Columnist David Brooks, ‘A Wandering Jew and a Very Confused Christian’

Columnist David Brooks, ‘A Wandering Jew and a Very Confused Christian’ April 30, 2019

From The Washington Post:  

In the world of national columnists, David Brooks is a star. But in the last few years, the New York Times writer and author has whipped up fascination among a certain subset of readers for a specific, gossipy reason: They wonder if the Jewish writer has become a Christian.

In his bestselling new book, “The Second Mountain: The Quest for the Moral Life,” Brooks, 57, one of the most prominent columnists in the country, traces his spiritual journey alongside his relationship with his second wife, his former assistant who is 23 years his junior and attended Wheaton College, an elite evangelical school.

“I really do feel more Jewish than ever before,” he said in a recent interview. “It felt like more deepening of faith, instead of switching from one thing to another.”

He has no plans to leave Judaism, he writes, calling himself “a wandering Jew and a very confused Christian.”

“If Jews don’t want me as a Jew, they’re going to have to kick me out. On the other hand, I can’t unread Matthew,” Brooks said, citing Jesus’s Beatitudes as the “ultimate road map for life” in the book.

Brooks said he was taking an annual walk near Aspen, Colo., in the summer of 2013, around the time of his separation from his first wife, when he realized he was a religious person after decades of being an atheist.

Brooks addresses “the crucial question” of whether he believes in the resurrection of Jesus, a core doctrine for most Christians where most Jews would draw the line. “The simple, brutally honest answer is, [the belief in it] comes and goes,” he writes.

“It’s not like deciding which party to vote for, where you can sort of make up your mind. You sort of roll with the process and see where God leads you,” he said.

He still hesitates to accept some Christians’ interpretations that sex is only appropriate between a man and woman inside of marriage, calling himself enthusiastically pro-gay marriage.

“We’re defined by how we treat the stranger and the least among us,” he said. “I frankly think it’s a big mistake for people to bet their entire complex faith on one side of the sexual revolution. It demeans what faith is.”

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