Has David Brooks converted to Christianity? I also asked this question back in October 2015. Now Jim Daly, the host of the radio program Focus on the Family, notes that Brooks, who was raised Jewish, “came to the Lord later in life through the reverend theologian, the late John Stott…” (Brooks was a guest on Focus yesterday and he will be on again today. Brooks wrote about Stott back in 2004).
Here is Daly on Brooks:
He’s come to the Lord later in life through the reverend theologian, the late John Stott, who he felt posed very difficult questions for David to answer. And that’s a beautiful way to describe where David Brooks is today. He’s still workin’ out some of those deep theological issues. But he is a man who believes in God and I think it is worthy to listen to someone who thinking deeply about the character of this nation and there are nuggets of truth in here that I want people to hear and that’s what you gotta look for.
Here is what Brooks had to say about sin in his conversation with Daly:
Yeah and I found there’s a word that is very much resisted in the secular world and frankly, it’s sometimes ignored in the Christian world and that word is “sin.”
And you know, you gotta understand, there are many different definitions of sin. There’s original sin. The way I express it in the book and I say I want to be accessible to other people, is disordered love. And this is Saint Augustine’s version, which is, we all love a lot of things. We love money. We love fame. We love our families. We love truth, but we all know certain loves are higher than others.
And if a friend tells you a secret and then you blabbed it at a dinner party, you’re putting your love of popularity above your love of friendship and we know that’s wrong. That’s a sin. And so, that’s a breach of the divine order.
And so, I looked at my own life and, what sins do I have? I think we all have achieved sin, and I think early in life it was shallowness. I just didn’t go deep. I was so interested in career. I was so on the move. Maybe I’m a bit of a pleaser. And so, looking at those core sins, I think you gotta acknowledge it and write it down and then work on it every day.
I have a friend who’s a pastor, who his chief sin is he’s not always present for people. He’s got a very busy life and people come to him with their needs and he’s got 5 million things to do that afternoon and he wants to appear clever at a conference or at a sermon he’s giving. So, he’s not really present and so, he sits there at night on the pillow and says, “Well, that’s my core sin. How did I do today? Did I get a little better?”
And so, for me, I think it was just the tendency toward shallowness. I work in a job that rewards my ego a lot. I’m in front of a microphone a lot (Chuckling) and that can lead to pride and a sense of arrogance. So, you have to step back and say, what is my core sin?
Read the entire interview here.