When a person is reading Augustines confessions he or she may notice the unique writing style used. The book is like reading journal entries throughout Augustines life. You could describe his writing style to be somewhat like a diary, but contains mature thoughts and insights about life and God. More specifically, Augustine is writing as if he is praying to God. In a similar sense, at times his writing style is analogous to Davids in the Psalms. To read my full review go to this website: http://www.pchasesears.com/bookreview/default.asp?id=2
In our love for what is current, we often assume that our generation is the first--the first to do whatever the new "fad" is. Reading the spiritual auto-biography of a pre-modern Saint like Augustine reminds us that history is the democarcy of the dead, giving vote and voice to our ancestors (to paraphrase Chesteron in "Orthodoxy"). We are not the first to be reflective. We are not the first to explore our inner world. We are not the first to struggle with guilt. We are not the first to integrate inner spirituality and the philosophy current in our day. Augustine did all of these, and so much more, 1600 years ago. Reading Augustine's "Confessions also reminds us of the "three ways" that Christian theologians and philosophers have historically taught that we can know God. We can know God through His special revelation in Scripture. We can know God through His general revelation in nature (creation). Aquinas emphasized integrating this "way to God" with special revelation. And we can know God through His natural revelation in human nature (in the image of God in humanity). Augustine emphasized integrating this "way to God" with special revelation. This is where Augustine's "Confessions" diverges from post-modern auto-biography. Today's auto-biographies tend to be "all about me." Not Augustine's. Augustine searched his soul to know himself not as an end in itself, but as a means to an end. For Augustine, self-reflection enhances our God-reflection. Since God is eternal and since we are created in His image, the deepest longings in our souls point toward the only One who can fulfill our longings. The deepest thoughts in our minds point toward the only One wise enough to provide answers for the mysteries of life. Reviewer: Dr. Bob Kellemen, author of "Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction" and "Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."