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Archive of  VIDEO Programs from Augustine's, Confessions, The Early Church Fathers

Programs 772-747 (with most recent at top)>>>>

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Program 772: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.26

Today, at long last, Augustine’s salvation and surrender to God. And today why the atheist Bertrand Russell, who is a Logical Empiricist, cannot grasp what is going on in Augustine and neither can the cosmic humanist who is trying to get in touch with some supposed divine flow. (The cosmic humanist comes after Russell and is fairly common in our day.) Salvation for Augustine is a decision of the will with total heart commitment, and finally today Augustine turns from "vain trifles and the triviality of the empty-headed" as the basis of his life to new life in the Spirit in Christian salvation.

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Please note: These videos will generally not play with a weak wireless signal. You will get a notice, "Windows Media Player cannot connect to the server..."  This is not true, you are connected, and it is not the fault of the server or your computer, but the weak signal shuts the video player down, and gives this false notice.

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Program 771: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.25

The point of the text of Augustine's Confessions is entering into the joy of the Lord and the joy of the Lord coming into us. Today I do quite a bit on Augustine’s finding God (not salvation) in Plato because it is important for these philosophical programs on the history of Western of philosophy and how salvation is not simply knowing there is a real God and Truth but giving one’s heart of allegiance to God. Philosophy is about the Good, Truth and the Right as real and not specifically the truth and reality of salvation, as such, which is the Christian Gospel and not philosophy,

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Atheism, Liberalism, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism all have a theory of God or no God as the case may be and generally a theory of the state and of education.

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Program 770: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.24

What Augustine realizes is there is a big difference between understanding the truth of Christianity and giving your heart or allegiance to God. Also a bit today on how this all relates to the truth in Plato and Cicero and today the two ways of "knowing" in Christianity and in general, namely, "knowing" in one’s head as knowledge facts and "knowing" or experiencing in one’s heart in spiritual experience or acquaintance. And today, briefly, how this all relates to Justice for the state, but, mostly, we go over the dynamic of coming to God in total heart commitment as seen in Augustine and his great hesitancy to do so.

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Program 769: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.23

Today, back to the philosophical themes of Plato in Augustine of Truth, Good, God, and so forth, and how these relate to Augustine’s eventual commitment or surrender to Christ.

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Also today much on the dynamics of the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and how they relate to Bible Christianity, atheism, and Roman Catholicism, and finally Augustine gives about the best treatment you’ll ever find of the relationship of Plato and philosophy to Christianity.

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Program 768: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.22

Today, we look at how a concept of real Good and a real higher moral law of God in Plato, which so stir Augustine, relate to the modern era and our day in philosophy, religion, and politics. Again, Augustine finds "God" in Plato, but not in personal relationship in Christ, but only the reality of God, which he then goes on to seek in personal experience in Christ.

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Program 767: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.21

Augustine gives us Christianity in its most profound sense, and it deals with fellowship with the Creator of the universe in our hearts, and Augustine becomes the basis for the Protestant Reformation of Luther. However, today, we need orthodoxy as well as salvation by faith and the indwelling Spirit, and if we get these 3 things, we can get Christianity back on track in our time, presumably.

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Augustine comes to realize that God is Loving, True, and Eternal, and that gives him a hunger for God in Christian salvation. This is all based on the philosophy of Plato, just as earlier we saw Augustine find God to a degree in Cicero. What Augustine realizes is truth is real and cannot be doubted to be real, and it exists as real as much as one’s own self, and perhaps even more so. This is similar to Descartes’ sense of certainty his own existence and ultimately the reality of God. This argument is brilliant philosophy and rarely commented upon and cannot be refuted. One cannot doubt the existence of Truth, and "it" does not exist in time and space, and "it" is eternal. At 6:52 minutes the three R's of Christianity are, of course, Reconciliation (salvation), Regeneration (re-birth), and Relationship (indwelling Spirit), and a possible fourth R is Repentance, as necessary.

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Program 766: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.20

Augustine is looking for truth by Rational analysis, but he cannot find it because he has a bad heart until he finds God. Still the goal for everyone in philosophy in history whether atheist, Protestant or Catholic is Rational knowledge truth claims, and again we see how all of this plays out in history. "The Good which you love is from God," says Augustine. Today, Augustine is right on target searching for truth in a way few philosophers have been before or ever will be again in the entire history of Western philosophy, and he speaks on how sin and impiety often play out in our lives in self-deception.

