What Christian Hedonists Offer the World

New York Times columnist David Brooks, speaking recently on what Christians offer America:

The third [gift of Christianity to America] is the language of good and evil. This language has become absent in the secular world. The word “sin” is now mostly used in reference to desserts. But if you want to talk about the deepest affairs of the heart, only words like sin, soul, redemption really work. And if you don’t have those words you’re losing the tools.

People don’t change because they decide to be better. If that happened, then New Year’s Resolutions would work. People decide to change because they elevate their loves. And as St. Augustine said, “You become what you love.”

But if you can’t talk about the struggle of sin, if you can’t talk about why some loves are higher than other loves, and ordered versus disordered loves, you don’t have the moral vocabulary, the mental toolkit to think about how to be better.

And the Christian tradition gives us that.

The whole transcript is worth a read here.

Listen here (the quote comes at 37:17–38:13):