Official Review: God and President Trump Plus the Rest of...

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Official Review: God and President Trump Plus the Rest of...

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 04 Dec 2017, 11:29

[Following is an official review of "God and President Trump Plus the Rest of Us" by Patric Rutherford.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Almost a full year into Donald Trump's presidency it's still impossible to go anywhere online or in the news without seeing his name. Mentions of Trump range from the most hateful, insulting things to those who praise his every word as the greatest ever. These two sides have two things in common - they're both so solidly stuck in their opinions that no matter what happened they'd never change their minds and, more closely related to this book, both sides fail to see that Trump is a human being who has both negatives and positives, not a god.

God and President Trump Plus the Rest of Us by Patric Rutherford was published in May 2017, so a few months had already passed since Trump's inauguration in January of the same year. A lot has happened in the U.S. since, certainly, but the book is general enough that it's still relevant. The 112-page book is essentially broken into two parts: a discussion about Trump, God, the "responsibility of the presidency" (table of contents) and a discussion of both those who love and hate trump; and a review of historical leaders from Moses to Nelson Mandela.

The first section of the book does an absolutely excellent job of discussing Trump in a balanced, fair way. He lists the legitimate reasons people voted for Trump and discourages those who hate Trump or his supporters (in fact, he discourages hatred in general and explains how it's an unchristian trait), but he also discusses those who show blind love for Trump as well. Here is perhaps one of the greatest points of the book - Rutherford explains that if someone is always negative, only arguing or pointing out bad points someone makes, people will naturally deflect their opinions and consider them as hateful. To truly criticize someone in any way that's helpful, not merely hateful, one must (except in extreme circumstances) actually be close to them. To merely go around and attack everyone who hates or loves Trump (or anyone/anything else for that matter) is unhelpful to everyone; to explain to a friend that you regularly speak with in a kind, solid way - "Hey, friend, Trump is [doing something] and that's bad because of [these reasons]," rather than "You're a racist if you like Trump, go away" for example - is not only much better, it's actually vital in a good friendship. This section also blatantly points out the issues with voting or praising the words of a single party regardless of who one is voting for or what they're saying. Putting so much blind faith in anything is dangerous and comes close to worship, which should be reserved for God alone.
Or is God planning to use [Trump] as he did Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus for some special purpose in his plan for the world? Or will he be like Lyndon Johnson, who created havoc with the Vietnam War but also upgraded the Social Security system to include Medicare and Medicaid, which is of benefit to millions of Americans today? Maybe God has allowed Donald Trump to win so that Americans can face the reality of their rejection of him and their worship of their new gods: money, entertainment, and celebrities.
The second half of the book explores spiritual and governmental leaders. These range from Moses, Nebuchadnezzar, Isaiah and Saul to Hitler, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, with Jesus Himself as a finale. Each of these explores different things that can be related not only to Trump but the direction our country is headed in. Some of these stories I was rather familiar with, but for the most part I learned a lot here. I knew surprisingly little about the challenges Gandhi and Mandela faced, and the leaders and kings of biblical times like Saul, Rehoboam and Moses had a lot of depth I wasn't aware of. It was fantastic seeing not only how these people each held lessons that pertain to today, but how God sometimes used powerful figures in biblical times to point out problems or punish the people who had turned their backs on Him.

In the end, the author points out some things to look out for in the coming years and what we can do about it. Some of those things we're already seeing, like "the smallness of parochialism that pits our citizens against each other and against people of other countries or ethnic groups" (pages 92/93), and how we must act if or when Trump needs to be held accountable and removed (and if Congress fails to hold him accountable).

