St. Augustine's Confessions

499 Words2 Pages
Augustine’s Confessions, widely held as one of the most influential books in Western religious literature continues to generate interest about how the introduction of Christianity to Europe during the Medieval era changed the culture and thinkings of an entire civilization. In Confessions, Augustine attempts to understand the concepts of sin and evil and where it comes from. To Augustine, sin can be traced back to the beginning of man. He believes in the idea of original sin, inherited by all human beings from the first man, Adam. Augustine is quick to clarify that God did not make sin. If God is good and all things he created are good then sin can not be created by God, for sin is evil. Augustine believes that sin is humanity's responsibility. Augustine’s view of the original sin is very complex and does not discuss it completely in Confessions, for his point of writing the book is more of a personal reflection on his view of evil in his own life. Simply stated, original sin is the condition that inclines human beings to selfishness and disobedience, even when they may want to act otherwise. Original sin is even evident in the tantrums and unreasonable anger of babies. To Augustine, even a baby may display jealousy of his own brother while his brother is being fed. Characteristically, Augustine views from everyday existence that this behavior must be wrong, because similar behavior in an adult would be instantly condemned. Augustine did believe though that people can overcome sin through choosing to be morally right and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Evil is the free-will of each human to turn away from good. Not simply choosing evil, because evil is not a thing, but choosing to not do what is right. So for any person or Christian to overcome sin, they must continue to live as Christ did and have the will to do what is right. Augustine’s role for Grace in
Open Document