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French Friday: Is Evangelicalism about Jesus or Sexual Ethics?

David French is in studio with Skye Jethani and Phil Vischer for a special edition of French Friday. First, they discuss new survey results showing most evangelicals hold shockingly heretical beliefs about the nature of Jesus, but they are absolutely clear about sexual ethics. What does it mean for evangelicalism to make doctrine optional and sexual purity essential?

Then, comments from leading conservative voices appear to contradict core conservative values. Can conservatism still be defined, or has it deteriorated into a reactionary movement to “own the libs” and nothing more? Plus, David and Skye nerd-out about the new Amazon series, “The Rings of Power.”

0:00 - Intro

1:55 - Is evangelicalism about Jesus or sexual ethics?

26:24 - Can conservatism be defined?

57:57 - Nerd corner

Links and resources mentioned: The Dispatch -

“Evangelicals Decenter Jesus” by David French (The Atlantic Newsletter) -

“The American right’s future involves waging a ‘religious battle’ against the left, leaders say at a conservative conference” (NBC) -

“The Evangelical Question in the History of American Religion” by Kirsten Sanders (The Hedgehog Review) -

“How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t” by Tim Keller, 2018 (NYT) -

Holy Post website:


Keep calm and drift on in Drift Hunters. Get ready to paint the town... with tire marks


Is there a way we could read French’s Atlantic piece for free? I want to read it so badly but am a bit apprehensive in paying for an Atlantic subscription at this time … even if getting through the paywall to read French’s writing is worth it. thanks.


Pastor Bill Dodge
Pastor Bill Dodge
Oct 07, 2022

Skye - if I am not mistaken I think that Ligonier Ministries (LIG-O-NEER - was founded by R.C. Sproul -the famed Calvinist. I'd be surprised if you didn't know him but was also surprised you didn't seem familiar with Ligonier. Thank you also for reminding us of "Crotch Christianity." So vivid, so poignant, so... skye.


Enjoyed the discussion a great deal. I later went to Ligioner survey website mentioned. After filtering down to "Evangelicals only" I was surprised by how poorly worded some to the survey questions are. I would not be surprised if some of the answers by the survey takers would change if there was a lengthy discussion about what the question was trying to determine. A good example would be a discussion of the process of salvation. Can an unregenerated heart confess? If not then God regenerates the heart first. What if that occurs through the Holy Spirit as a distinct possibility.


Oct 06, 2022

I've appreciated David French identifying illiberal attitudes among evangelicals, and the resulting introspection for myself. Yet, when Phil channels Christian in asking how this makes a difference in how we live, I also wonder how Christians are to respond when the political left is illiberal towards people of faith? So many of us walk on eggshells at school and work for fear that our values (usually related to sexual ethics of various sorts including abortion policy) will get us ostracized or fired. Do we 'turn the other cheek' when religious organizations are being forced to hire those who promote values with which we strongly disagree? Should we smile in forbearance when our local school adds curriculum to grade school indoctrinating…

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