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Program 765: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.19

Today, again, how Augustine plays out in modernity in the history of philosophy and for atheism versus Christianity in religion and in tyranny versus the Justice or higher moral law for the state in government. What does and should one learn in being "educated"? It varies over time for the West for good and ill in a search for truth. And there is a story to all of this. And this used to be what one learned in getting an education, for whichever side one was on. But Russell’s treatment of the story and who the good guys are ultimately fails even though he is still seeking Rational knowledge truth claims, and Russell realizes that Augustine is finding the Logos of Plato, but Russell does not believe in the Logos of Plato, Augustine or the Bible, let alone believe in a "believe and receive" Christianity, as such.

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Program 764: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.18

In the Confessions Augustine intertwines the themes of a good and bad heart to God with the problems of false philosophical systems, and we see how he deals with these faulty philosophical systems. And today Augustine finds Plato, and how philosophy is generally about Rational truth claims, and how this relates to the history of philosophy and to us today for the practice of Christianity and for education.

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Program 763: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.17

The Confessions has a profound psychological analysis of the turmoil in Augustine’s soul when he was in rebellion against God. And, again, God is the author of all Good things. It is in finding Cicero that Augustine comes to a longing for real Wisdom and for God. And in Cicero Augustine found the higher moral law and Justice of God. Cicero is, in effect, casting down every argument that would exalt itself of a knowledge of the Lord by "teaching, delighting, (and) persuading." This leads Augustine to the Scripture, but he is not able to appreciate it at all, and he then gets involved with the Manicheans. And we also look today at Russell’s treatment of all of this.

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Program 762: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.16

The point of Christianity is salvation, and a new heart, and God living in our hearts and turning from our sin to the extent we are in it. God enters into us and we into Him. And all good things come from God. And today, again, how much of this plays out in all history.

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And as a plain fact, Augustine is not sitting around in morbid introspection his whole life on the pears incident, quite the opposite, in fact, both before and after his salvation. Today, Augustine finds Cicero, and Cicero has a good impact on Augustine.

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Program 761: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.15

Today, why Augustine’s Confessions is probably the best book, outside of holy Scripture, ever written as a basic work of literature and as on the meaning of life, and why the Confessions might well re-energize Christianity in our time. And, today, how Augustine’s Christianity plays out in the history of philosophy.

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Program 760: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.14

Augustine’s Christianity is a Kingdom Era Christianity I argue today because it is an Evangelical "believe and receive by prayer" Christianity, and it is doctrinally sound and very experiential, and it moves beyond Church Age mere orthodox Christianity, whether Protestant or Catholic.

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Clearly Augustine understands and thinks he is experiencing the Creator of the universe as living inside of him. Augustine is simply unsurpassed, and in a real sense he is the answer to all of our Christian problems today in knowing and worshipping God correctly in spirit and truth. And we also see, today, the complexities of sin and grace and charity, and sin for sin’s sake with nothing to gain.

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Program 759: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.13

In essence, in his Confessions Augustine is analyzing the human condition and our need for God and how this reality plays out in our lives and our minds and our innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and "affections" says Edwards many centuries later.

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Augustine’s account of the "miseries, confusions, and errors" of his youth is interesting, especially because at the time he thought he was doing so well. It was all a matter of a bad heart. And today we look at the famous story of Augustine’s youth in his stealing some pears. Augustine profoundly relates his spiritual and psychological condition to that, in essence, of Lucifer in his rebellion against God in heaven. Augustine went with the group to steal the pears simply because he wanted to appear shameless to his friends, but with no gain to himself, which is the normal cause of wrong-doing. Augustine says he would even boast of sexual exploits that he actually did not do in order to out do his fellows’ stories.

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Program 758: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.12

We are doing the story of human knowledge claims on earth, and how various forms of Christianity play out in history, some of which often become reduced merely to giving intellectual assent to the Apostles’ Creed and joining the Church, and hence not having the experiencing of God in our hearts as the main point of Christianity as expressed in the opening paragraphs of the Confessions. And we experience God in our hearts, Augustine says, by believing in Him and calling upon Him in prayer. Today, we go further into the text of the Confessions and how Augustine correctly sees many of the mysteries of existence explained by the reality of God and the Gospel, and he observes the deeply fallen nature of man.

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Program 757: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.11

If Augustine is, indeed, correct on the true nature of Christianity in these opening paragraphs of his Confessions, then this raises the question of, "Where do we go from here in our own time?" Today, I try to answer these questions for all Christian groups. Liberals generally think "sin" is not a problem (in the first place) in order for us to need an Atoning sacrifice (in the second place).

