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The Confessions of Saint Augustine (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – March 3, 2009
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About the Author
Rex Warner was a Professor of the University of Connecticut from 1964 until his retirement in He was born in 1905 and went to Wadham College, Oxford, where he gained a ‘first’ in Classical Moderations, and took a degree in English Literature. He taught in Egypt and England, and was Director of the British Institute, Athens, from 1945 to 1947. He has written poems, novels and critical essays, has worked on films and broadcasting, and has translated many works, of which Xenophon’s History of My Time and The Persian Expedition, Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, and Plutarch’s Lives (under the title Fall of the Roman Republic) and Moral Essays have been published in Penguin Classics.
Martin Marty, one of today’s most respected theologians, is professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, where the Martin Marty Center has been founded to promote public religion endeavors. His more than fifty books include Modern American Religion. He is a winner of the National Book Award and was the first religion scholar to receive the National Humanities Medal.
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Top customer reviews
I do want to give a review of the book itself. I read through all of the critical reviews (3 stars and under) in all of the other translations/editions of this book, and couldn't find a single one offering an evangelical critique of the book, which is why I am writing one.
This is my second time reading the confessions. The first time I read for his philosophy - I was a philosophy major in college. This time I read closely and critically for his theology, and here's why. I've heard conflicting reports - his book is on the "must read" book lists of even conservative reformed evangelicals. He is seen as a predecessor to Calvin and Luther was an Augustinian monk. Yet, I've also been told that Augustine is one of the key figures in the Roman Catholic religion. Which is he? Sad to say, a confusing mixture. Yes this book contains much that is heart felt prayer and confession to God. But what is at the root of Augustine's understanding of conversion? Sprinkling the magic water on you, i.e. "baptismal regeneration." He refers to it over and over again. I ended up compiling an index in the back of my book.
"But I know that you, most merciful Lord, have pardoned and remitted this sin too along with any other terrible and deadly sins in the holy water of Baptism." (177-78)
"But this faith would not let me be at ease about my past sins, since these had not yet been forgiven me by means of your baptism" (184)
He begs mercy for his mother's soul on the basis of her good deeds and her baptism. (200)
The account of his own "conversion" in chapters VIII and IX is confusing at best, and I would say more Roman Catholic and sacramental than the simple "repent and believe," of the Bible. I'm not sure why evangelicals so highly recommend this book. Is it because his story of reform from sinful lusts to the Roman Catholic doctrine of Continence (p 172) is "inspiring"? Do his heartfelt expressions to God trump the fact that his very basis for these expressions is faulty? Are Reformed evangelicals so hungry to find someone in Church history that believed in the sovereignty of God that they miss the fact that he taught baptismal regeneration? I know we're to chew the meat and spit out the bones, but when the meat is mere philosophy and the bones are a false gospel, it makes for a pretty unsatisfying meal.
I'm disappointed that Signet would assign enough importance to such an unrelated and disconnected collection of dribble as to have it included as a forward to Augustine's confessions.
I understand the challenges of infertility. I may have a pea-sized intellect when compared to Mrs. Block's, but attributing God-like attributes to a zygote and writing about a mini sexual revolution focused on conception in no way compares to the spiritual awaking of one of the greatest theological minds to ever exist.
If you have this version, SKIP THE FORWARD.