Saint Augustine’s Confessions: One of history’s most important Christian writers, who’s largely responsible for modern Christian theology. Augustine’s book, Confessions, outlines how exactly he converted to Christianity. One of his main arguments, which is fairly common today, is that conversion experiences aren’t intellectual but faithful and embodied. To Christians, conversion experiences are the byproduct of God’s free and abundant grace. To receive the gifts of God, you can’t be a “halfway believer.” You have to go all in. Augustine also argues against Pelagianism — the belief that good moral conduct alone is the way to heaven. According to Augustine, the gap between man and God is too large for people to earn their salvation through righteousness actions. A ticket to heaven is therefore granted to believers by God’s grace and His grace alone. For an introduction to the book, I recommend this 45-minute lecture from Michael Sugure. If you’re looking for a reading companion for the book, check out this Great Courses lecture series. When it comes to reading old books, I default to the Penguin Classics series.

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