Podcast: Augustine’s ‘Confessions’, Book 7

Mere FidelityThe latest episode of Mere Fidelity’s reading of Confessions is a discussion of Book 7.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed. Listen to past episodes on Soundcloud and on this page on my blog.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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2 Responses to Podcast: Augustine’s ‘Confessions’, Book 7

  1. I really enjoyed listening to your podcast, but try as I may, I still don’t understand the point that was being disputed towards the end. I did not manage to read this particular chapter of the Confessions, but even if I had read it, I suspect that I would not have been much wiser.
    There was one point that maybe I did understand – Derek’s quoting of ‘heartless’ as an example of evil being the absence of good – I thought that was a good example. Generally however I find that notion difficult because I think that evil is an active force that aims to destroy good, whereas if good aims to destroy evil it is through giving more of itself.
    Philippians 4:8 has sustained me for some time, and is the lens through which I look at the evil I see in myself and in others – I continue to grieve over and feel angry about evil, but I find that God’s love is deeper than my grief and my anger. So I meditate on ‘….whatever things are true, whatever things are just…’
    But although I don’t really understand the podcast and I admit defeat in that respect, in other ways I don’t admit defeat because although I don’t seemed to be equipped to understand Augustine, others are equipped, and I appreciate that, as I appreciate other callings and giftings that I myself do not have. We are all part of the Body of Christ constituted by God. I used to think that discernment was about discerning the work of the evil one who often comes disguised as an angel of light, but then I learnt that discernment is also about seeing the work of God in others, and rejoicing in that.
    Thank you for the podcast.

  2. Geoff says:

    Here goes – a demonstration of my ignorance, particularly, not having read that chapter:
    1 Idolatrous mental images. (Your point about Theophanies, Christophanies- such as Angel of the LORD- is a great one and I look forward to what you will have to say.).
    Father Time might be one idolatrous image , which leads onto idolatrous graphic depictions, contrary to God’s commandment, as his nature, who he is, his attributes can best, more reliably, consisently, be described in words (even if they are metaphors, figures and word picticture, stories, history) which leads onto – Father Time and evil.
    2 Evil – in relation to time and temporal.
    Evil. Is not evil personal – opposition, an Adversary, in all its manifestations, passive and active, in thought, word and deed, things done, things left undone (Anglican liturgy) to God, his ways and his Goodness? Privation. may be part but not the whole of evil, as if it can exist in the abstract, and presupposed an absolute goodness, perhaps without an absolute God, or Godness.
    Evil , therefore would, not exist pre-creation in the Trinity whether that is outside time or not,in eternity,but following the “point /s” of time at creation, the temporal. It started, did it not, and continues in the demonic spiritual realm with principalites and powers and the temporal realm realm of sin, and all the brokeness/falleness in opposition to God and his ways? Universal Death and decreation (or is that too contentious?).
    Evil therfore, I submit is therefore, both time bound, having and beginning, and temporal, again having a beginning. Both having a beginning, manifest at (not in) creation and an end, in the new creation, new heaven on earth. With Resurrection,, exodus, from death. Maranatha.

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