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Christian Union: The Magazine
April 7, 2022

Trinity Forum Conversations Feature James K.A. Smith

Augustine is one of the giants of Christian philosophy and theology, often compared to Paul for his contribution to the faith. But in spite of his enduring impression on how we understand Scripture and ourselves, Augustine offers us an honest and unashamed look at his own life—one that is marked by the struggle of sin and a dependence upon grace. 

In this podcast from Trinity Forum Conversations, James KA Smith, a philosophy professor, author, and Augustine expert invites us to read the Bishop of Hippo as a friend who has gone before us, who has struggled with all the same things we do, and who can act as a guide in the Christian life. Smith argues that what makes Augustine so valuable and unusual is that he asks the question that we often fail to ask. That question is "What do you love?"  More than what we know or even believe, what we love drives us to act. 

1 Saint Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne editedSaint Augustine, by Philippe de Champaigne (edited, Wikimedia Commons)

Augustine famously said, “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Speaking from the 4th century into our contemporary culture and mindset, he prophetically reminds us that we act in accordance with our desires more than our knowledge. In doing this, Augustine challenges us to grapple with the dissonance we experience in our lives between the person we say or think we are and the person we truly are. And as we do so, we become hungry and needy for the grace of God in a way that actually begins to transform us.

Christian Union seeks to meet students at intellectually rigorous institutions with the gospel, challenging them to ask a question deeper than “what do you know?” and inviting them to grow in love for the one for whom they were made. 

Listen to the podcast here.