City of God: Book Fourteen

jmstaller's picture

That the Disobedience of the First Man Would Have Plunged All Men into the Endless Misery of the Second Death, Had Not the Grace of God Rescued Many. Of Carnal Life, Which is to Be Understood Not Only of Living in Bodily Indulgence, But Also of Living in the Vices of the Inner Man. That the Sin is Caused Not by the Flesh, But by the Soul, and that the Corruption Contracted from Sin is Not Sin But Sin’s Punishment. What It is to Live According to Man, and What to Live According to God.

That the Opinion of the Platonists Regarding the Nature of Body and Soul is Not So Censurable as that of the Manichæans, But that Even It is Objectionable, Because It Ascribes the Origin of Vices to the Nature of The Flesh. Of the Character of the Human Will Which Makes the Affections of the Soul Right or Wrong. That the Words Love and Regard (Amor and Dilectio) are in Scripture Used Indifferently of Good and Evil Affection. Of the Three Perturbations, Which the Stoics Admitted in the Soul of the Wise Man to the Exclusion of Grief or Sadness, Which the Manly Mind Ought Not to Experience. Of the Perturbations of the Soul Which Appear as Right Affections in the Life of the Righteous. Whether It is to Be Believed that Our First Parents in Paradise, Before They Sinned, Were Free from All Perturbation.

Of the Fall of the First Man, in Whom Nature Was Created Good, and Can Be Restored Only by Its Author. Of the Nature of Man’s First Sin. That in Adam’s Sin an Evil Will Preceded the Evil Act. Of the Pride in the Sin, Which Was Worse Than the Sin Itself. Of the Justice of the Punishment with Which Our First Parents Were Visited for Their Disobedience. Of the Evil of Lust,—A Word Which, Though Applicable to Many Vices, is Specially Appropriated to Sexual Uncleanness. Of the Nakedness of Our First Parents, Which They Saw After Their Base and Shameful Sin. Of the Shame Which Attends All Sexual Intercourse.

That It is Now Necessary, as It Was Not Before Man Sinned, to Bridle Anger and Lust by the Restraining Influence of Wisdom. Of the Foolish Beastliness of the Cynics. That Man’s Transgression Did Not Annul the Blessing of Fecundity Pronounced Upon Man Before He Sinned But Infected It with the Disease of Lust. Of the Conjugal Union as It Was Originally Instituted and Blessed by God. Whether Generation Should Have Taken Place Even in Paradise Had Man Not Sinned, or Whether There Should Have Been Any Contention There Between Chastity and Lust. That If Men Had Remained Innocent and Obedient in Paradise, the Generative Organs Should Have Been in Subjection to the Will as the Other Members are. Of True Blessedness, Which This Present Life Cannot Enjoy. That We are to Believe that in Paradise Our First Parents Begat Offspring Without Blushing. Of the Angels and Men Who Sinned, and that Their Wickedness Did Not Disturb the Order of God’s Providence.

Of the Nature of the Two Cities, the Earthly and the Heavenly.

whoedebel's picture

Supremacy of God

‘When, therefore, man lives according to man, not according to God, he is like the devil. Because not even an angel might live according to an angel, but only according to God, if he was to abide in the truth, and speak God's truth and not his own lie.’

Theology of sex
The Bible reveals an ethical God who gives humans the gift of sexuality whereby they image God when they join together to complement each other as “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). All non-marital sex is outside the boundaries of the will of this ethical God (see Amos 2:6-8 where Israel was to reject sex at the pagan shrines). God’s people are expected to exercise self-control, not by asceticism (Col. 2:23; 1 Tim. 4:1-5), but by the power of the Holy Spirit overcoming sexual impulses (Gal. 5:16-25). For the non-celibate, marriage is the only approved outlet for sexual expression (1 Cor. 7:9; Titus 2:5-6). This view equates human wholeness with holiness of life (1 Thess. 4:3-5). One’s sexuality is seen as a vital part of Christian holiness and not to be viewed as a necessary evil to be rejected. Within the limits of marriage, sex is for procreation of children, the enhancement of the one-flesh relationship, and the pleasure of the married couple whose love can be nourished. Outside of the limits established by God, sex becomes an evil and destructive force in human life, calling for God’s redemptive power to deliver humans trapped therein. Marital sexual love is both a gift and a responsibility given by God and is to be consecrated by the Word and prayer.

These ideas do not find agreement in the general population.

EJ




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