Hot Best Seller

Augustine on the Christian Life: Transformed by the Power of God

Availability: Ready to download

Augustine is widely considered to be the most influential theologian in church history after the apostle Paul. Dramatically converted from a life of licentiousness to one of wholehearted devotion to Christ, the humble North African pastor quickly established himself as a leading figure within the ancient church. In Augustine on the Christian Life, historian Gerald Bray exp Augustine is widely considered to be the most influential theologian in church history after the apostle Paul. Dramatically converted from a life of licentiousness to one of wholehearted devotion to Christ, the humble North African pastor quickly established himself as a leading figure within the ancient church. In Augustine on the Christian Life, historian Gerald Bray explores the rich spirituality of this extraordinary man, examining his historical context, approach to the Christian life, and work as a preacher and teacher of God's Word. Drawing on Augustine's many writings--including his classic spiritual autobiography, the Confessions--Bray demonstrates Augustine's enduring relevance for Christians today. Part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series.


Compare

Augustine is widely considered to be the most influential theologian in church history after the apostle Paul. Dramatically converted from a life of licentiousness to one of wholehearted devotion to Christ, the humble North African pastor quickly established himself as a leading figure within the ancient church. In Augustine on the Christian Life, historian Gerald Bray exp Augustine is widely considered to be the most influential theologian in church history after the apostle Paul. Dramatically converted from a life of licentiousness to one of wholehearted devotion to Christ, the humble North African pastor quickly established himself as a leading figure within the ancient church. In Augustine on the Christian Life, historian Gerald Bray explores the rich spirituality of this extraordinary man, examining his historical context, approach to the Christian life, and work as a preacher and teacher of God's Word. Drawing on Augustine's many writings--including his classic spiritual autobiography, the Confessions--Bray demonstrates Augustine's enduring relevance for Christians today. Part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series.

30 review for Augustine on the Christian Life: Transformed by the Power of God

  1. 4 out of 5

    E

    Definitely one of the stronger works in this quality series from Crossway--a series I continue to read because I want to, not because I have to. Bray's book comprises only five chapters, so he stuffs a lot of disparate topics into each chapter, sometimes with less than compelling transitions. But it is all excellent. He handles Augustine's interesting biography with aplomb, drawing appropriately from the always fascinating Confessions. But Bray's expertise clearly is far wider than just that wor Definitely one of the stronger works in this quality series from Crossway--a series I continue to read because I want to, not because I have to. Bray's book comprises only five chapters, so he stuffs a lot of disparate topics into each chapter, sometimes with less than compelling transitions. But it is all excellent. He handles Augustine's interesting biography with aplomb, drawing appropriately from the always fascinating Confessions. But Bray's expertise clearly is far wider than just that work. He references Augustine's sermons and dozens of other books, even while quoting much less than most of the other authors in this series. And his last chapter, "Augustine for Today," is actually a great synopsis of Augustine's theology. It alone might be worth the cost of the book. The one weakness is that Augustine's City of God only received a few pages of this book. I believe this important work has much to say on "the Christian life," and would have appreciated a longer treatment. Nevertheless, I'd recommend Bray's volume to all.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt Crawford

    I have always enjoyed Gerald Brays writings. What I ave read of his has been almost exclusively theology proper. I wondered if this brief volume would concentrate on Augustine's theology (and the effect thereof), however the subtitle rings true. "Transformed by the Power of God" gives a brief survey of Augustine's life and the world in which he lived. The emphasis of the entire book is put in that first word, "transformed." Augustine's writings are marked by his conversion so much time is spent I have always enjoyed Gerald Brays writings. What I ave read of his has been almost exclusively theology proper. I wondered if this brief volume would concentrate on Augustine's theology (and the effect thereof), however the subtitle rings true. "Transformed by the Power of God" gives a brief survey of Augustine's life and the world in which he lived. The emphasis of the entire book is put in that first word, "transformed." Augustine's writings are marked by his conversion so much time is spent on that moment. There is some work spent on Augustine's two most popular volumes, Confessions and City of God, but also to some of is lesser known volumes. Most of the ink is dedicated to Augustine as pastor, so the sermons of Augustine which are often overlooked are finally given their due.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    After having read Confessions and the City of God by Augustine, this book helped me organize the "big picture" of Augustine's life and theology in my mind. Very helpful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adam Robinson

