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NYT Columnist David Brooks Asked by Jewish Christian If He Accepted Jesus Christ Yet; Here Is His Answer

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David Brooks' new book, The Road to Character, is not a religious book but contains many Christian themes. At an event hosted by The Trinity Forum, a Jewish Christian asked Brooks if his faith journey led him to become a follower of Jesus Christ.

A gentleman who said he became a Christian 20 years after his bar mitzvah asked: "I came to realize that if God expects me to do good deeds, then how can doing a good deed, ... which is expected of me anyway, how can that make up for my sins? And I was not yet familiar with Isaiah 64. ... It seems to me that along your journey, you have picked up the many pieces needed to find the true transcendent truth. Judaism today, God's favors is earned by ... good works. How does this fit with your journey to find answers?"

The Road to Character is not an explicitly Christian book, yet many Christian themes ooze from the pages.

In answer to another question, Brooks stated, "My book is not a religious book. It uses religious categories ... and I do that because I think the public square needs to have these words reintroduced, and frankly, in a non-sectarian manner."

According to the index, sin is mentioned about 70 times. (The index further categorizes 42 specific types of sin.) Redemption has 10 entries. And grace is discussed at least six times.

Humankind has two sides, Brooks wrote, Adam I and Adam II. (Adam is used for both genders. Eve does not get a pass.)

"Adam I wants to build, create, produce and discover things. He wants to have high status and win victories. ... Adam II wants to have a serene inner character, a quiet but solid sense of right and wrong — not only to do good, but to be good."

Adam I conquers. Adam II serves. Adam I is what you put on your resume. Adam II is what is said at your funeral.

The Road to Character is both about Brooks' personal quest to elevate his Adam II, and a cultural critique of the influences that led to an American psyche that elevates Adam I and ignores Adam II.

"After a life of seeking balance, Adam I bows down before Adam II. These are the people we are looking for," Brooks concluded in his introduction.

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