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4. The Key Characteristics of a Christian Life: A Comparison of the Ethics of Calvin and Augustine and their Relevance Today

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts with an exposition of some of the key characteristics of the ethics of Augustine followed by that of Calvin. The key features of a Christian life are self-denial, cross-bearing and meditation on the future life - and of course the correct use of the present life. The chapter focuses on a theocentric life, a life of self-denial in the footsteps of Christ, a renewed life through the Holy Spirit and a life in the light of the Word of God. It describes the key features of Augustine ethics such as happiness, humility, truth and love. For Augustine pride is the beginning of all sin and the beginning of pride is infidelity towards God. Calvin summarizes the Christian life as a life of self-denial of which cross-bearing forms an integral part. He continues with meditation on the future life and concludes with how we must use the present life.

Keywords:Aurelius Augustine; Christian life; God; John Calvin; self-denial

10.1163/9789004244672_006
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