On Christian Doctrine - Study Guide Preface Summary & Analysis

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Augustine begins De Doctrina Christiana by predicting that he will face three kinds of criticism—criticism from those who cannot grasp his teaching, those who refuse or are unable to apply it, and those who believe it is not needed. Most of Augustine's efforts in the preface are aimed at refuting the last group. He invites them to remember experiencing learning for themselves and further, Augustine argues, there are many Scriptural examples where humans taught other humans.

Focusing on Augustine's critique of the third type of critic, Augustine mentions that these critics will either understand Scripture or believe they do. Since they believe they already understand, they see no need to learn to interpret the Scriptures with the aid of rules of the sort Augustine wants to convey. Instead, they defend the doctrine that God will simply communicate the meaning of Scripture through a...

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This section contains 288 words
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