Generous Orthodoxy  




Sunday, September 13, 2015

The spiritual wisdom of Donald Trump

I tore this out of the New York Times one day this week and forgot to note the date. I won't take the time to look it up. Here's the salient portion:

Mr. Trump, observes the writer of the article, is not in favor of the time-honored virtue of self-reflection. He once told Time magazine, "When you start studying yourself too deeply, you start seeing things that maybe you don't want to see."

Somehow I doubt if Mr. Trump has the slightest idea that, in one sentence, he has defined the human condition.

It's the opposite of New Age spiritual thinking where we are urged to go inside and find that place of peace in our inner core. When John Calvin taught what has unfortunately become known as "total depravity," he never meant that the human person is totally depraved in the sense that we would mean today. He meant, rather,  that there was no pristine component of the self that was untouched by the Powers of Sin and Death.

The Donald states that he "goes to church" and is a Presbyterian (he used to attend Marble Collegiate, actually). He receives "the little wine,"he says, and eats "the little cracker." But he has stated recently that he can't think of anything he needed to be forgiven for. I wonder if he'd grown up with the Episcopal General Confession ("we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts") it would have made any difference. Probably not. But at least he has said this one true thing, even if he doesn't realize it.