POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

On St. Augustine and Hip Hop

Had a great time jogging this morning listening to one of the top evangelical hip-hop groups newest record. During one of the tracks (Forever) I had a funny thought. The lyrics of this rap song are expressing the same Christian sentiment about this world as the great theologian and philosopher of the early church, St. Augustine of Hippo.
If, then, we be asked what the city of God has to say upon these points, and, in the first place, what its opinion regarding the supreme good and evil is, it will reply that life eternal is the supreme good, death eternal the supreme evil, and that to obtain the one and escape the other we must live rightly.
Augustine wrote at length on that which is considered the supreme good of mankind. His conclusion was that this life's pleasures, be it food, friends, health, sexual pleasure, etc. all can be lost against one's will. If our highest happiness were to be found in the things of this life, man is doomed to misery and indeed will live without hope. Augustine therefore deduced that the Summum bonum must be that which can be both loved and possessed without being taken from one against his will. In other words, to Augustine, the greatest good for us is not in this life but with God in the next. You may read some for yourself from his classic work, The City of God -Augustine, City of God Book XIX Now, The Cross Movement has some similar advice for modern, urban ears.
So if I'm hit by a car, or taken out by disease, you ain't got enough bullets in your gun Man, please, We're gonna live forever! ...I'm not living for this life, cause I'm living for the next one, I'm living for the next one! Forever, Holy Culture, Cross Movement Records, 2003.
So, if man would find joy, happiness, and the supreme good of his own soul, he would be wise to look to that which is eternal and not rife with transience. As the apostle reminds us:
2 Cor 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.