Christianity and the Problem of History

By Roger Lincoln Shinn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
SOME LEADING CHRISTIAN IDEAS-WITH HELP FROM ST. AUGUSTINE

CHRISTUNITY is an avowedly historical religion. Its faith frankly stems, not from general philosophical truths, but from particular events in history. And it asserts that God is sovereign over history. To read the record of history with its cruelties, confusions, and absurdities is to wonder why any religion should want to claim to be a historical religion. Many a skeptic reports that it is hard enough to believe in God, harder to believe that He reigns over, and reveals Himself in, history. Yet Christianity stakes everything on claims which most religions consider an unwanted burden.

Why? The answer can be found only in examining a few of the leading ideas of the Christian tradition. The greatest help will come from St. Augustine's great work, The City of God. Its vivid relevance for contemporary thought has been noted by many a recent writer, secular as well as Christian. Often neglected and considered only waste lumber in the attic of Christian tradition, this book which came out of one of the last crises of the Roman empire has revealed powerful meanings to modern civilization in its time of troubles.

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