NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a conversation with one of our era’s most significant theologians.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Wayne Grudem may be best known for leading the team that translated the Bible into the English Standard Version. He also helped create the ESV Study Bible. It has sold more than a million copies. Grudem’s other works include the massive systematic theology, “Politics According to the Bible,” and the more recent “Christian Ethics.”
EICHER: When he’s not writing, Wayne Grudem teaches theology and Biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary. But the diagnosis in 2016 that he had Parkinson’s disease raised questions about how long he could continue.
On this week’s Listening In, host Warren Smith asks Wayne Grudem to reflect on his life’s work. Smith also asked about Grudem’s controversial support of President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Let’s listen now to an excerpt of their conversation.
WARREN SMITH, HOST: What are your thoughts about this president, a president that you supported during that campaign?
WAYNE GRUDEM, GUEST: Yes, supported with qualifications because I was concerned about his apparent marital unfaithfulness. But I did support Trump in the end, not first choice, not second choice, but because he was the Republican nominee and his policies seemed more consistent with Biblical values than Hillary Clinton’s. Now we are two years into the Trump presidency. And I find that on issue after issue, the actions he has taken have been consistent with the issues I argued for in Politics According to the Bible. I started to make a list of how many things he’s done that I’m so happy about and so pleased that he’s following Biblical teachings on how government should function.
SMITH: Let me interrupt that list for just a moment and stipulate for the record that there have been many, many accomplishments. I guess I would want to gently push back on any list, that list or any other list, by asking two questions. One is are these not accomplishments that might have come to pass with any Republican president? And number two, there’s been a cost to having this particular Republican president, in terms of the coarseness of civil discourse and the erosion of the Republican and conservative brand. Do either of those concerns factor into your thinking in this?
GRUDEM: Well, Warren, I asked a friend the other day if Mike Pence, our vice president, had been president for these last two years and had done the things that Trump has done, what would you think of his presidency? Well, he’d think it was the greatest presidency for years, generations. So if we look at his actions, I think that I as a Christian and conservative can be very thankful for Donald Trump’s presidency. I voted for him. I’m glad I voted for him. I’m glad he’s president. Do I regret that he calls people names sometimes? Yes, but I put that in a minor category compared to the policies of defeating Islamic State, and befriending Israel, and defeating Islamic terrorists and protecting the environment but using the environment wisely, strengthening the military. Many other things. I could go on and on this list. Now, we could say, well wouldn’t it be so if there were any other Republican president. Sure, but we don’t have any other Republican president, we have this one.