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And ultimately this all relates to setting up good government. And interestingly much if not all of this is outlined in Revelation, where the secular state turns on false religion and sets itself up as a totalitarian state and de facto "God" without false religion as such. And, today, why Christianity tends to answer all the mysteries of existence even though we cannot really understand them in our limited human nature, and so Augustine’s text then continues doing classic theology in its most basic points.

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Program 756: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.10

Today, Christianity is both a matter of the heart experiences and mind truth, and this is clear in these opening paragraphs of Augustine’s Confessions, and again today how false atheist philosophies, which reject Augustine, play out in history as well as how various false forms of Christianity play out, and especially Liberal Christianity in the last half of the 20th century, and again why Vatican II does not really fix medieval Roman Catholicism, but things in our time are different than in the Reformation because our society today is not generally "Christian," whether of a Protestant or Catholic variety, as it was in the Reformation. Still, Augustine is the solution to all of our problems in Protestant Christianity as well as ultimately in Roman Catholicism because Augustine gives us an orthodox, covenant vow, sinner’s prayer Christianity, which I call Marriage Feast of the Lamb Christianity, and which is basically early 21st century Evangelical Christianity.

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Program 755: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.9

Today more on the opening paragraphs of Augustine’s Confessions and how they relate to the issues in both the Reformation and humanist Renaissance, which are really both over Augustine, as are the problems that exist in the West with Christian Liberalism over orthodoxy as the 20th century ends.

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The re-discovery of worldview thinking by Christians is really often just a re-discovery of traditional Western philosophy. Even atheists used to be worldview thinkers. They knew exactly what they were, they were atheists! But, regardless, a general spirituality experience, let alone faulty mysticism, is not the Christian salvation experience, but further the point of Christianity is not simply understanding the truth of Christianity, but entering into the spiritual reality of salvation and new spiritual life in Christ and receiving God into our hearts, and this is completely lost in Liberal Protestant Christianity (with no sin-and-salvation message) and often even in non-Liberal Protestantism and certainly in traditional Roman Catholicism and even often Vatican II Roman Catholicism. The Church, the Body of Christ, is it would seem in its darkest hour in its entire almost 2000 year history. Is there any hope whatsoever? Yes, the first page of Augustine's Confessions will solve virtually all of our problems, I would say. (Also, to be clear, I am all for "church work" but it alone is not the point of the Christian faith.)

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Program 754: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.8

Today, again, why Augustine is almost a pure case of today’s Evangelical Christianity and ultimately what I call a Marriage Feast of the Lamb Christianity, and also why other forms of Christianity can be perfectly valid and real. Neither C. S. Lewis nor the Polish Pope (John Paul) are Evangelical, specifically, but both are fine Christians presumably.

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By contrast, to other forms of Christianity, the mysticism of Plotinus and Tillich is at best is a naturalistic experience of God, but as defined by Plotinus and Tillich (and similar thinkers) presumably not even that, and it is certainly not personal relationship with a conscious Creator Being. Chadwick (the excellent translator of the Augustine’s Confessions) is simply wrong about this, as are Thomas Merton and Vatican II, but not Sheen and the Polish Pope. Chadwick is a fine historian and presumably an excellent Christian, as Merton was an excellent monk and fine Christian, but both are lousy theologians, making what I call "Merton’s Mistake" of identifying virtually any and all "mysticism" with personal Christian salvation experience, in essence, of Pentecost, please.

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Program 753: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.7

Augustine is clearly about "knowing" God in our minds as well as "knowing" or experiencing God in peace in our hearts (in personal salvation). And, today, quite a bit of the history of this stuff and how it plays out in a supposedly valid "higher criticism" of Spinoza in a history and philosophy text from 1926, no less, which just assumes that "higher criticism" is proven and valid in the early 20th century. In truth these so-called "higher critics" (already firmly established in the early 20th century as supposedly intellectually valid) are spiritual humanists, but there are also materialist humanists who are often seen incorrectly to be basing their work on John Locke, who was an empiricist of sorts but anything but a material humanist.

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And also, today, how much of this philosophy relates to good and bad theories of government, and in reality this all happens after the Renaissance Reformation era when people either reject an Augustinian (heart salvation) Christianity as the Roman Catholics and atheists, or they try to re-assert it as central and true as the Reformers, who then go on to develop a right theory of the state as in Locke. (Cool. So very cool, and so very relevant for our time.)

