Confessions Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When does Augustine believe a person starts sinning?

2. What does a Christian priest predict of Augustine?

3. Why do Augustine and his friends steal a pear?

4. What type of behavior is not tolerate in Rome?

5. At one point, what does Augustine believe about evil?

Short Essay Questions

1. How has Augustine solved the problem of his lust and what is the result of this solution?

2. What does Augustine feel the pear tree incident symbolized?

3. What kind of pressure does Augustine feel as a young person and what does he do about it?

4. What intensifies as Augustine grows into a young man and of what type of behavior does he indulge?

5. What does Augustine's parents want for him?

6. As a young man how does Augustine feel about love and what doesn't he understand about it?

7. What does Augustine believe about the men in the Bible and how does he apply that to people in general?

8. Where is Augustine a student in Carthage and why does he study so diligently?

9. How do the questions Augustine have about God and the world affect his faith?

10. What did Augustine write about that involved a theft of pears and how did he feel about it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Augustine asks questions such as, "whether I had any knowledge of myself when I was in the womb?" and, "where did I come from?" Augustine asks all these questions, but they do not shake his faith as they would modern skeptics, but rather strengthen his feeling about the mystery and omnipotence and infinite wisdom of God.

1. What do you think is meant by this statement? Use examples from the book to support your answer.

2. Do you think these two questions Augustine asked are common questions? How important are these two questions to you?

3. How would you go about trying to find an answer to these two questions of Augustine's within yourself or your belief system?

Essay Topic 2

It is mentioned in Book III that the Manicheans believe that when a fig is picked off a fig tree, it cries tears. Later, Augustine sees as ridiculous this idea and many others that the Manicheans believe. Discuss the following ideas:

1. Just because humans cannot measure how a plant experiences life, is that reason to believe that a tree cannot cry when its fruit is picked?

2. Many people (particularly Aboriginal peoples) do not adhere to the Judeo-Christian ideas of human beings as superior to all other of the created earth. When Augustine becomes a Christian, he seems to move from a nature-centered belief system to one that is man-centered. Do you see this as a step forward?

3. The second part to the Manichean beliefs of the fig tree is that they give the fig to their "Elect" people, who by eating it, the Manicheans believe, release angels from the fig. If what thought of this as a metaphor, what do you think the metaphor could represent?

Essay Topic 3

Augustine urges the church faithful to be righteous and to do good deeds, but not as a substitute for their faith. Their faith must be shown by their good deeds, and at the same time these good deeds must reflect their faith. This statement is a paradox.

1. Why do you think this statement could be classified as a paradox?

2. What do you think Augustine means by the statement above?

(see the answer keys)

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