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Augustine Goes to Sunday School

September 23, 2013
Augustine

Earliest known representation of Augustine

Yesterday we started fall Sunday School. For the first six weeks I am teaching/leading the adult class. We’ll spend those six weeks with Foster and Smith’s Devotional Classics book. Here are the writers for each session:

  • Week 1: St. Augustine
  • Week 2: François Fénelon
  • Week 3: Evelyn Underhill
  • Week 4: Apocryphal Literature
    (This is not in Devotional Classics. But we’ll look at Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Wisdom of Solomon, and the Prayer of Manasseh.)
  • Week 5: Catherine of Siena
  • Week 6: Kathleen Norris

The first class covered Augustine and his ConfessionsThey key quote (which also serves as an (if not the) overriding theme of the book) is the best-known one, which comes from Book I, chapter 1, first paragraph:

Can any praise be worthy of the Lord’s majesty? How magnificent his strength! How inscrutable his wisdom! Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that you thwart the proud. But still, since he is a part of your creation, he wishes to praise you. The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.

That’s Pine-Coffin’s translation (with the now outdated generic “he” and “man”). Italics represent Scripture quotations.

Each week we’ll do a short bio of the writer, some reading, some discussion, and some prayer.

Here are the slides I used yesterday on Augustine, along with my teaching notes.

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