Ellingsen & Bray on Augustine

Material on Augustine is legion. The quip that warns potential graduate students not to get into the Latin master because they won’t get out is so true. Nevertheless, knowing this colossus of the Faith is so important, not least because of his enormous influence on the present. But knowing about that influence does not automatically mean that one knows how Augustine would have answered many of the questions that we are seeking to answer. As Gerald Bray reminds us in a very helpful review of Mark Ellingsen’s The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005)—in the November 2005 of Reformation 21—“we cannot go back to the past and make it fit our own notions of what the people who lived then should have been like.”