Augustine, Bishop of Hippo from 396 C.E. until his death in 430 C.E., was regarded
as one of the most influential thinkers in the Western world. He was considered an experienced and remarkable
theologian, and his writing was extraordinary.
Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love was articulated as a catechism, or
model of Christian instruction, that covers all of the major ideas of the
Christian religion. This compact
treatise on Christian piety is addressed to a man named Laurentius who wrote to
Augustine requesting a handbook that he could carry with him. Throughout his exposition, Augustine provides
a brief summary of the Christian faith and conveys his fundamental views that
new disciples should believe and hold to.
Augustine uses Scripture as his source of authority concerning the
essentials of Christian living and basis his model for Christian worship of God
on three theological virtues – faith, hope, and love. Augustine declared that God should be
worshipped with faith, hope and love, but expounded on each of these graces by
answering the questions: what we are to believe, what we are to hope for, and
what we are to love. (Chapter 3) Augustine believed these three Christian
virtues are not three separate characteristics of the Christian life, but they
are all interwoven together to constitute the holistic experience of worship
within the life of every Christian.