Summary of “City of God” Pt. 20 – Part 5, Book 20

If you feel short changed after reading this post don’t worry, I did as well. Out of the thirty chapters in this book only three were left in my copy. Chapters 3 through 29 were all edited out in order to shorten my edition of “City of God.” What Augustine intended to do with this book, however, is offer a systematic theology of the final judgement. The greater part of this book (which is the part edited out) is devoted to examining the references made to the topic throughout the Bible. The two books following this one will contain the conclusions that can be made from these references. Book 21 on the end of nonbelievers, and Book 22 on the end of believers.

“City of God” Part Five – “The Ends of the Two Cities,” Book Twenty – “Separation of the Two Cities at the Last Judgement”

Chapter 1: Introduction to book 20. Augustine lays out the plan that he will begin his discourse on this topic by spending this whole book examining scriptural references to the topic of the final judgement.

“God judges men and angels not only as groups that deserve wretchedness as the wages of the original sin, but also as individuals who have freely chosen to do what each has done.”

“In this book, however, as God permits, I shall not discuss God’s first judgement nor those other judgement which are past nor those that go on today, but only that last judgement when Christ will come from heaven to judge the living and the dead.”

Chapter 2: In this present life, both just and unjust punishments and rewards are given to both good and evil men. It is not for us to understand why this is so. On the final judgement day however, this will not be so.

Chapters 3-29: [Editor’s Summary] This is a long study of Scripture texts having reference to the Last Judgement. Augustine here takes the Millennium as probably meaning the whole Christian era, however long it may be. Texts and prophecies concerning the resurrection of the dead and persecution under Antichrist are very fully discussed.

Chapter 30: It is not immediately clear from the Old Testament that it will in fact be Christ who is sent to judge. Augustine offers references to to show that this is indeed the case.

Next time: “End and Punishment of the Earthly City”

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