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Program 752: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.6

Sometimes when one is restless and seeking, one does not even realize it until one finds what one is looking for. Today more on the gift of salvation and on experiencing God in our hearts by calling upon Him.  Augustine is widely held to be not only the greatest Christian writer of antiquity, but, by some, possibly of all time. And in these opening paragraphs he, arguably, does all of Christianity better than all those who came before him, and all those who will come after him on entering into a state of salvation as well as experiencing God in a peace in our hearts, as the real point of the Christian faith.

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Coming out of the Renaissance Reformation era one pretty much must choose between Bible Christianity, outright atheism, or medieval Roman Catholicism, which is fundamentally wrong about science, religion, and government.  Later Bible Christianity will break into two pieces, namely, a Bible Christianity and a Liberal "higher criticism," and atheism will break into a material atheism of Hume and Marx and a spiritual humanism of Hegel and Tillich. Also, today, why Vatican II Roman Catholicism makes serious progress in moving toward a Biblically sound Christianity, and I even do a hypothetical best case defense of Roman Catholicism after Vatican II, which I do not hold to personally, but it is the best case that can be made I think. In the end even Vatican II Catholicism does not have a worked out theory of the 4 R’s of rebirth (regeneration), reconciliation (salvation), relationship in heart experience, and repentance.

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Program 751: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.5

Augustine’s Confessions are in actuality his Christian testimony. And he addressees the questions of what is salvation, is it real, and how do you get it and experience it in your heart.  Augustine’s Christianity is a pure Evangelical Christianity of our day, or so I argue. And we see in these first paragraphs that Augustine gives virtually the entire Reformation position and more, I would say and so argue today, though this Reformation point is generally not disputed by anyone.

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Program 750: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.4

The question today is what is going on in "believing and receiving" prayer, which is the point of the Christian faith for Augustine and for Bible Christianity. What is the spiritual reality of this "believing and receiving" prayer, if it is real and true?

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Augustine in these opening paragraphs of his Confessions is virtually defining or describing true heart-felt and heart-experienced Christianity, and though the theology of this gets recovered in the Reformation in the 16th century, this type of experiential emphasis is seen most clearly in Edwards and Wesley in the 18th century. And, today, how much of this relates to Roman Catholicism of the Middle Ages as well as to Vatican II as well as to the correct total package of Christianity, which Augustine is right on target for and why most mainline denominations today are not as far along as Augustine in getting things right, as a slight understatement, Roman Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise. And, also, today how all of this relates to the "mystery" of existence explained ultimately by the Gospel in the totality of all history.

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Program 749: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.3

The practical point of the Christian faith is "knowing" or, that is, experiencing God in our hearts; again, this is in the Didache (The Teaching of the Apostles) and in Justin, and famously in Wesley in what he calls "experimental" Christianity (in the sense of taste and see experientially that the Lord is good) and it is in Edwards in his theory of "religious affections" and most famously of all it is here in Augustine’s "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You," O, Lord.

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Unfortunately this video has been corrupted in the encoding process and ends abruptly at 35:29 minutes, but I still manage to get in all the key points. God can be "called upon in prayer" says Augustine in order to know God, the Creator of the universe, in our hearts!!! I am "calling upon God to come into me," says Augustine. The mysticism of Plotinus is not this particular Christian spiritual experience of God in Christ, which Mr. Chadwick seems to incorrectly assume as does, say, Thomas Merton, but, by contrast, the Roman Catholic Fulton Sheen gets it correct. (In many ways this heart experience is the difference between early 20th century "fundamentalist" Christianity, which emphasized doctrine of the mind, and early 21st century Evangelical Christianity, which attempts to balance spiritual experience of God in our hearts with the truth of doctrine. )

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Program 748: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.2

Today we see on the first page of the Confessions the theme of the work and the point of the Christian faith for Augustine and for us, though this point has largely been lost in our time, though it was a central theme in the Didache (The Teaching of the Apostles) and in Justin and others in antiquity and for Edwards and Wesley in modernity. "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You," O, God.

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Program 747: On the The Early Church Fathers...

Saint Augustine: The Confessions, Salvation & our ‘restless’ hearts, Pt.1

Today we start Augustine, and I try to put him into the larger history of philosophy and this Greet Books video series specifically, and I review many of the major thinkers we have already looked at leading up to Augustine in order to put him in historical context. And we consider the question of what it means to be a Christian for us today and for Augustine.

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