Sorry for the light blogging. Here we enter book 11, where Augustine will explore the foundations of the two cities. He begins with the City of God – it is founded on the Mediator, Christ, after the creation of the world and the establishment of the good angels. Augustine talks at length about the creation of the angels (he suggests that they may have been created on the first day of Genesis’ creation account). He also looks at the bad angels and their blessedness before their fall (which seems to be a problem that he is unsure how to solve). The fall of the bad angels elicits an interesting philosophical comment about the nature of evil: that evil itself is a lack of goodness, as darkness is a lack of light. I understand this way of seeing evil to be inspired by Platonism, where what is evil is furthest from God. Augustine also talks about the philosophical concept of divine simplicity – where God is what He has so that we cannot say that God has love but that He is Love. That is true of all of God’s characteristics and, more importantly, true of each of the three persons of the Trinity. God is Father, Son, and Spirit. If one person went missing somehow, then God would no longer be God.

Most of the space of these chapters, Augustine spends looking at creation – what were the days, was there time before the creation of matter, what does God’s rest look like. It is an interesting discussion in light of modern physics (for Augustine, time does not exist before the existence of matter).

Blessings,

Josh

Advertisements