One year ago, on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States—and what a year it’s been. I attended the inauguration, and I wrote extensively about it in my new book, God and Donald Trump.
Many Christians believed Trump was elected for a very specific reason and purpose—”for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14d). This is the message I hope to get through on Sunday, Jan. 21, when I am a guest on Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel. I’ll be on sometime between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. I hope you will want to watch it.
My aim in writing God and Donald Trump was not to write a spiritual biography—that would have been a fairly short book. Rather, it was an attempt to look at the dramatic events of the 2016 election and perhaps the most extraordinary candidate in our nation’s history, not through the lens of what happened politically but through the lens of what happened spiritually. I know there are those who will disagree with my premise, but there are many people who are more than a little curious about how this whole episode happened.
Let me be quick to say I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump has said or done in the last year. Like everyone else, I wonder about some of his tweets. In media interviews, I make the point that Donald Trump is very flawed. But the question is: Can God raise up a flawed leader? I try to make the case that He did, in answer to the prayers of many believers who felt the country was headed in the wrong direction and would have only gotten worse if Hillary Clinton were elected.
I also wanted to raise some questions about the role of God in our culture and society. Few people outside the four walls of a church pay much attention to what God is doing in the world. To them, acts of God are what you call tornadoes and hurricanes. But is it possible God has a plan for this nation? Is it possible He has a plan for His people? I’ve tried to make the case that President Trump won the evangelical vote by the largest margin in history because Christians understood that he alone had the leadership skills and the unwavering persistence to reverse the death spiral of our nation.
This podcast is one of our most downloaded for the past two years. We recorded it when I interviewed Donald Trump on Aug. 11, 2016, during the campaign. We then printed a transcription of the interview in both Charisma and God and Donald Trump. Here you can hear the original interview with some background commentary from me and from Dr. Steve Greene, the Charisma publisher who went to the interview with me. It’s interesting to listen to it again almost a year and a half later. I think you’ll hear a certain humility that few would expect from Donald Trump.
Even a year after the presidential inauguration, many are still shocked that Trump came away the victor of the election. But just look at what he accomplished his first year in office. To a large group of Americans, the inauguration last January was viewed as a turning point in history.
At first, most Christians didn’t think much of Donald Trump. Perhaps they didn’t believe him. But now they’re happy to know he has their back. Not everyone appears so happy about this new Donald Trump, however. If you’re secular, you see the world through a different lens. You may not even believe God exists. If that’s the case, you feel there’s no reason to be concerned with such things. While people decry “the downward spiral,” calling for restoration and renewal of the culture, the other side has been saying everything is just fine. When Trump raised concerns about the moral decline in America, he was lampooned by the media as a hypocrite.
Leftists, meanwhile, were marching in the streets for abortion on demand, celebrating the right to take the life of an unborn child up to the moment of birth. They were glad same-sex marriage was validated by the Supreme Court and marijuana is being legalized in state after state. When it comes to old-fashioned morality, the mantra of the secular culture these days is simply “anything goes.” But most Americans recognized the problems; they didn’t have to be religious to perceive that something is wrong with the way this country has been going.
I’m thankful for the response to the book. It’s been on the Christian best-sellers list for its first two months. I am continuing to make lots of media appearances such as on TBN’s Huckabee and the Fox News Channel in New York.