More from David Brooks, two interviews in which he talks about what he learned from St. Augustine, “the smartest human being I’ve ever encountered in any form.” Specifically, that would his concept of sin as disordered love and the Christian concept of grace.
St. Augustine is, indeed, a brilliant thinker. You don’t have to agree with him on every point–though he is one of the few theologians claimed both by Catholics and Protestants–but his writings have a magisterial logic, a psychological sensitivity, and a startling depth of spiritual insight. Luther, remember, was an Augustinian monk, and Augustine is noted for his emphasis, like that of the Reformers, on the grace of God. In my view, he is more Platonic and thus ascetic than he should be. Can any of you address the points on which Lutherans–as well as other traditions–agree and disagree with this church father?