    You need to know something about the author to fully appreciate this book. Dr. Bray is by far the smartest person I've ever met. Ever. His ability to have complete recall of a VAST amount of information makes him an amazing teacher and theologian and especially in this case, a great writer. This book is a primer on Augustine and paints a picture of him as an individual, a teacher, and a pastor. But to do that effectively you'd have to have a full grasp of the wealth of material Augustine left be You need to know something about the author to fully appreciate this book. Dr. Bray is by far the smartest person I've ever met. Ever. His ability to have complete recall of a VAST amount of information makes him an amazing teacher and theologian and especially in this case, a great writer. This book is a primer on Augustine and paints a picture of him as an individual, a teacher, and a pastor. But to do that effectively you'd have to have a full grasp of the wealth of material Augustine left behind. This is exactly what Bray has done. In an engaging and succinct format Bray helps us understand the world that Augustine inhabited and how Augustine lived and taught in that world. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who is a student of church history, history, or theology.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    I fell asleep a lot while reading this, probably due to having a newborn, though Trueman on Luther did a much better job of keeping me awake under the same circumstances. All that said, it was a very enlightening and spiritually encouraging read, especially Augustine's view of the Trinity and salvation by grace. Bray was a very helpful guide in placing Augustine in his ancient context and in evaluating how later Christians have used him. Perhaps it could have been written a little more punchily, I fell asleep a lot while reading this, probably due to having a newborn, though Trueman on Luther did a much better job of keeping me awake under the same circumstances. All that said, it was a very enlightening and spiritually encouraging read, especially Augustine's view of the Trinity and salvation by grace. Bray was a very helpful guide in placing Augustine in his ancient context and in evaluating how later Christians have used him. Perhaps it could have been written a little more punchily, but I doubt there's a better short intro to Augustine's life and thought.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tessa

    This book is very accessible and does, I think, it’s job very well of encouraging the reader to read more Augustine. I come away with a greater understanding for Augustine and his theology and an eagerness to re-read his Confessions. I never knew Augustine did not know Greek as a Latin reader nor understood how that affected his theology and exegesis (having only a poorly translated Latin Bible). I also came away with a greater appreciation for how Augustine’s own journey toward conversion and t This book is very accessible and does, I think, it’s job very well of encouraging the reader to read more Augustine. I come away with a greater understanding for Augustine and his theology and an eagerness to re-read his Confessions. I never knew Augustine did not know Greek as a Latin reader nor understood how that affected his theology and exegesis (having only a poorly translated Latin Bible). I also came away with a greater appreciation for how Augustine’s own journey toward conversion and then following personal journey of faith after conversion played so heavily into his understanding of the Christian life. Not only did he explain the Trinity in terms of a loving relationship but saw faith itself as a loving relationship enabled by the Holy Spirit. In this sense then, the highest calling of the Christian life is to love God. Everything else falls into place after that. Having explained the surrounding context of Augustine’s time and life, Bray helped me to understand the inevitability and depth of Augustine’s observation. Bray also does a good job of laying out Augustine’s faults—whether that be in exegesis or long-windedness or in having an unrealistic view of his congregation. I believe Augustine himself would be pleased with the overall effect.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gary B

