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President Trump biographers share value of listening to others' stories

April 20, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

The saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” captures the spirit of the message by TV journalist David Brody and author Scott Lamb during Liberty University’s Convocation on Friday.

The two are co-authors of “The Faith of Donald J. Trump,” a book they say is often misunderstood, for better or worse, before one passes the title page. But in exploring the spiritual family legacy of the current President of the United States, as well as the growing number of believers in his circle of influence, they explained that they understood a deeper truth: all people are flawed, but all have their own stories, and the grace of God can transform them all.

“There is a learning curve, and everyone is on it,” said Brody, an Emmy Award-winning, 30-year veteran journalist who serves as the chief political correspondent for CBN News and a political analyst for Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. “People are imperfect, we know this. Clearly God uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will.”

Lamb explained that the pair’s interest in collaborating on the book started with a general curiosity about the influences and faith journeys of a number of celebrities.

“We all have backgrounds; we have stories,” said Lamb, Liberty’s new vice president of special literary projects. “I love to hear people’s stories. … What is the worldview not just of you but of the generations that shaped you?”

Lamb is also a biographer, literary agent, Southern Baptist minister, and columnist for The Washington Times. As a longtime professional in the world of literature, he said he now hopes to leverage his experience to benefit Liberty’s faculty and students and plans to host free seminars to help aspiring writers “go from step 1 to step 10.”

He encouraged any in the crowd who hope to be published one day to seek a deeper purpose in writing as well.

“I encourage you to get started on the craft of writing now and ask, ‘God, how can I serve other people through writing?’” Lamb said. “Start off with the serving principle in your writing, and you can’t go wrong.”

As a journalist who has interviewed a number of divisive political figures, including Trump, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama, Brody challenged the students to find ways to be a witness, even as they engage with others on topics of disagreement.

“Important questions need to be asked, but, at the same time, you can do it in a way that lets them feel like they have a voice,” Brody said. “You want to hear people; it is important to hear their story. And I think if you hear their story, then at that point there is an opportunity … an opening to discuss more important spiritual (matters).”

He also said that no matter how lost someone seems, Christians should not stop seeking to influence them.

“Let’s not give up hope on others that you come into contact with in your daily life,” Brody said. “That is the most important thing. And that is where the Christian witness comes in, because eventually, hopefully, they will see the light, just like you have.”

Lamb added that what believers accomplish in life is less important than how they live it.

“I don’t care what you do in life,” Lamb said. “The point isn’t the fame. The point is: were you a servant to the world, and in so doing, were you a servant to Christ?”

Convocation concluded with a commissioning prayer for the more than 2,000 students who will be laboring as part of the second annual Serve Lynchburg event, a university-led initiative to show love to the community.

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