By Jim Pemberton
Augustine’s Two Streams of Faith
Scholarly analyses of Augustine tend to differ widely. These can be distilled down to two significant streams of thought.
The first is a famous quote of his, “Crede, ut intelligas.”1 It is an admonition to “believe, so that you may understand.” This may sound similar to the famous philosophical proposition, “I think, therefore I am,” made by philosopher René Descartes. This is in line with Augustine’s thinking that more directly serves to demonstrate him as a predecessor to Descartes when he wrote, “Si… fallor, sum” (“If I am mistaken, I am”)2. But I mention the first statement for a reason that will become clear soon. The point is that in this analysis of his thought Augustine pointed forward to Descartes. This was the direction of his philosophical thought.