Donald Trump and Toby
Every grandfather probably thinks his grandson is a genius. But Toby is!
Yesterday at lunch when the conversation with our friend Benjamin Chan (see my tweet of 27-11-16) was about the BBQ we were enjoying at Hendersonville’s Center Point BBQ, our seven year old grandson Toby spoke up out of the blue: “Grandpa, is Donald Trump a Christian?” I replied: “I don’t really know for sure”. “Well then, Grandpa, can God use someone who is not really a Christian to do His work?” I replied: “Yes, through God’s common grace”.
Common grace is God’s goodness to all humankind. John Calvin called it “special grace in nature”. We call it “common grace” not because it is ordinary but because it is given commonly to all people of all ages in all places in the whole world. It is a creation gift not a salvation gift. It is what keeps the world from being topsy-turvy. It is why there is a measure of law and order in all countries. It is why we have traffic lights, hospitals, firemen, policemen, nurses and doctors. It is the basis of one’s IQ, their ability for poetry, science, botany, astronomy. It is what gave Albert Einstein what is (perhaps) the highest IQ in history. It is what gives an Arthur Rubenstein an ability to play the piano, Yehudi Menuhin to play the violin, Rachmaninoff to write a concerto. It has nothing to do with whether you are a Christian. Being a Christian is not what gives you your IQ; you would have had the same IQ whether saved or lost.
Common grace is what lay behind Cyrus (Isa.45:1 – probably the same person as Darius in Daniel 6) the surprising decision to let the Jews return to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. This to me is a plausible explanation for Donald Trump – that is, if indeed he appoints good Supreme Court justices and does some of the other things he has promised to do.
Perhaps Donald Trump is a Christian. I have heard rumors of this person or that person who led him to the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope they are true. But if not, one should have a theological rationale for God using people like him to be used of God in this wicked world of ours.
Yes, Toby, God can use someone who is not a Christian to do His work in the world. And if Donald Trump is truly born again, all the better for us all!