Bunyan and Augustine Essay

This essay has a total of 1251 words and 5 pages.

Bunyan and Augustine

Augustine and Bunyan both present good ideas that have made me look at my redemptive story
in a different light. These ideas have made me look back even more on my life and see how
God has been at work since the very beginning. In the points that the two authors make,
they reflect on God and what he has done in their lives, yet it seems like God is doing or
has done that very same in my life.

One of the first ideas that stood out to me was found at the very end of Book 1 of St.
Augustines Confessions. Book I closes with a very brief list of Augustine's selfish sins
as a little boy, which he claims were "shocking even to the worldly set." He sees these as
smaller, less significant versions of the sins of a worldly adult life. He admits,
however, that there were some good things about him as well. These, though, were due
entirely to God. The sins, on the other hand, were due to a "misdirection" of Augustine's
gifts away from God and toward the material, created world. This made me think of my own
life as a child, and how I sinned very often, yet thought nothing of it. Now as I get
older, I take my sin so much more seriously because I understand it more. It makes me
realize that God knew my gifts already while I was a child. Although I was innocent as a
child though, I still sinned. I have come to realize that sinning as a child was crucial
to my growth in the Lord. It made me realize my faults and change them.

The idea that really struck me the most from Augustine's book was found in book IV. He
wrote this shortly after a close friend of his suddenly passed away, leaving him
grief-stricken: "everything on which I set my gaze was death." Realizing now that his
grief would have been alleviated by faith in God, Augustine concludes that his grief meant
he had "become to myself a vast problem." Attached to the transient, embodied things of
the world (rather than to God), he suffered grief when they disappeared. "I didn't know
this at the time, but I loved lower beautiful creatures, and I was going down into the
very depths, (Augustine, 106)." This explains everything that I went through last year. I
lost nine important people in my life to death. As I look back on it now, I know that God
was strengthening my faith and making me realize that I need to depend on Him and not on
people. I didn't know it then, but God was not punishing me, He was just teaching me.
Everything that Augustine talks about in Book four is so true and is what I felt as I
grieved and as I still do grieve.

The last idea of Augustine that helped me look at my redemptive story was found in Book
VII. Augustine is writing about knowing God. Augustine begins by making a point of his
progress toward God at the time. He had removed all doubt "that there is an indestructible
substance from which comes all substance," and recognized that God was a spiritual
substance with no spatial extension. "My desire," he writes, "was not to be more certain
of you but to be more stable in you, (Augustine, 189)." This quote was right on target
with what I am feeling. As I have grown in my Christian walk, my desire has been to be
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