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Augustine’s Biblical Rambles

October 26, 2009

Its been a spur to my preaching to read Nigel Clifford’s “Christian Preachers.” The following quote about Augustine is interesting. If true, it suggests that Augustine was really a topical preacher:

“His sermons were biblical rambles: biblical, for they were exclusively concerned with the words of Scripture, with Christ and His Church, with Christian belief and behaviour; rambles, for they rarely fully explained any one text but passed quickly to many others drawn from all over the Bible, so that his talks were littered with hundreds of quotations. In this way his hearers acquired a knowledge of Scripture, for many could not read and very few possessed one of the bulky manuscripts of the Bible. He did not prepare the content of the messages in detail, nor keep to one subject, nor divide up his talks by clear headings, nor even tell Bible stories. His sermons were strictly spiritual, applying the word of God to the hearts of people.”

(Nigel Clifford, Christian Preachers, p 25)

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