To support or not to support Donald Trump? That is the question many evangelicals have struggled with since the thrice-married reality TV billionaire announced his candidacy in 2015. In Donald Trump Is Not My Savior: An Evangelical Leader Speaks His Mind About the Man He Supports as President, theologian Michael Brown traces his up-and-down views on the president that has bemused many.
Throughout the book, Brown offers his reasons for supporting Trump while also criticizing Trump, and criticizes some of his fellow evangelicals who appear to unconditionally support Trump.
“I absolutely believe President Trump has been a divine wrecking ball,” Brown writes in the introduction. “He is wreaking havoc on the political status quo. …
“Yet a wrecking ball swings back and forth, and I believe President Trump has also exposed some weaknesses (and more) in our evangelical circles. Have we refrained from any criticism so we can keep our seat at the table? Have we ignored major character issues to preserve our political power? Have we become more identified publicly with our President than with our Savior? Have we confused patriotism with the kingdom of God?”
Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and literatures from New York University, hosts the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program and is a frequent contributor to The Christian Post and other publications. Donald Trump Is Not My Savior is a compilation of all of Brown’s op-eds about Trump along with new material.
During the Trump presidency, every week brings a new controversy. In such an environment, it’s easy to forget the many highs and lows. This is where Brown’s book comes in handy. A prolific writer, Brown’s reactions to the roller-coaster ride of the Trump candidacy and presidency helps readers grasp the long view of Trump’s complicated relationship with evangelicals.
In this email interview with The Christian Post, Brown talks about the book’s eye catching cover (showing Trump with a crown of thorns), how the book came about, and what it would take for Trump to lose his support in 2020.
Here is the full transcript of the interview:
CP: I love the cover, but if someone were to judge your book by it, they might get the impression it’s an anti-Trump book, which would be an imprecise characterization, in my view. What do you hope the cover conveys?
Brown: I love the cover too, and I hope it conveys two things. First, it reinforces the title: President Trump is not our savior. He cannot save the nation. He cannot transform the moral character of our country. No president can. He did not die for our sins, and we do not owe him our lives, nor is our testimony tied to him. Let the whole world know this!
Second, he is our president, and he has my vote. Put another way, politics is not the Gospel and patriotism is not the Kingdom of God. This is reinforced by the subtitle, which makes clear that I will speak my mind, even when I disagree, but that I support Donald Trump as my president and I did vote for him.
CP: Most of the book is a compilation of the op-eds you’ve written about Trump (many of which I had the pleasure of publishing at The Christian Post). Sometimes you praise Trump, sometimes you criticize Trump, sometimes you criticize Trump’s evangelical supporters. When looking at these as a whole, I sense the conflicted, ambivalent nature that I think many evangelicals feel about Trump. How would you characterize the path of your thought process as you’ve written about Trump since he entered the presidential race in 2015?
Brown: Around Aug. 15, quite out of the blue, I felt a tremendous burden in prayer to get a book out about President Trump and evangelicals, and to get it out before the midterms. But how do you do this when you haven’t written the book yet and you don’t have a publisher working on it? On the other hand, I thought to myself, “I’ve been writing about Donald Trump since August 2015, and I have lots of good material already.”
The morning of Aug. 16 I was in prayer, again feeling very burdened about this, when everything became crystal clear to me: Here’s the title and subtitle of the book, and here’s the plan of attack: Write brand new material for the beginning of the book, asking whether the relationship between evangelicals and Trump is a match made in Heaven or a marriage with Hell, then print the most relevant Trump articles from the last three years, in chronological order (amounting to about 90 articles), then close with some insights about the coming elections and where we go from here, then contact Larry Sparks, editor with Destiny Image. Within six weeks, a beautiful, advance copy of the book was on my desk. A pretty wild journey!
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Source: Christian Post