    I'd always heard about Augustine, and so I decided to dip a toe into slightly deeper water. I found Gerald Bray's review or analysis or commentary on Augustine to be helpful and edifying if somewhat long in parts. A reasonably-sized book (circa 300 pages) but in only five chapters? I found chapters 1, 2 and 4 to be the most engaging but got a little lost or overwhelmed or simply bored in the central chapter on Augustine the Teacher. Gerald's commentary on Augustine the Pastor was good - giving in I'd always heard about Augustine, and so I decided to dip a toe into slightly deeper water. I found Gerald Bray's review or analysis or commentary on Augustine to be helpful and edifying if somewhat long in parts. A reasonably-sized book (circa 300 pages) but in only five chapters? I found chapters 1, 2 and 4 to be the most engaging but got a little lost or overwhelmed or simply bored in the central chapter on Augustine the Teacher. Gerald's commentary on Augustine the Pastor was good - giving insight into church life. This is the second I've read in this series, and I suspect Ill read more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Attaway

    Really enjoyed this read, though it was not what I was expecting. It was more biographical when I thought it would be more of an interaction with Augustine’s writings that are on the Christian life. Parts of the book dragged a bit and I was surprised to see that two things Augustine wrote a lot about—beauty and the power of habit—are largely absent. But again, while it was not what I was expecting, Bray presents a nuanced picture of a man whose life speaks to us all if we are willing to hear him Really enjoyed this read, though it was not what I was expecting. It was more biographical when I thought it would be more of an interaction with Augustine’s writings that are on the Christian life. Parts of the book dragged a bit and I was surprised to see that two things Augustine wrote a lot about—beauty and the power of habit—are largely absent. But again, while it was not what I was expecting, Bray presents a nuanced picture of a man whose life speaks to us all if we are willing to hear him.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason Foreman

    Very great, concise overview of the life and Augustine. Halfway through I realized how tragic it is that I have never read much of Augustine's works. I loved how Bray strained to contextualize Augustine so that the reader can better encounter Augustine on his own turf -- this made the ending applications natural and easy to get behind. The divisions of the books were likewise natural and very helpful. Much thought went into the organizational structure and that really made it an easy book to synth Very great, concise overview of the life and Augustine. Halfway through I realized how tragic it is that I have never read much of Augustine's works. I loved how Bray strained to contextualize Augustine so that the reader can better encounter Augustine on his own turf -- this made the ending applications natural and easy to get behind. The divisions of the books were likewise natural and very helpful. Much thought went into the organizational structure and that really made it an easy book to synthesize.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    This was a somewhat strange book. It was good but it almost felt like it was written by three different authors or three different purposes. Some of it was very simple and straightforward (which is what I was looking for in this case). Some of it was pretty technical (chapter 3). And some of it was practical for pastors. Still there are not many introductions to Augustine out there so its good to have another worthwhile one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nehem

    My respect for Augustine and Gerald Bray has grown significantly through this book. I may come back later and add more words to this, but wow, just pick up a copy and read it lol (see what I did here?)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Augustin is one of the pillars of Christianity for a reason. Bray does a wonderful job of bringing to life his life and theology and bringing out an appreciation for what he contributed to the growth and understanding of the Church.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Reebel

    This is a good overview of Augustine's life, but there are too many times when Bray interjects his own theology into Augustine's theology. Bray is also a little soft on the heresy of Pelagius. Other than that, it was a good read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Shank

    Good. Would have preferred more of the application scattered throughout the book instead of concentrated in the last chapter.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve Hazell

    A surprisingly full read with far less of Augustine’s own words than I expected. More of a historical overview of his life and ministry.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ho Christopher

