Meet the beloved African pastor and philosopher. Augustine fled the God of the Bible, wanting nothing to do with Christianity. His act of fleeing God, he later realized, was an attempt to find God in all the wrong things. We call him a "church father."
Meet Aurelius Augustine of Hippo, a prolific author, philosopher, and pastor in the North African town of Hippo Regis.
Searching for satisfaction in early adulthood, Augustine was a part-time pear thief, professional public speaker, and follower of peculiar philosophies.
Augustine’s mother Monica knew he needed to know the God of the Bible, so she prayed persistently and tearfully for her wayward son.
One day in a garden in Milan, those prayers were answered. Augustine heard the voice of a child nearby repeating the phrase “take up and read.” So he opened the Bible—to Romans 13:13-14, which challenged him to stop chasing worldly pleasure and to start seeking Jesus Christ.
After he encountered God through the Bible, Augustine spent the rest of his life writing about the truth he discovered in the Bible and pastoring his congregation in Hippo. Augustine wrote about education, politics, friendship, and sex, not to mention, the Bible.
Because of his giant influence on our faith and culture, we call Augustine a “church father.”
and cried out loud
and shattered my deafness.
You were radiant and
resplendent, you put to
flight my blindness.
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made (Romans 1:21-23).
You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all (John 1:3, Colossians 1:17). You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you (Psalm 42:1). I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you (Psalm 63:1). You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.
as in the daytime.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
[Jesus said] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
rest in you.
To fall in love
with God is
the greatest romance;
to seek him,
the greatest adventure;
to find him,
the greatest human achievement.
Augustine discovered that fleeing is really our attempt at finding what we are looking for. We are all searching for the God who made our hearts to be satisfied only in him. Journey with Augustine as he reflects on God’s tireless pursuit of him.
In The City of God Augustine defends the Christian worldview to his fifth-century contemporaries concerned about Roman opposition. Augustine explains the conflict between the City of Man and the City of God, answering deep questions about suffering, human nature, the problem of evil, and more.