The Hope of Augustine
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Aside from the foundational influence of the Apostles, in the first thousand years of the Church, St. Augustine’s influence is hard to match. However, St. Augustine was not always “Saint” Augustine. Although exposed to the gospel at an early age, he did not become a Christian until much later, in his early 30s (A.D. 386), just a few years after the Roman Empire became officially Christian (A.D. 380).
Although he was born into a Roman family in what today is Algeria, Aurelius Augustinus was probably not of European/Roman decent, but rather of the indigenous North African Berber tribes. As a matter of fact, his ancestors were probably slaves of the Romans until about 140 years before he was born.
Nonetheless, as a Roman citizen, Augustine was proud of his adopted empire and its influence in the world. As a child his home exclusively spoke Latin, the language of the Empire. His Romanized life afforded him many benefits and privileges.
However, when immersed in the culture and privileges of an empire, it is easy to confuse that empire with the kingdom of God.
Amazingly, Augustine largely avoided this confusion. Actually, we have Augustine to thank for clarifying the biblical truth that empires of this world—whether the Roman Empire or the American—is not to be equated with the “empire” of God. Jesus said that my kingdom is not of this world (John 19). The kingdoms of this world rise and fall. But the kingdom of God is forever. That’s where Augustine anchored his hope.
Where have you anchored yours?
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold.”
~ Daniel 2:44-45 (ESV)
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