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Last week I wrote a brief recap for week four of the Summer Book Study. You can find that story here, along with a link to the audio of Fr. Bryan’s teaching.
Thus far in the Summer Book Study, Christ Church parishioners and other visitors have reflected upon St. Augustine’s extraordinary story; many in attendance realizing his life was not unlike their own. The struggle to find meaning; the need to discover truth; the pursuit of happiness; each one of us well-acquainted with these naturally occurring moments in life.
The most recent study was no exception.
Fr. Bryan introduced yet another concept St. Augustine struggled to understand prior to his conversion: The problem of evil. Augustine’s journey was marked by doubt and skepticism, yet despite his struggle to make sense of evil, he realized there is goodness, truth, and beauty in the world, even sometimes hiding among the chaos.
Sheila Jackson commented, “What stood out to me is that Augustine kept searching with great intensity and effort, which led to a series of profound discoveries. God was intimately working in and through his restlessness to draw Augustine to himself.”
Another parishioner admitted that she struggles to answer questions about evil. “This question has a way of causing people to doubt their faith,” she said. “I’m afraid some questions are just too difficult to answer. This is why faith matters so much.”
“The challenge for Christians is to be able to name the good but also the bad, the evil things,” explained Fr. Bryan. “And these things, we should see them as an opportunity to point people to Christ.” That identifying evil things is not an occasion for judgement but rather a chance to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which offers a life of hope.
May we see our helplessness to answer certain questions as a gift from God, given to us for our sake, to strengthen our faith. And let us find rest in our Lord, in whom there is neither confusion nor contradiction.
For full audio of Fr. Bryan’s teaching on Book VII of Augustine’s Confessions, please visit our media page »
Nate WilsonWriter & Storyteller
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