Callings Blog: Augustine 2/2


The book Callings by William C. Placher is the guide for this semester of Honors. The Honors 220 class is all about vocation. The books looks at the history of vocation in the Christian Church. We started in the early Church. Monasticism is “in thing” for the Christians after the age of the martyrs. St. Augustine (354-430) is one of these Monastics. He grew up in North Africa  He struggled with his conversion from Manicheanism to Christianity. He struggled giving up his passions for worldly things. St. Augustine struggled with his enjoyment of sex and other desires of the flesh. He wrote a major work titled Confessions, which is included in Callings, that described his struggles. He confessed that he didn’t want to give up his desires. He enjoyed rhetoric and arguing but he felt called to give this up but his struggle with his sexual desires was more prevalent. He is not only confessing his sins, but he is also confessing his faith.


Last semester in Honors 110 we read Freedom of a Christian by Martin Luther. In this treatise he describes the “Happy Exchange”. This distinction is one of the distinguishing factors of Lutheran theology. The Honors program makes a point of incorporating the Christian faith into every semester. In the Happy Exchange Jesus takes all of our sin and wretchedness to the cross with Him in exchange for His righteousness. Through this lens we are able to see that the sins of the world do not condemn us before God anymore. This is an incredible source of comfort.


I would say that I have felt like Augustine before. He had moments of being caught up in his sinful nature. I think it is also part of the modern culture. People know that their is a moral code that they need to follow but they are too busy sinning . As I reflect on my life I can see points in my life where I acted like this. As I reflect on my life, I find it easy to become caught under the crushing weight of my sin. The “Happy Exchange” that Martin Luther described is a source of personal comfort for me. It is only because Christ has made my inner person clean before God that His love can work through me to the benefit of others.

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