By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Study Questions to Go With New "5 Lessons from Augustine" Book

I have lately been publicizing my new, very inexpensive (0.99), and short book on Augustine. It is available on both the Nook at Barnesand Noble.com and the Kindle at Amazon.com. Although I own a Kindle, I find publishing on the Nook to have been much easier and faster in accepting minor corrections and revisions. I also very much like the cover and text as displayed on the free Nook for PC application. In my opinion, you will enjoy viewing the book on the free Nook for PC application.
But the point of this post is to submit some "study" or "reflection" questions to aid you in getting more from the book as you read it. I have included the Table of Contents from the book so that you can see how the questions match up to the chapters. Here are the "study" questions:

1. The Gospel calls us to be like children, but the Bible also calls us to maturity. How do you resolve this apparent tension? What should we keep from childhood, and what childishness should do we leave behind as we mature? (Chapter 1)

2. What vain pursuits do we engage in as a way to "mark time"  until we die? Why are we doing certain things or following certain paths in our lives? Is it because we are bored? Is it because we are searching for approval from others? Do these pursuits feed our ego or vanity, or do they feed our souls? Are these pursuits worth it? (Ch. 2)

3. Socrates famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Do you think this saying applies to all or just to a few? How can you flourish and mature if you do not examine your life, including its past? What does this bit of wisdom tell us about the dangers of denial and unquestioned assumptions, which are rampantly present in human nature? (Ch. 3)

4. What do you desire the most? If you desire anything above wisdom, will you end up getting that thing you put above wisdom? The Gospel says that he who loses his life will find it. A recent book spoke about the value of  "obliquity," of pursuing goals indirectly or obliquely. If we desire wisdom over all other things, will we then be in a position to get everything else? What Gospel saying comes to mind when you consider this issue? (See suggested answer at this link.) Think of people who have lost their souls as they pursue their desires. If they had put wisdom first, what would be different in their lives? (Ch. 4)

5. If we view life biblically as a series of liberations or exoduses from different forms of slavery or bondage, what have been your exoduses over the course of your life? What is the next exodus that you are called to dare to make? What or who can help you rise up from your current bondage and enter the promised land? (Ch. 5)


Contents

INTRODUCTION

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

CHAPTER 1 PLAYING FOR LIFE


CHAPTER 2 OUTGROWING VANITY

CHAPTER 3 LOOKING FOR THRILLS IN THE WRONG PLACES

CHAPTER 4 TAMING DESIRE

CHAPTER 5 RISING UP

CONCLUSION