“Evangelicals are assuming that God is intent on investing the church with worldly security and strength”

Dick Polman tweets:

Historian John Haas responds on his FB page:

A quick note on this. Many people will assume the problem here is one of obvious hypocrisy, but I think that’s a little off. Evangelicals aren’t comparing Obama and Trump as if they’re just President A and President B. Obama was perceived as a president who was hurting Christianity, and any scandals he was involved in would have been seen as a confirmation of his harmfulness and an opportunity to weaken him and maybe help the church. Trump is perceived as a defender of the faith, so any scandals he might be involved in are actually threats to the church; defending or excusing him is a way of helping to protect the church.

The problem here is a deeper one: Evangelicals are assuming that God is intent on investing the church with worldly security and strength, and they see President Trump as God’s providential instrument to achieve that aim. Is it, however, the case that God wants the church to enjoy security and strength of this kind? That’s the question.

A lot of this resonates with several themes in my forthcoming book Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  (Don’t forget to pre-order).