Augustine (354-430), bishop of Hippo in Algeria, was the greatest theologian of the Western Church in the age of the early Church fathers. Few if any of the fathers combined Augustine's profound personal experience of God's saving grace in Jesus Christ with his intellectual brilliance at expounding the theological meaning of that grace. The bishop of Hippo's spiritual influence proved to be enduring, living on through the centuries as a constant source of challenge and renewal to a Church that was always in danger of falling from grace back into works.
Augustine's legacy reached new heights of influence in the 16th century, when the Protestant Reformers called the Church to return, not only to the Bible, but also to Augustine and his theology of grace. Martin Luther, John Calvin and their reforming colleagues were steeped in the writings of Augustine, as were the Puritans and their successors.
This book brings together choice quotations from Augustine on the theme of salvation. Here readers can sample for themselves what one of the masterminds of Christianity had to say about creation, the fall, original sin, free will, law and grace, incarnation and atonement, the new life in Christ, predestination, and the perseverance of the saints. It is a profound, radical and vital message that today's Church desperately needs to hear again if she is to recover her spiritual and theological health.
Nick Needham has done a great job in judiciously selecting and bringing together representative statements on divine grace from Augustine's many writings. His introductions to each chapter are skilful and knowledgeable. - Paul Helm