The speech: Bulldoze and rebuild

Despite what the media say about how supposedly thoroughly disunifying and grim Donald Trump's speech was, it was actually hopeful, but realistically hopeful, not the empty hope of eight years ago.  Nonetheless, the speech also bulldozed the old ways.


For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

Washington flourished -- but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered -- but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

More bulldozing the old ways:

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. 

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.

But the speech was also a call to rebuild this great nation:

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans...

He continues the rebuilding or new direction theme:

But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.

And then a quote from the famous Psalm 133 with additional unity:

The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

And then the president appealed to God for his divine protection:

[M]ost importantly, we are protected by God. ... Thank you, God bless you, And God bless America.

Privately, I believe that God takes the invocation of His name seriously, especially when those who invoke His name take Him seriously.  Early in the campaign, Mr. Trump said he didn't need to ask for forgiveness from God.  However, over the past year and a half, Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with Christian advisers who have told him about the Gospel and forgiveness and redemption.  He has calmed down a lot since then.  For all we know, Mr. Trump may have prayed with many of those leaders and gotten his heart right with God.

Whatever has happened behind the scenes, the speech was not merely and exclusively sour and destructive, though it is a warning that his administration will not engage in business as usual.  But it will be a time to rebuild, as well.

Ecclesiastes 3:3: "a time to tear down and a time to build."

James Arlandson's website is Live as Free People, where he has posted The Manuscripts Tell the Story: The New Testament Is Reliable and Church Fathers and John's Gospel and The Virginia Colony Surrenders to Cromwell's Commonwealth.