One year ago today, Donald Trump shocked most of the world by winning a historic election that made him the 45th president of the United States.
And, oh, what a year it's been.
In his new book, God and Donald Trump, out yesterday, award-winning journalist and author Stephen E. Strang highlights the influential evangelical leaders who implored Christians across the nation to educate themselves about what was at stake in the 2016 election. Strang also shares his personal interviews and gives a behind-the-scenes perspective on the road to the Trump White House and the billionaire businessman's headline-making time in office thus far.
In an exclusive excerpt reprint in WND.com, Strang notes how Trump sent shockwaves through politics with his "miraculous win."
"On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump stepped forward to take the oath of office on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to become the 45th president of the United States," Strang wrote in God and Donald Trump. "It was a moment no one in the mainstream media or the political establishment had seriously considered. That auspicious occasion marked the culmination of one of the most contentious election campaigns in U.S. history and the beginning of one of the most heated ideological struggles ever seen in this country.
"Outlasting a field of 16 other GOP contenders while attracting the largest number of evangelical voters in history," Strang continued, "the New York billionaire had delivered a stunning blow to his Democratic rival and sent shock waves of amazement and disbelief across the nation and around the world. By some miracle, 'The Donald' had actually won."
Strang also noted that Washington elites from both political parties had spent months pounding on candidate Trump, questioning his intelligence, his sanity, his motives, his fitness for public office and even his religion. Thrice married, a casino owner and someone known for his outrageous and often salty language, Trump did not have the persona of a model Christian, and his detractors were certain the conservative Republican base would never vote for such a man. And if they did, the pundits suggested, it would certainly be a betrayal of everything they once claimed to believe.
The New York Times pointed out that evangelical leaders had spent decades developing and fielding a cadre of strong conservative candidates capable of winning high public office. Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann were among the beneficiaries of that effort, yet none of them attracted the kind of support in the 2016 campaign accorded to the egotistical and unrestrained reality TV star from Queens.
Trump, they wrote, "is unabashedly ignorant of the biblical imperatives that form the foundation of evangelical culture and politics. That Mr. Trump is a Presbyterian and not evangelical is not the issue. It's that he doesn't pretend to understand evangelicalism, or even his own mainline Protestantism." The New York Times pontificating on the biblical imperatives of evangelical Christians ought to elicit at least a few chuckles for the irony.
"Nevertheless," Strang said, "Donald Trump never claimed to be a paragon of virtue; in fact, he has admitted repeatedly in interviews with reporters and biographers that he had been rude and undisciplined for much of his life. But evangelical leaders who have met with him, as I have, believe he understands the importance of sincere faith, and—especially over the last few years—he has made a sincere effort to expand his knowledge of and his fluency with essential Christian beliefs.
"There are ministry leaders and prophetic voices who are convinced God brought Donald Trump, who had said for many years that he was not at all interested in running for public office, to this place for this time. It may well be, as Bachmann and certain prophetic voices have suggested, that Trump was sent by God as a bull in a china shop to break up the globalist agenda and interrupt the left's campaign to remake America in their own image. A man with a milder, gentler, less aggressive personality could never hope to take on the forces within the political establishment and prosper, which explains why Donald J. Trump was the perfect choice for this hour."
As of 9 a.m., God and Donald Trump ranked No. 250 on Amazon's Best-Sellers Rank, No. 1 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Conservatism & Liberalism; and No. 1 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Social Issues.
Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. He later founded a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
God and Donald Trump is published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 14 New York Times best-sellers.
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