Saint Augustine of Hippo was a well known Christian Bishop and writer. He was made famous by his writing of the City of God and Confessions. In his early years, Augustine lived a very immoral life and rejected the teachings of the Bible; however in the year 386 A.D. he was converted. All those years that his mother had prayed for him had not been in vain.
What was Augustine’s view of the Christian’s role in history?
Well, Augustine’s main inspiration for writing the City of God was to talk about what we have to look forward to in heaven and what our role on earth is until then. He believed that the ultimate goal for us as Christians is heaven. Instead of trying to attain earthly honors and positions, we should focus on our spiritual welfare. Strive to be good, and focus on helping others and following the pattern that Jesus has laid down for us to follow. Augustine viewed this earth as fleeting and not long-lasting. Why would you try to advance your status in this world, when ultimately everything that you have worked hard for disappears? You are going to die, so instead of focusing all of you attention on your life on this earth right now, focus on your status in eternity; because that is the only thing that is long-lasting. Augustine liked to view things through the scope of eternity. This world is only a small portion of our lives. After we die, we will spend the rest of it forever in either heaven or hell. It is more important that we think about our life after death, than the world we currently live in.
Augustine also wrote about how we should deal with the authority of our leaders. He believed that Christians should be submissive to those in power and obey the laws that they make. He wrote that Christians should not challenge the authority of our leaders, but instead meekly submit to the knowledge of the power that they possess. As long as their laws do not contradict those of the Church’s then we are obligated to obey.
Augustine’s main view on the role of Christianity in history is based on heaven. He thought that instead of focusing on our life in this world, we need to focus on our eternal life in either heaven or hell.