Anselm of Canterburyby Simonetta Carr
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Anselm is probably the greatest theologian who lived during the time between Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. His compelling yearning to know and love God as He is revealed to us in Scriptures shaped his life and permeates all of his writings. He found the greatest joy in communion with God, but was thrusted into the difficult political scene of the 11th-12th centuries. He didn’t work well with kings and, at one point, he had most of the English leaders against him. Still, his writings have had a great influence on the Christian church, and his teachings about Christ’s sacrifice and about the relation between faith and reason are a vital part of the historical Christian Confessions.
What can Anselm teach our children? To be inquisitive and use their minds as God’s gifts to discover and understand what He has revealed in His word (Deut.29:29). Particularly, it is hoped the children will take time to consider and explore Anselm’s question: Why a God-man? What is the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross? What do we mean when we say, “Jesus died for our sins”? Our understanding of Christ’s atonement shapes all of our theology and our lives.