Saturday, February 15, 2014

Augustine on Sanctification


I've been reading Peter Brown's classic biography Augustine of Hippo (University of California Press, 1967) and was struck by his description of how Augustine's views on sanctification matured in the early years following his Christian conversion, including how his Platonism was tempered by his encounter with the Bible (especially Paul).  Brown offers this quotation from Augustine:
 
"Whoever thinks that in this mortal life a man may so disperse the mists of bodily and carnal imaginings as to possess the unclouded light of changeless truth, and to cleave to it with the unswerving constancy of a spirit wholly estranged from the common ways of life--he understands neither What he seeks, nor who he is who seeks it" (de cons. evang. IV, x, 20; as cited in Brown, p. 147).
 
This quote reminded me of the "Augustinian" views of Thomas Vincent rejecting "perfectionism" (see here).

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