Evangelicals’ emotional vulnerability to Trump: the sacrament of affectivity

“Trump rally crowd,” U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH, by Hayden Schiff on Flickr (10/13/2016) [CC BY 2.0 – Attribution 2.0 Generic].

Reading Richard Beck’s recent three-part essay “The Sacrament of Affectivity,” I suddenly understood how Donald Trump exercises such a perverse power over politically right-wing evangelical Christians.  I say “perverse,” because both his personal behavior and his slash-and-burn politics are so antithetical to true Christian faith and practice.

Beck explains how, during the Reformation of the 16th century, “low-church Protestants” moved away from encountering the presence of God’s grace materially (objectively) in sacraments like the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper).  Instead,

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