The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography

By Kobes, Kristin | The Christian Century, October 10, 2018 | Go to article overview

The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography


Kobes, Kristin, The Christian Century


The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography

By David Brody and Scott Lamb

Broadside Books, 400 pp., $26.99

David Brody and Scott Lamb know they have their work cut out for them. "Donald Trump" and "spiritual life" don't generally appear in the same sentence, after all. The authors know full well that a large swath of Americans will see their project as a big joke. A 400-page book? A pamphlet might be better suited to the task.

Brody (a reporter for Christian Broadcasting Network) and Lamb (a vice president at Liberty University) don't dodge such skepticism. With humor, creative logic, and an almost dizzying ability to transform character flaws into endearing qualities, they argue that Trump was not only chosen by God to lead the nation but also exemplifies many Christian virtues.

In his foreword, Eric Metaxas sets the tone. As one who initially thought Trump's faith was a laughing matter, Metaxas is the perfect person to defuse this notion. In typical fashion, Metaxas finds that the best defense often entails a good deal of offense. Yes, there's Trump's biblical illiteracy, his inability to recall asking God for forgiveness, and, ahem, his "personal life before running for president"--not to mention his tweets. And yet there remains "the terrifically stubborn fact" that many Christians have embraced Trump, even as critics "seethe with fury" at the apparent hypocrisy of it all. For Metaxas, this "thorny riddle" can be solved by remembering Christian grace. No one is perfect, and only moralists would rage against extending God's grace to a man like Trump.

Grace abounds in Brody and Lamb's book, at least when it comes to Trump. The authors go to great lengths to build a case for the president's spiritual life. Trump's mother came from Scotland, "the land of John Knox" and Scottish Presbyterianism. He and his father both embraced the "Protestant work ethic" (described with biblical proof texts against laziness), a fact attributed to their German Lutheran ancestry. Two of Trump's great-aunts were Pentecostals. Trump loves southern gospel music and Christian television.

At times, the authors seem to want to have things both ways. Trump's religious illiteracy can be blamed on his upbringing in a theologically vacuous mainline church, yet his confirmation preparation was "surprisingly meaty" compared to many evangelical churches today. His inability to name a single Bible verse reflects the fact that he hasn't "consistently gone to a church that emphasizes expository Bible teaching and doctrine," yet it also evidences his honesty: "Trump clearly wasn't going to attempt playacting as an evangelical."

Sprinkled throughout the book are various character witnesses. Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump's evangelical advisory board, calls Trump a person of "character and compassion" who reflects the fruits of the spirit. Mike Huckabee suggests Trump "has a God consciousness about him that's real" and a "deep, abiding respect, not just for God, but for all people who truly follow God." Pentecostal pastor Paula White testifies that long before Trump entered politics, "he was a man seeking God." Evangelist James Robison asserts that Trump's God-given meekness is as great as any he's ever witnessed, and his "ability to move and motivate people" is "nothing short of a divine, supernatural enabling."

The authors don't shy away from addressing Trump's character issues, but they employ a range of tactics to minimize them. As a bachelor, Trump had "an eye for pretty models--though friends remember him being intensely focused on work. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.