Three Books That Should be Re-Printed (In my humble opinion)

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
They are:

The Letters of St. Augustine by W. J. Sparrow Simpson; Handbooks of Christian Literature series (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1919), 336 pp.

St. Augustine's Conversion: An Outline of His Development to the Time of His Ordination by W. J. Sparrow Simpson (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1930), 276 pp.

St. Augustine's Episcopate: A Brief Introduction to His Writings as a Christian by W. J. Sparrow Simpson (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), 142 pp.

(Sparrow Simpson (1859-1952) was an English Anglican priest who specialized in studying Augustine's life, writings, and theology. He authored more than fifty books in his time, and several were about Augustine.)

The first book listed is an analysis of the letters, which are grouped by subject (letters to Jerome, letters on the doctrine of grace, letters on African church divisions, etc.). A very interesting and insightful volume.

Books two and three, taken together, are a survey of Augustine's life as seen through his voluminous writings and the major theological controversies he was involved in. Sparrow Simpson's discussion of Confessions, in both these volumes, is worth the price of admission, in my view.

All three of these volumes have long been out of print, as far as I can tell. I've found all three of them to be very interesting and enlightening. Maybe some reprint house could take on this project some day.

Here's a taste. Sparrow Simpson is discussing Confessions (in St. Augustine's Conversion, pp. 244-245):

"A more unsparing analysis of the stages of a man's own moral growth was surely never written. Early childhood, boyhood, youth, early manhood, maturity - they are all subjected to scrutiny, and judgment is pronounced upon them. The whole account is characterized, to a perfectly astonishing degree, by sincerity, frankness, refinement, and severity. Other men have written narratives of their past lives, but frequently without the element of penitence. The past still clings about and compromises the present. Augustine's penitence enabled him to blend refinement with perfect frankness - a description of sinfulness contaminated by no sensuality. The severity of his self-judgment has even led some critics to suppose that exceptional degradation lay behind his words. No inference could well be more unreasonable. Augustine certainly sank into habitual indulgence and moral irregularities absolutely inconsistent with discipleship in Christ. But then, it must be remembered that this was in his pagan days. He was not a Christian at that time. He was an Oriental dualist. If his earlier sins were judged by the standard of contemporary life in a pagan city, they would have been regarded as excusable, or at least not very seriously different from the prevailing conduct of young men of the world - indeed, far superior to that of many of that class. But the convert to Christianity judged his past by the standard of the religion to which he had been converted."

If you're interested in Augustine and his thought, you should try to track these volumes down.

(In the title to this thread, I just wrote the initials for "in my humble opinion," but the board's software spelled them out. Interesting.)
 

Ask Mr. Religion

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(In the title to this thread, I just wrote the initials for "in my humble opinion," but the board's software spelled them out. Interesting.)
Yes, I have some filters set to unpack internet lingo such that our long format discussion site does not devolve into the usual chat-box snippets format common on smart phones, etc.

AMR
 
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