The City of God, Books VIII-XVI

The City of God, Books VIII-XVI

The City of God, Books VIII-XVI

The City of God, Books VIII-XVI

Excerpt

I must now turn to a matter which calls for much deeper thought than was needed to resolve the issues raised in the previous Books. I mean natural theology. Unlike the poetical theology of the stage which flaunts the crimes of the gods and the political theology of the city which publicizes their evil desires, and both of which reveal them as dangerous demons rather than deities, natural theology cannot be discussed with men in the street but only with philosophers, that is, as the name implies, with lovers of wisdom.1

I may add that, since divine truth and scripture clearly teach us that God, the Creator of all things, is Wisdom, a true philosopher will be a lover of God. That does not mean that all who answer to the name are really in love with genuine wisdom, for it is one thing to be and another to be called a philosopher. And, therefore, from all the philosophers whose teachings I have learned from books I shall select only those with whom it would not be improper to discuss this subject. I shall not bother in this work to refute all the errors of all the philosophers, but only such as pertain to theology -- which term from its Greek derivation I take to mean a study of the divine nature. My only purpose is to challenge the opinions of those philosophers who, while admitting that there is a God . . .

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