    Other than Paul, Augustine is probably the most influential theologian of the Christian faith. For such a titan it would be valuable to know what he has to say about the christian life. This is what Gerald Bray has done in this book. Bray takes a look at the life of Augustine moving from him as a believer, then a teacher and finally as a pastor. Bray first gives a quick overview and introduction to the life of Augustine. For anyone who is new to him, Bray’s introduction will definitely be a helpf Other than Paul, Augustine is probably the most influential theologian of the Christian faith. For such a titan it would be valuable to know what he has to say about the christian life. This is what Gerald Bray has done in this book. Bray takes a look at the life of Augustine moving from him as a believer, then a teacher and finally as a pastor. Bray first gives a quick overview and introduction to the life of Augustine. For anyone who is new to him, Bray’s introduction will definitely be a helpful of him/her. After the short introduction, Bray moves on to Augustine as believer. In this section, Bray deals mainly about Augustine as a christian, he focuses the discussion very much on his autobiography, the Confessions. He touches on three big topics on this section, his devotional life, his lifestyle and his life of faith. In the next section, Bray then talk about Augustine as the teacher. He touches on three main topics here, first, he talks about what Augustine believed about the bible, how Augustine envisioned Christ in all of scripture and what the bible says about the end of man. The next section will be one that will be of interest to pastors. Bray talks about what Augustine did as a pastor/bishop. He talks about what Augustine believed about preaching and how he served his congregation at his church. He uncovers many thought about Augustine as the pastor of the church how he sympathises with the congregation who has to sit in humid and warm conditions and listen for more than an hour on what he has preached. This was certainly one of the best part of the book, I have not met any who has talked about this area in the life of Augustine. As I was reading this book, one of the things at was quite jarring for me was how there wasn’t many sub-sections. This certainly took some time to adjust, but as I read on, I adjusted the Bray’s brilliant writing style. This book is one that pastors should certainly read. I have found that too many books have targeted Augustine as the theologian but not many has offered the pastoral side to readers. This book fills this gap. In closing, I shall leave readers with one closing statement that I felt was a good summary of this book. 
“Augustine died in the knowledge that a few days later the barbarians would enter Hippo, which they were besieging at the time, and he must have feared that his life’s work would go up in flames. Things did not turn out quite as badly as that, but there was to be no lasting legacy of his labors in Hippo—no great basilica with his name carved into it, no academic chair dedicated to his memory, not even a park bench with a plaque saying that his estate had paid for it. To the naked eye there was nothing. Yet as we know, what must have appeared then as a fairly insignificant ministry in a provincial town became the most productive life of any theologian in the Western world. Generations of Christians who would never go anywhere near Hippo would read what Augustine wrote in the hot and dusty chambers that were his earthly dwelling place, and would marvel at his gifts and intellect. More than that, they would be moved, as we still are, by his passion for Christ, and would go away from his writings more determined than ever to walk in the way mapped out for them by God.” Rating: 4.5 / 5 Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  17. 5 out of 5

    An Te

    This is a good book summarising the life and works of Augustine of Hippo. Having had spiritual insight into the depth and good works of Jesus through this wretched soul, captured eloquently and vividly in Augustine's Confessions, I have been drawn to discover more about the man's context, work and influence on his society and for us today. He is a man who struggled with the ideas of his time. Heresies, Neoplatonism, Manichaeism, unsound doctrines and poor congregational attendance and inattention This is a good book summarising the life and works of Augustine of Hippo. Having had spiritual insight into the depth and good works of Jesus through this wretched soul, captured eloquently and vividly in Augustine's Confessions, I have been drawn to discover more about the man's context, work and influence on his society and for us today. He is a man who struggled with the ideas of his time. Heresies, Neoplatonism, Manichaeism, unsound doctrines and poor congregational attendance and inattention and conjugal fidelity were among some of the issues he faced. Bray helps to paint a lively picture of the man's life and build the relationships that helped shape and establish his long tenure as Bishop of Hippo (in Northern Africa) and that mind set upon living out faith consistently and as coherently in an age of profound moral and intellectual difficulties. I have learnt much learnt about the applied nature of his works, not in its pure content perhaps as those theological and philosophical concerns of his day have been outstripped and are no longer live issues as they once were, either having been addressed or remain unaddressed, but for the sheer influence upon the trajectory we have been set on. I highly recommend this book to help build a more honest picture of a man who truly lived and struggled with real wider political, philosophical and social concerns 1600 years ago. Truly the spheres of these discplines has never been separate and Augustine was a man who knew this well. By looking with a keen eye into this man's life and ouevre, perhaps you will feel the relevance of the pull of the struggles of a man who would not accept the status quo of his times. His lens may be very different to ours but it has proven a helpful aid in 'warming the coals' to his other works. A helpful companion to Augustine and a sure aid for those wishing to explore both concerns theological and pastoral in today's context.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Carpenter

