On Christian Doctrine 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. What is Augustine's perception of God's dispensation of "special gifts" of interpreting Scripture?

2. To what does Augustine compare his distinction of things?

3. Who does Augustine suggest has the ability to know the Truth?

4. What is the primary tool for interpretation for the critics that Augustine primarily focuses on in the Preface?

5. What does Augustine use to illustrate a thing to be used?

Short Essay Questions

1. What three virtues do students need to teach Scripture?

2. What does Augustine recommend should be the lifestyle and focus of the Christian speaker?

3. To what sect of Christianity did Tyconius belong and and why is it ironic that Augustine references his rules of interpretation?

4. Why does Augustine claim the topic of Book Three is so difficult?

5. What must a student keep in check while learning the subjects that Augustine recommends?

6. Augustine supports students learning in a certain human gathering. What are these human gatherings called and what can students get from them that they cannot get from "special gifts"?

7. What does Augustine recommend to the pastor who cannot acquire the skill of rhetoric?

8. What does Augustine focus on in Book Four?

9. What are the criticisms that Augustine predicts he will face over "On Christian Doctrine"?

10. How does Cicero detail an orator speaking in proportion with the gravity of the subject matter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Augustine devotes the preface to answering criticism he expects to receive from a sect known as the Donatists. Compare Augustine's position to what you know of the Donatists from the preface (those who believe that "special gifts" were necessary to interpret Scripture). What are the benefits of the two beliefs? What are the disadvantages of each? Which system of interpretation do you consider more beneficial to the general public and particularly to the growth and development of the Christian Church. Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Augustine requires his students to learn history and ancient languages in order to properly interpret Scripture. Identify and detail three reasons he makes this requirement and explain how his expectations could serve a student looking into other areas of study. Plan an order for learning the skills that Augustine recommends for responsible Scriptural interpretation and explain why you would follow the courses in that order.

Essay Topic 3

In the Preface, Augustine explains that refusing to learn from trained and experienced human teachers eliminates an aspiring student from benefiting from communities built upon the principles of Christian love. Identify the principles of the Christian love that Augustine promotes and explain the role that the student is to take in relationship of the community and experienced and trained teachers of Scripture.

(see the answer keys)

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