Augustine’s City of God and a phenomenologic epistemology

Augustine’s book City of God is a great example of what I call a phenomenologic epistemology.  This type of epistemology evaluates truth claims on the basis of how their application produces fruit.  In Augustine’s case, he looks at how the spiritual life of Roman polytheism was totally incapable of building a fruitful world view as opposed to Christian monotheism and how it’s application inside secular Rome actually “rescued” individual people of Rome (not its culture) from total destruction at its fall.  Applied to today, a worldview can evaluate opposing claims in this utilitarian manner.  It is not empiric proof of truth but it is supporting evidence and an attractive approach to apologetics.  This is the test of “internal consistency”.

This also works as an individual apologetic.  As noted in our previous post on the conscience, living consistently with our position in Christ produces a blameless conscience and spiritual peace.  A consistent faith walk, living in peace with God is powerful evidence for its truth.


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