The polls didn't give Trump much of a chance to become president. Yet he is now what some describe as the most powerful man in the world. How did that happen? Having read a biography about Trump, I was well aware of his character. I was shocked when I found out that Trump won the votes of 81 percent of white evangelicalism. (Loc 1260/2679) How did that happen?
Mansfield has done an excellent job of explaining how Trump was elected and the particular role of the conservative Christians in that accomplishment. He identifies the anger of Christians, feeling that the country they knew was slipping away. They wanted change at almost any cost. Trump won them over by promising to give their country back to them. (Loc 1282/2679) He won over Christian leaders by promising to abolish the Johnson Amendment, the law restricting pastors from speaking openly on political issues or endorsing candidates from the pulpit. (Loc 1314/2679)
Conservative Christians were so desperate for political power and change that they were willing to overlook Trump's lack of experience, his foul language, his bullying business practices, his disrespect and lack of compassion for the marginalized, his lack of familiarity with what it meant to be a Christian, his public boasts of marital infidelity, and his offensive behavior in general. (Loc 92/2679) Mansfield writes that Christian leaders were “interested in allying themselves to power at any moral cost.” (Loc 241/2679) Other Christians believed God had called and would use an immoral Trump much as God had used an immoral Cyrus in the Old Testament. (Loc 1944/2679)
Mansfield explores the spirituality of Trump and covers the great influence of Norman Vincent Peale in the distant past and Paula White in the recent past. Mansfield is direct on criticizing Trump's claim to be a Christian, noting his lack of knowledge of Christians things and his lack of moral character. (Loc 337/2679)
Mansfield also explains that conservative Christians have now wed themselves to Trump. They are responsible for putting Trump in the White House. They took a risk and now they must reconcile what the Trump administration becomes to what they believe about God and truth. (Loc 1490/2679) Mansfield also writes of the prophetic voice that must come from Christian leaders as Trump will need spiritual counsel.
Those Christian who voted for Trump need to read this book to understand the ramifications of their choice. Those who did not vote for Trump need to read this book to understand how we got to this place in American history.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Stephen Mansfield is the New York Times bestselling author of The Faith of George W. Bush, The Faith of Barack Obama, and Lincoln's Battle with God, among other works of history and biography. Founder of The Mansfield Group, a research and publishing firm, he is also an in demand speaker and consultant. He holds a doctorate in history and literature. He and his wife live in Nashville, Tennessee, and Washington, DC. You can find out more at https://stephenmansfield.tv/.
Baker Books, 208 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.