    Augustine is among a special class of Christian Theologians that contains those who have literally changed the face of the Christian Church over the past 2000 years such as Aquinas, Calvin, Luther and Barth. In fact, from reading this book, you can't help but walk away knowing that Augustine has made an impact that greatly challenges any other theologian until almost the Reformation. It was B.B. Warfield that stated that the Reformation was basically a battle between Augustine's doctrine of the Augustine is among a special class of Christian Theologians that contains those who have literally changed the face of the Christian Church over the past 2000 years such as Aquinas, Calvin, Luther and Barth. In fact, from reading this book, you can't help but walk away knowing that Augustine has made an impact that greatly challenges any other theologian until almost the Reformation. It was B.B. Warfield that stated that the Reformation was basically a battle between Augustine's doctrine of the church and Augustine's doctrine of grace. Gerald Bray gives the church a great introductory reader on the life and thought of this great theologian as it deals with Augustine's thoughts on The Christian Life. There are quite a few new books on the life of Augustine or on his works that are being published, but there is some scepticism to these books as they are written without taking the doctrine of the providence of God into the conversation and writing a purely secular view of Augustine, which is ironic since they are writing upon one of the theologians who lays the foundation for many of the doctrines that stem from the sovereignty and supremacy of God. This book, however, gives readers exactly what they are looking for. Bray takes readers through five chapters: Chapter One: The Life and Times of Augustine Chapter Two: Augustine the Believer Chapter Three: Augustine the Teacher Chapter Four: Augustine the Pastor Chapter Five: Augustine Today Honestly, the best chapter is chapter one, as it lays a background for the historical context in which Augustine is breathing, living and working against all the different theological disputes that come his way. While the book seemed dry at times, there was a reminder of gold that kept me reading and realizing what a gem this book is to the church. I highly recommend it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wray

