Augustine and the Christian Church
Augustine of Hippo, also known as St. Augustine or St. Austin, was born in the city of Hippo in North Africa. In his early years, he was influenced by Manichaeism, then became a skeptic, then shortly after disproved that whole philosophy by saying, “I doubt; therefore, I am.” This statement was made famous by Descartes, who quoted it as, “I think; therefore, I am.” He afterwards became interested in Neo-Platonism. He was also a teacher of Rhetoric, and taught in Hippo, then Rome and then ultimately Milan.
After rejected Neo-Platonism, he became a Christian, after the long prayers of his mother, St. Monica. He then began to find and found a system of Christian philosophy. Shortly after his conversion, he wrote the book Confessions, a book written in praise of God, which is still read today.
In his life as a Christian, he wrote prolifically. He wrote in response to every heresy of his day. He also disproved Manichaeism, saying that there were no two gods, one good, one evil, battling it out; but that evil was not a created thing, being an absence of good, just as darkness is not a thing but a removal of light, or a lack thereof.
His book, The City of God, is probably one of the things that makes him most famous as a Christian writer. In the the book, he responds to haters who said that Christianity is to blame for the fall of the Roman Empire. He says that the real drama of man is the strife of the City of God and the City of Man, and saving souls, not the rise and fall of Empires. Empires would come and go, he said, but Gods great purpose never would.
All in all, even though I believe that Augustine had some things wrong, I do know that he was a great and brilliant writer, preacher, and Christian, who had a lot of good to say. His influence on the modern Christian church is indisputable, his books, notably the Confessions and The City of God, have been an encouragement to many,thus he contributed much to Western Civilization and Christianity as a whole.