If there is one lesson this book seeks to teach us, it's that Trump is only a man and that we need to keep our faith in God regardless of what he does. Rutherford points out that even Jesus knew when to be "decisive and forceful when necessary" (page 90), such as when he destroyed the tables of merchants in the temple. There are numerous characteristics that a good Christian shares with Jesus, and these apply to everything in life, even politics. I found only 3 grammatical errors, all minor, and the writing was incredibly easy to follow. I especially appreciated that this wasn't a book that sought out to show Trump, his supporters or his opponents as terrible human beings or 100% correct. As such, I rate the surprisingly enjoyable God and President Trump Plus the Rest of Us by Patric Rutherford 4 out of 4 stars. Despite this, I wouldn't recommend the book to people outside the U.S. unless they're interested in U.S. politics. It also isn't recommended to those who aren't Christian and aren't interested in religious books, as the majority of it (clearly) has a religious slant. Finally, although they may be the ones who need to read the book the most, people who are entirely set in their opinions and don't hesitate to argue with total strangers over the slightest kindness or criticism of Trump probably won't like this either.

God and President Trump Plus the Rest of Us
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 07 Dec 2017, 04:31

The moment I saw this cover I thought, that was fast. Although I'm not an American, I'm fascinated by Donald Trump. Because I'm a Christian, some of the biblical reference will be relevant. It will be interesting to see the correlation between each of those leaders and Trump.
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Post by inaramid » 07 Dec 2017, 05:05

Wow. "Criticize helpfully, not hatefully." I'm not American, but I find myself gravitating towards this book. The only thing that worries me is the "religious slant" you mentioned.

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Post by desircarlos12 » 07 Dec 2017, 08:14

That's good book, but I don't feel the religion and Trump position right here.

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Post by Job Njoroge » 07 Dec 2017, 08:37

Great review the book is addressing some of man's greatest flaws of looking at something from one side and not from all perspectives. Unfortunately this is found in all human beings and at times we even fight for it.
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Post by MarisaRose » 07 Dec 2017, 09:09

This book definitely doesn't sound like it's for me; however, I'm glad to hear the author was able to handle these topics in a fair and non-partisan manner.
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Dec 2017, 10:01

First of all, I haven't seen a review from you in a while. I'm glad to see you're still around. Secondly, a balanced view of Trump? That's REALLY hard to find. I'm glad the author could do that. And last, I'm neither a Trump supporter nor a hater. I'm on neutral ground. In fact, I just try to avoid all mention of him. So, I don't think I'll read this book. Thanks for the review, though.
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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 07 Dec 2017, 10:15

I really enjoy the idea that there is a middle ground in politics that is recently being revisited by books such as this one. Definitely will entertain the thought of reading this book.

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Post by Juanita700 » 07 Dec 2017, 12:38

The reviewer did a great job of giving you insight into American Politics in our time. The book looks at politics from a Christian point of view. It shows Trump in a balanced light. The theme that God is in control no matter what happens or who in power shows through. The focus on the leaders in the past and the overall theme that God is the supreme one. It sounds like a book I would like to read , although I do not always like politics so much.

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Post by KitabuKizuri » 07 Dec 2017, 15:08

I think I'd like to read this one, insightful review.

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 08 Dec 2017, 03:53

I'm from outside of USA but I have some knowledge about the politics in this country. This is the type of book that is worth reading to me especially when the author relate this with the leaders found in the Bible. I will definitely read this book. Thank you for your insightful review.
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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 08 Dec 2017, 23:28

I live diametrically opposite to where the Americas are in the globe. And as per your advice, I may not need to read this book. But on the other hand, I should read it, doing it free of bias, precluding any prejudice, or sans any political opinion. I admire your thorough review of the book, almost in verbatim et literatim. I meant, you seemed not to miss any point at all. You have really done justice to the book. Thank you for the review.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 09 Dec 2017, 20:53

I think it is amazing that a 112-page book can contain all that, CataclysmicKnight! While I am not an American, I am interested in reading what the author has to say. The POTUS is an influential figure the world over, and we have too many of our countrypeople (countrymen is sexist!) who are now American citizens or hoping to be.

Is Trump a "tramp," a "trump card," or a "frump"? Or something else altogether? Only time will tell.

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Post by Anjum » 10 Dec 2017, 07:24

I am an Indian and therefore I don't know much about Trump. I always wondered why so many people hate him and it looks like this book has got answers to my questions. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Robin Carley » 10 Dec 2017, 13:16

I'm a new member from Kenya, haven't read the book yet but considering political turmoil due to affiliations in my country, the book is worth reading. It's the mirror to modern politics and religion.

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