confessions. Christian Guides to the Classics. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2015. Print.

p.s. Ryken's study guide has been so beneficial!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Also, this hair forecast for Maryland today is quite accurate. 

*courtesy of Poncho
I am reading Augustine's Confessions with my students.
Augustine's deep honestly, which leads to his deep awe of the Lord, is overwhelming.
I am fairly certain that, if I were allowed to highlight in the copy I am using to teach, I would highlight almost every sentence. It's probably better that I'm not allowed to highlight.

So, here is one of the many passages my students and I discussed today:

"You alone are the life which never dies and the wisdom which needs no light besides itself,
 but illumines all who need to be enlightened, 
the wisdom that governs the world down to the leaves that flutter on the trees" (140-141).