The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump
30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity
Imprint: Cascade Books
250 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.50 in
- Published: June 2020
- Published: June 2020
- Published: June 2020
What should Christians think about Donald Trump? His policies, his style, his personal life? Thirty evangelical Christians (listed below) wrestle with these tough questions. They are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. They don't all agree, but they seek to let Christ be the Lord of their political views. They seek to apply biblical standards to difficult debates about our current political situation. Vast numbers of white evangelicals enthusiastically support Donald Trump. Do biblical standards on truth, justice, life, freedom, and personal integrity warrant or challenge that support? How does that support of President Trump affect the image of Christianity in the larger culture? Around the world? Many younger evangelicals today are rejecting evangelical Christianity, even Christianity itself. To what extent is that because of widespread evangelical support for Donald Trump? Don't read this book to find support for your views. Read it to be challenged--with facts, reason, and biblical principles. With contributions from: Michael W. Austin Randall Balmer Vicki Courtney Daniel Deitrich Samuel Escobar John Fea Irene Fowler Mark Galli J. Colin Harris Stephen R. Haynes Matt Henderson Christopher A. Hutchinson Bandy X. Lee David S. Lim David C. Ludden Ryan McAnnally-Linz Steven Meyer Napp Nazworth D. Zac Niringiye Christopher Pieper Reid Ribble Ronald J. Sider Edward G. Simmons James R. Skillen James W. Skillen Julia K. Stronks Chris Thurman Miroslav Volf Peter Wehner George Yancey
"Well done good and faithful servant! Ron Sider's steadfast voice is welcome during this trying time. He continues to be a beacon for followers of Jesus who care about justice and morality and being told the truth. I commend this book to anyone struggling to align their faith with their choices at the ballot box. I am grateful for his ongoing witness to God who loves us all with a passion for justice and a heart full of mercy."
--Tony Hall, Ambassador and former U.S. Representative (1979-2002); author of Changing the Face of Hunger
"The dominant narrative in the public square is that the evangelical Protestant church provides unwavering support for Donald J. Trump. While this may be true, I am thankful for the witness of the editors and contributors of The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump that this claim is far from universally true of all evangelicals and also for their crucial warning that continued support will lead to the deepening erosion of the church's witness to the world. My hope and prayer is that all Christians, whatever their present political leanings, will be open to the case made in this book."
--Tremper Longman III, author of The Bible and the Ballot: Using Scripture in Political Decisions
"People who care about this country (and the whole world) need to use every medium to urge the public to restore sanity in the highest echelon of our government. Yes, including a full-length book. A sharp contrast to curt, snarky remarks through social media, The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump is a thoughtful, interdisciplinary multi-voiced, Christ-centered, prophetic expose of danger--social, political, and spiritual--that every person of faith must read."
--Al Tizon, Executive Minister of Serve Globally, Evangelical Covenant Church
"The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump is a compilation of timely essays that document the perilous seismic and public shift from evangelicals endorsing the policies of a presidential candidate to evangelicals ordaining that same candidate. Today may be a great day for evangelicals politically but this day may ultimately lead to believers having less and less real spiritual influence on their neighbors around them. Judged by our own actions, good news will be seen as fake news and Jesus will soon be relegated to the alternative way, the alternative truth, and the alternative life. That's the spiritual danger of Donald Trump."
--Eric Swanson, Director, Leadership Network; co-author of The Externally Focused Church
"Ron Sider is one of the most faithful followers of the person and teachings of Jesus Christ that I have ever known. I wholeheartedly believe that in this Trump era or any other, the silence of many white evangelicals to outright evil who seek to occupy the quiet political center is instead an insidious form of complicity that affirms the morally indefensible status quo. I pray that The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump will help spark conversations across the country that will finally end that silence for good. It's time to move from caution to courage in the most important election of our lifetimes."
