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Augustine's Early Thought on the Redemptive Function of Divine Judgement$
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Bart van Egmond

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198834922

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198834922.001.0001

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God’s Lawsuit with Augustine between the Deferral and the Reception of Baptism

(p.196) 5 Confessions
Augustine's Early Thought on the Redemptive Function of Divine Judgement

Bart van Egmond

Oxford University Press

The fifth chapter asks whether Augustine’s view of the relationship between judgement and grace, as it had developed until 396, returns in his theological autobiography, the Confessions. The conclusion is affirmative. Augustine’s life between the deferral of his baptism and its reception is described as God’s lawsuit with him, which finally leads to his surrender to God as Father. It is further argued that Augustine does not regard his conversion in the garden of Milan as the central moment of his conversion, but rather the moment of his baptism. After his conversion in the garden of Milan, he still had to learn at Cassiciacum—by divine chastisement—that the reign of sin in the Christian life is rather broken through the death of Christ (of which baptism assures the believer) than by the inward, spiritual strenght of the reborn heart.

Keywords:   Confessions, baptism, Manichaeism, conversion, Paul, death of Christ

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