Augustine's Confessions

For Fapstronauts of the Protestant Christian faith.

  1. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    Currently in book III of Augustine's Confessions.
    Like any extant autobiography, it starts all the way back at birth, discusses original sin, and the dives in to the iniquity that he built up his whole life.

    You can really feel his soul just pouring out onto the pages. It's so enriching to read about a man who had such a thorough understanding of his sinful state and his uselessness before God.

    I plan on updating this thread as I continue reading through. fell free to jump in to make some insights.
     
  2. Get_It

    Get_It Fapstronaut

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    Didn't Augustine have a really twisted view about sex? If I recall reading that somewhere correctly.
     
  3. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    He did. Augustine understood sexual desire as inherently sinful not because God made it, but because of the fall. He understood that sex within marriage was a necessity for procreation, but that the carnal desires for the partner were always laced with sin. I think that it’s only fair that we as Christians today should acknowledge that he was a fallible man who could be wrong on certain things, yet still a brilliant man of God.
     
  4. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    in book 4, Augustine begins with his work as a teacher of rhetoric. Then he moves to his sexual licentiousness. he writes that he was "being seduced and seducing, being deceived and deceiving." for some time he was living in sin with a women who was not his wife until he was 28. I find it fascinating how his own experience of living in sexual sins could have influenced his later understanding of marriage.
     
  5. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    In Book 3, Augustine relates his escapades of stealing pears and other things with friends when he was a kid. He reflects on how he didnt really steal out of some personal sense of need. Rather he stole for the pure sake of doing wrong. I think that's is exactly the case with all of us with a lot of our sin. Many times PMO can be driven not out of desire for pleasure. Sometimes it can be driven by a simple desire to rebel against the God who made them.
     
  6. SSJ N

    SSJ N Fapstronaut

    I have never done it for this purpose. Only for my own selfish needs.
     
  7. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    Perhaps it would be helpful to consider the core of what sin is. Sin is essentially rebellion against God, therefore it is also true that deep in our hearts, whether we acknowledge it or not, is a desire to say no to God.
     
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  8. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    "For Thy Word, the Eternal Truth, far above the higher parts of Thy Creation, raises up the subdued unto Itself: but in this lower world built for Itself a lowly habitation of our clay, whereby to abase from themselves such as would be subdued, and bring them over to Himself; allaying their swelling, and fomenting their love; to the end they might go on no further in self-confidence, but rather consent to become weak, seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our coats of skin; and wearied, might cast themselves down upon It, and It rising, might lift them up." - Augustine, Confessions Book VII, Chapter XVIII

    I nice little section that really popped out as I was reading. In this section of the book, Augustine is wrestling spiritually and intellectually with the concept of the God-Man Christ Jesus. He had to come to terms with the fact that these concepts of Jesus really butted heads with the worldly philosophies that had educated him from youth.
     
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  9. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    in book VIII , I finally get to see Augustine's breakdown. the moment when his sin is put front and center and he is brought under the conviction of God. The intellectual arguments have been dealt with and so the only thing left is the complete heart change. The most fascinating thing about Augustine's view of sexuality was heavily influenced by the fact that until he was 32, he would be willing to have sex with anything that moved. I think it's clear that this background led to the pendulum swing in the opposite direction to wear he know understood sexual desire to be inherently sinful because of the Fall. After reading this section, I decided to revisit a deep dive into the history of how Augustine's view of celibacy later shaped what would eventually become the widespread practice of clerical celibacy.

    The tradition of celibacy continued to evolve and would explode to common practice by the 12th century.. In some places it was expected that priests not be sexually active after ordination. When monasticism became popular in the third to fifth centuries, it promoted the ideal of celibacy as a model for all presbyters. the 4th Lateran council in the 12th century dealt with many issues, clerical celibacy being among them. In canon 21 of the council we read "We absolutely forbid priests, deacons, subdeacons and monks to have concubines or to contract marriages. We adjudge, as the sacred canons have laid down, that marriage contracts between such persons should be made void and the persons ought to undergo penance." The Church of Rome went so far as to tear marriages apart for the sake of maintaining a celibate clergy.

    This gradual degradation of marriage could even be seen among otherwise brilliant men like Thomas Aquinas. In Summa Theologica Third part Question 65 on The Order of the Sacraments Among Themselves Reply to Objection 1 we read: "Matrimony as ordained to natural life is a function of nature. But in so far as it has something spiritual it is a sacrament. And because it has the least amount of spirituality it is placed last.

    Augustine Being the brilliant thinker and theologian that he was, was still a man of flaws, and would leave a legacy on sexuality that would continue to shape Christendom up to the reformation.
     
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  10. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    In Books X & XI, Augustine delves into some really complicated observations about the human memory and the nature of time. How does Human memory function? What does it mean to remember things? What is past, present, and future? Does past and future truly "exist"? Really complex stuff. The portion on human memory is far more complex and hard to understand than the section on human memory.
     
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  11. Run_Like_Joseph_Did

    Run_Like_Joseph_Did Fapstronaut

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    the last book, Book XII, is mainly a book of praise of the most high Godhead. in the opening of the chapter He raises up God because God doesn't need Augustine to serve Him in order to be glorified. the book is also a culmination of his prior exegesis of the creation account. It's extremely hard to explain and probably beyond my skill level to concisely explain. It's main idea is understanding of why the text speaks of God working in time when He is beyond time. I've know finished the book and thought that it makes a lot of sense that Augustine is such a famous philosopher. We as reformed Christians get alot from him. Even though his incorrectness comes forward in the book on certain issues, he was still clearly way smarter than any of us and deserves respect.
     

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