    This book is a great introduction to Augustine's life. As someone who knew little about Augustine before reading this, I feel that I now have a reasonable handle on the major milestones in his life and thought. His thinking on the trinity, sin, scripture and the Christians relationship to the state were all stretching and thought provoking. It was very helpful to see that while Augustine's work was foundational to the later thought of the reformers, he was definitely not a Protestant, and those c This book is a great introduction to Augustine's life. As someone who knew little about Augustine before reading this, I feel that I now have a reasonable handle on the major milestones in his life and thought. His thinking on the trinity, sin, scripture and the Christians relationship to the state were all stretching and thought provoking. It was very helpful to see that while Augustine's work was foundational to the later thought of the reformers, he was definitely not a Protestant, and those categories that we use so naturally probably wouldn't have made sense to him. It's very healthy for us as reformed Christians to learn from those not directly in our own tradition (even if Augustine is closer than some), and this is something that Gerald Bray handles very well. I appreciated his comment that Augustine's commitment to scripture can be challenging to Catholics, while he is more Catholic than most Protestants are comfortable with. Overall, this was a helpful and enjoyable introduction to one of the giants of both church history and Western civilisation, and had left me wanting to read more of Augustine himself. Highly recommend both this book and the series as a whole.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    It is no secret that Aurelius Augustine was a stalwart of the Christian faith; a pagan turned Christ-follower; a man of the world turned to a man of the Word; a man controlled by sin to a man controlled by the Spirit. Gerald Bray offers up a thoughtful overview of Augustine of Hippo in his latest work. Augustine on the Christian Life summarizes the life of the influential theologian and meticulously navigates his life from pagan to pastor. Bray’s work is historically sound and captures the essen It is no secret that Aurelius Augustine was a stalwart of the Christian faith; a pagan turned Christ-follower; a man of the world turned to a man of the Word; a man controlled by sin to a man controlled by the Spirit. Gerald Bray offers up a thoughtful overview of Augustine of Hippo in his latest work. Augustine on the Christian Life summarizes the life of the influential theologian and meticulously navigates his life from pagan to pastor. Bray’s work is historically sound and captures the essence of Augustine’s life and legacy. Practical application is drawn from Augustine’s life which will surely be an encouragement to readers. Much can be learned from Augustine - lessons from his life in defiance of God before his conversion and lessons from his devotion to God.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    *Augustine on the Christian life* by Dr. Gerald Bray is another excellent volume published by Crossway Books in The Theologians on the Christian Life series. Brays's book is highly readable (which is the exception not the rule for most books written on the Patristic period), doctrinally insightful (doctrinal controversies of the day are explained clearly and shown their relevance for today's struggles) and inspirational (Augustine struggled as a pastor in a small town with a parish that was dist *Augustine on the Christian life* by Dr. Gerald Bray is another excellent volume published by Crossway Books in The Theologians on the Christian Life series. Brays's book is highly readable (which is the exception not the rule for most books written on the Patristic period), doctrinally insightful (doctrinal controversies of the day are explained clearly and shown their relevance for today's struggles) and inspirational (Augustine struggled as a pastor in a small town with a parish that was distracted by the entertainment culture). Bray addresses the many criticisms of Augustine's theology from the Eastern churches as well as Western misunderstandings of his doctrinal positions. Overall, an excellent introduction to Augustine's life and thought.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Darby Hughes

    This was more like a biographical introduction to Augustine's life along with an introduction to his main theological contributions to the church. I loved the historical & biographical sections of this book. Bray really made an effort to help us into the culture and mindset of 300's AD north Africa. He did a good job showing that the church and Christian theology were still very much a new thing, which is a strange idea to me. I also loved his including down-to-earth struggles of a patristic era This was more like a biographical introduction to Augustine's life along with an introduction to his main theological contributions to the church. I loved the historical & biographical sections of this book. Bray really made an effort to help us into the culture and mindset of 300's AD north Africa. He did a good job showing that the church and Christian theology were still very much a new thing, which is a strange idea to me. I also loved his including down-to-earth struggles of a patristic era pastor (hot church sanctuaries, people talking during church services, no sound system and poor acoustics making it difficult to be heard, etc.) I'd recommend this for someone who hasn't read much on the early church or Augustine.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Luke

    Another good entry in this theologians on the Christian life series. This is knowledgeable, well-written and with a great sense of warmth. It manages to convey not just the thought of Augustine but his humanity and humour- which is rare in studies about the great man. If you know nothing about Augustine this is a good place to start.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Parker

    Excellent book. Incredible insight into Augustine. This is a book that took an incredible amount of knowledge on Augustine to write, and will be an invaluable and accessible resource for future students of the early church.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Austin Hoffman

    Kind of bland. I didn't really like it that much. It might be good for someone who was new to Augustine, but if you've read any of his three main books it was mostly a summary of what he believed and taught.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chad Reinhardt

    Fantastic overview of a theologian for the ages.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rand Hall

    A good intro to the greatest theologian outside the Bible. I'm not an Augustine scholar by any means but I caught one obviously erroneous claim making me wonder if there were others.

  28. 4 out of 5

    BIBIN JACOB

    those who want to know who augustine of hippo was , this book is a very good summary of majority of his works and who he as an individual was and how much of his work has relevance even today

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roger Feenstra

    A nice introduction to Augustine and his teaching on the Christian life.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris Whisonant

    The first third of the book is rather slow/dry, even for a bio, but it gets better and it's well worth the read. I plan on reading a fair amount of Augustine next year.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.