Gerald Bray’s “Augustine on the Christian Life”

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9781433544941Gerald Bray’s brilliant entry in the Theologians on the Christians Life series—Augustine on the Christian Life: Transformed by the Power of God—is now available.

Bray writes in the introduction:

In this book, every effort is made to let Augustine speak for himself and to understand him on his own terms, however uncongenial they may seem to many people today. Sympathy for him grows out of understanding, and that understanding can only come with listening to his voice and putting ourselves, as much as we can, into his shoes.

The selections from his writings that have been quoted here have been freshly translated into contemporary (and as much as possible, colloquial) English, because Augustine himself used the spoken word to teach his congregation at Hippo and put effective communication with them ahead of any literary pretensions.

I hope that readers who are approaching him for the first time will be encouraged to go further and learn more about this fascinating man, while those who are already familiar with him may be challenged to see him in a new light.

Above all, I devoutly desire that all who come to Augustine may be led through him to a deeper understanding and closer relationship with the God of Jesus Christ, to whom he was drawn and in whose service he spent the greater part of his life. It is for that above all that we remember him today, and it is only in the light of Christ that his career and his writings can be understood as he meant them to be.

Here’s what others are saying about Bray’s work:

“Gerald Bray accomplishes an improbable task with this remarkable book on Augustine’s view of the Christian life. Bray surveys the voluminous and brilliant contributions from the bishop of Hippo and presents them in a readable and understandable manner. In doing so, he provides us with an edifying, informative, and helpful resource for students, historians, theologians, and church leaders alike. It is a joyful privilege to recommend this excellent addition to Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series.”
—David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University

“Gerald Bray gives us a richly informative and richly edifying introduction to Augustine and his teaching on the Christian life. It will enable those who have read very little of Augustine, as well as those much more familiar with him, to see Augustine as he would have wanted to be seen: a sinner saved by grace seeking to teach faithfully what he found in the Scriptures. Augustine’s specific devotional teaching is placed in the context of his mammoth contribution to Christian theology and Western civilization more generally. The accessibility of this introduction belies the depth of scholarship, which becomes evident in the footnotes and bibliography. Here is a sure-footed guide to the thinking of one of the greatest minds in the history of the Christian church.”
—Mark D. Thompson, Principal, Moore Theological College

“Augustine told us that only God can be enjoyed for his own sake; all others must be considered as they relate to God. How fitting that Gerald Bray leads us to consider Augustine not for his own sake, but as a gateway to a vision of the one true God and the life lived more deeply in his triune presence. With a teacher’s wisdom and a scholar’s facility with the primary texts, Bray helps guide readers more deeply into the Christian life through the great bishop’s interaction with a host of challenges—real, cruel threats to Christian faithfulness—ranging from the Manichaeans to the Donatists and the Pelagians. Take up and read, and let Bray take you to school.”
—Michael Allen, Associate Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

Table of Contents

  1. The Life and Times of Augustine
  2. Augustine the Believer
  3. Augustine the Teacher
  4. Augustine the Pastor
  5. Augustine Today

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Photo image credit: Tony Reinke

Here are the books published so far in Crossways’ Theologians on the Christian Life series:

And here are the forthcoming volumes:

  • Michael Reeves, Spurgeon on the Christian Life
  • Jason Meyer, Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life
  • Joe Rigney, C. S. Lewis on the Christian Life
  • Derek Thomas, Bunyan on the Christian Life
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