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French Friday: De-Radicalizing the Church & Learning from Atheists


In a recent article, Russell Moore lamented the captivity of evangelicals to conspiracy theories and political radicalization, but he argued “the problem is not in the pulpit” and “the problem isn’t primarily in the pews either.” Instead, he believes the radicalization is happening outside the church. David French and Skye Jethani agree that radicalization is happing outside the church, but say there is also a real problem in the pews. What role do churches and pastors have in de-radicalizing evangelicals, and what’s preventing them from speaking up and doing more?


Then, French shares about a pro-life atheist who positively influenced his own values. That leads to a wider discussion about the importance of forming relationships with and engaging the ideas of those we disagree with. Rather than seeking the safety of never being challenged, welcoming the discomfort of divergent voices will provoke us toward growth and maturity.


0:00 - Intro


00:50 - De-radicalizing the church


38:11 - Learning from atheists


1:05:14 - Credits


"Christian Political Ethics are Upside-Down" by David French (The Dispatch) - https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/christian-political-ethics-are-upside

"When the South Loosens Its Bible Belt" by Russell Moore (Christianity Today) - https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/august-web-only/russell-moore-white-evangelicals-bible-belt-south-church.html

"There Is a Secular Case for Life" by David French (The Dispatch) - https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/there-is-a-secular-case-for-life

"The Gift of Pain" by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey - https://amzn.to/3ArfV1w

"What in the World?" Holy Post miniseries - https://www.holypost.com/articles/categories/what-in-the-world

Holy Post website: https://www.holypost.com/


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22 Comments


kacumen
kacumen
Sep 18, 2022

Phil! I have the perfect guest for the Holy Post. His name is Daniel Nayeri. I bet you are familiar with him. Beth Moore recently tweeted about a book he wrote. His book Everything Sad is Untrue is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!! He is a Christian, he is Iranian and he is a refugee. Here's is his webpage: https://www.danielnayeri.com/


I don't really know what he'd be able to talk about, but maybe imagination, being a refugee, literature, christian literature, creating (beautiful) culture, etc... and hopefully not "here's another way how white evangelicals are stupid".


Blessings!


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Phil Vischer
Phil Vischer
Sep 20, 2022
Replying to

I've heard good things about the book... I'll look it up.


Thanks!

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kacumen
kacumen
Sep 12, 2022

This article is an example of what you say everyone should do and you hardly ever do in your show. This article is death blow to polarization. It has unwavering, clear, direct and tough critiques to the Rufo & Desantis type of people AND clear, direct and tough critiques to anti-racism, Kendi type of peole (woke, left leaning ppl who love to talk about equity and diversity etc.)


"Moreover, one need not endorse conspiracy theories about “woke” corporations and the left to be troubled by a trend of major employers expecting employees to declare allegiance to a particular political viewpoint. Nor does one need to endorse Trump-style white identity politics to believe that the DiAngelo-style identity politics of many DEI…


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kacumen
kacumen
Sep 17, 2022
Replying to

Why don't you imitate her work more? Or do you think you do? Why not invite people with opposing views to your show?

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I agree with Russell Moore that radicalization is happening outside the church, not inside. What I don't understand is if, as David says, the minority have the bigger influence, who are they influencing? If the attitude of the largest percentage of the largest denomination (SBC) is the rejection of the politicization of the church, then the minority is not influencing the majority. I have friends in many different churches and the consensus is that we see this fringe as radical and ignore them.


Secondly, it is not the responsibility of the pastor to de-radicalize anyone. Their responsibility is to point people to Jesus and help them to know him better. Once that happens, Jesus will take care of whatever de-radicalizati…

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Pastor McPastory
Pastor McPastory
Aug 31, 2022

Hey -- some thoughts on the extremism on the pews being a minority. In my context, while that is true, that minority was deeply rooted in the church and had a lot of influence. Their lashing out over the past two years has swept up dozens of families. Their influence meant that the pages and pages of complaints and manufactured issues they had were taken seriously by the elder board and grueling reviews were done. While they left, they have done damage to a lot of others, and caused many in the church to question leadership and in some cases leave. So our storyline was: --preach on something that you believe is needed but will be difficult --minority lashes out, starts campaign…

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Lynn
Lynn
Aug 31, 2022

As always, I appreciated this French Friday. David and Skye (as are the other members of the team) are always thoughtful and well researched. I will, however, push back a bit about the minority of extremists in the pews and the influence they have. Though these are anecdotal, we do know of three people who have been fired because they did not hold to the far-right view--one for speaking out about the need for masks and the other two for talking about racism from the pulpit, in challenging but not angry ways. The minority held sway in all these situations. Still others, though not fired, have been censured by elder boards for not adhering to the far-right line, sometimes in…

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