In addition, Augustine in his digressions included many moral problems facing everyday Christian life, and offered solutions in conformity with Christian thinking. Every doctrine of the early Christian church is represented in the course of this work of twenty-two volumes that was thirteen years in composition. Therefore the City of God is greatly significant for its coverage of the doctrinal, moral, theological, apolegetical, historical and philosophical content.
It is undoubtedly the major work of philosophy and theology of the early Christian Church in the East or the West. Reading the City of God is not easy for anyone who approaches it with modern expectations of style or the layout of content. For a reader in the twenty-first century, the style of the City of God is certainly not made any easier by the fact that Augustine wrote this book in parts over thirteen years. This caused - sometimes intentionally, but sometimes not - a lot of repetition. At times Augustine was obviously rushed in composing sections as literally he dictated them to a secretary and possibly had no chance to revise or edit them later. The production of City of God over a period of thirteen years also allowed Augustine to include whatever philosophical or moral matters were on his mind for other reasons at any given moment during that period.
It is a benefit to posterity to have these additional thoughts available, but the slightly negative effect of their being included in the City of God is that the central train of thought of City of God is thus interrupted. By the time Augustine died, his City of God was already recognised as a book of vital importance. In fact, over the next two centuries there was a popular movement throughout his native Africa, much of Frankish Gaul, and portions of Burgundy and Lombardy to have it added to the canon of Scripture (added to the Bible).
As bizarre as this thought might appear to today's world, it nevertheless shows the high value accorded Augustine and his City of God - to equate it with the Apocalypse of John. (Continued on the next page.)