|Augustine of Hippo|
Brooks describes two types of fourth-century approaches to Catholic identity. The Donatists “believed the church needed to purify itself and return to its core identity.” Augustine of Hippo “wanted the church to go on the offense and swallow the world.” He sees Pope Francis as an Augustinian in this regard and also praises the Augustinian model as an effective way of reviving institutions.
I am sure that church historians are going to have a field day with this column, but let’s give Brooks a break–he only has 800 words. Moreover, Brooks has probably led thousands of people to head over to Wikipedia and look up the word “Donatist.” I applaud his effort to bring history to bear on the present.
While we await the scholarly assault, here is a taste of his column: