Courtney Friesen

Courtney Friesen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Classics at University of Arizona. 

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Grab ’em by the Bible?

by Courtney Friesen 08-29-2018
Wayne Grudem and Trumpian Biblical Ethics

“[O]ne reason the people of the United States—from both parties—felt such profound disappointment in [the] sexual misconduct [... of the President] was the poor example it set for adolescent children and, indeed, for the rest of society.” This brief extract is from a book published in July 2018 by Wayne Grudem titled Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning. One might justifiably imagine that this sentence concerns Donald Trump. Not so.

In fact, throughout all 1296 pages of this ethics textbook, Trump appears exclusively as an upright model of virtue. Rather, Grudem here refers to Bill Clinton whose transgressions have, for good reason, received renewed attention in the context of the recent #MeToo movement. Still, many fair-minded readers will find Grudem’s selective moral disappointment to be surprising, if not outrageous. But his seemingly one-sided assessment is not a mere oversight.

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