--Jim Wallis, Founder and President, Sojourners
"The support of American evangelicals for the presidency of Donald Trump will likely be recorded as one of the most consequential acts of any religious group in world history. It cannot be overrated. That is why this carefully compiled collection of essays is so timely and important. Whether you agree with their opinions or not, Ron Sider, his fellow editors, and their contributors treat this subject with the seriousness it deserves. If Trump supporters believe it is worth risking the very reputation of the gospel to re-elect their candidate, they should at least explore what these dissenting voices have to say. If Trump detractors believe evangelical support for his presidency is, indeed, dangerous, this book will equip them to defend their positions and persuade others to join them in opposition. Regardless of where one stands on Christians and Donald Trump, this compilation explains significant political differences within evangelicalism and sets out reasons why evangelicals across the theological and social spectrums will continue to play a critically important role in the political life of our nation, for good or for bad. Evangelicals and those who want to understand them better cannot afford to ignore this book!"
--Rob Schenck, President, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute; author of Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister's Rediscovery of Faith, Hope and Love
"Whether you agree or disagree with these voices, I believe their perspectives and arguments are urgently in need of being heard. Listening should always be the first act of a leader, and even more, for a leader seeking to live as a follower of Jesus. What I so appreciate about this collection of essays is the careful way these authors have tried to listen carefully--to Donald Trump, to his supporters and detractors, and to the national and international climate of our day. Beyond that, however, they are all people trying to listen as deeply and wisely to God in Jesus Christ as they can. This is what I believe leads them to conclude that the United States, including especially the church in this nation, faces in Donald Trump not just a political leader with a political vision that some like and some don't, but a personal and spiritual force-field of a far more dangerous and destructive kind. Whether or not you accept these voices, I hear in their perspectives and arguments many things that are urgently in need of being heard. What is at stake is far too important to do otherwise and risks multi-generational damage. Lord, may it not be so."
--Mark Labberton, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
"This timely and careful critique of the evangelical movement's surprisingly fervent embrace of Donald Trump draws on biblical, theological, sociological, and historical sources to argue persuasively against his leadership and re-election to a second term of office. Humble and sacrificial loyalty to Jesus Christ should reign above all other loyalties including seeking political, personal, or cultural power. In light of Trump's documented 'badly damaged soul,' the authors warn of the spiritual damage to the soul and witness of evangelicalism in America. Issues of character, speech, and behavior as well as policy choices on racial justice, immigration, treatment of women, and the needs of the poor and marginalized should be shaped by the teaching and example of Jesus and the Scriptures. Christian witness and faithfulness to the gospel are all at stake. I recommend this book."
--Roberta Hestenes, Presbyterian minister; former President, Eastern University; theology faculty member, Fuller Seminary; International Minister-at-Large, World Vision
"This book is an appropriate lament that faithfully records a dark chapter in American evangelicalism. Its warning notes to the blind guides who have anointed Donald Trump as God's instrument are firm, urgent, and offered out of loving concern for the integrity of Christian witness. The contributors consistently plead for the embrace of the foundational Christian virtues of humility, truth-telling, and justice. They remind us that Jesus alone is King, that his politics were decidedly not based on fear and hate, and that he is the only person to whom unqualified allegiance is due."
--Amy L. Sherman, author of Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good
"If you are looking for deep religious wisdom about the 2020 presidential election, here it is. For those wanting their faith to inform their vote, there is no more important book to read before November 3. Ron Sider has always helped the evangelical community see truth--carefully, biblically, fairly, and courageously. In bringing forth The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump, he has done so again. The title says it all. These thirty outstanding evangelical voices are not talking mere politics. They explore the roots and reasons underlying the spiritual crisis created by Donald Trump's presidency. Their well-reasoned, well-researched, theologically grounded voices, from the US and the world, are compelling. Listen. Share. And then you'll be better equipped to answer: how does being a disciple of Jesus Christ shape the choice I am asked to make about the next president of the United States?"
--Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America; author of Without Oars: Casting Off into a Life of Pilgrimage
"Ron Sider curated essays that integrate biblical insights, with deep reflection to challenge Christians to think about what their faith should look like, lived out in the public sphere. The voices from the global evangelical community provide helpful nuance to short-hand versions of evangelicalism. A thoughtful collection of essays, grounded in biblical reflection, that helps Christians ground their conclusions on the heart of Jesus' teachings. A timely, thought-provoking book!"
--Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Executive Director, Evangelicals for Social Action