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French Friday: Jeremiads & Drones


In a recent editorial, Kevin DeYoung took aim at Christian commentators, including David French, for criticizing the social and political hypocrisies within white evangelicalism. DeYoung says these necessary corrections are better left to pastors rather than “professional writers, academics, and full-time commentators.” David and Skye respond to DeYoung’s editorial by explaining the good, and bad, reasons so few pastors are speaking prophetically in America today.


Then, they turn their attention to the remarkable NY Times report about the U.S. military underreporting civilian casualties from drone attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. French explains why legally the terrorists, not the U.S. military, carry responsibility for these deaths, which leads to a wider discussion about the ethics of war in general, the way drones may change Americans’ view of war in the future, and whether the invasion of Iraq was justifiable to begin with.


0:00 - Intro


2:40 - Kevin DeYoung editorial on Christian commentators https://wng.org/opinions/deyoung-on-white-evangelicalism-1639659990





38 Comments


Amy Byrd
Amy Byrd
Feb 26

This is in response to the last French Fry Day. A pastor was being criticized for not speaking more into the political situation. Due to the tax exempt status, pastors are unable to speak to the issue of specific political figures and agendas. Not only that, choosing a side to promote or rail against would truly split churches. Why would we do that? Pastor’s can speak to things such as “How are we to treat migrants that are here”. This does not go into whether they should be here or how they got here, but how should we treat them now that they are here. I am a Pastor’s wife and know well the tightrope dance my husband must do.

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Jen Manlief
Jen Manlief
Jan 18, 2022

I understand Just War Theory, but do not think you can make an argument for any war ("just" or not) from the life of Jesus. I think that this episode underlines that war is nothing that Jesus would have any part of.

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Tim Keith
Tim Keith
Jan 06, 2022

For just a second while hearing DeYoung's critique I thought he might hit the real structural issue of having a career in critiquing things (i.e. when you are paid to see what's wrong you will see a lot of things that are wrong), then he goes off the rails and flounders. True shame.

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Filbert Grottoon
Filbert Grottoon
Jan 04, 2022

So appreciate DF's experience in Iraq - what a total conundrum, huh? How do I do war justly? And the reality - that war is just Hell.


Brought to mind a fantastic scene in Pirates of the Caribbean - the only one - when Orlando Bloom is so proudly stating that he would have won in a fair fight to Capt. Jack.

Jack states - "Not much incentive for me to fight fair then is it?"


Best wisdom from Disney ever - and here, DF describes it occurring in Iraq and every other "justified war" except the world ones.

I use this scene every day in my pediatric practice when parent's ask about sibling conflict - biblical wisdom straight from…

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Jen Manlief
Jen Manlief
Jan 18, 2022
Replying to

Really? I thought it was so disheartening to hear him explaining and justifying war and engagement because we have these rules that we follow that somehow making killing other people morally acceptable. It's just such a far cry from anything that Jesus modeled. He also was adamant about how carefully decisions were made in the moment, and pretty much ignored the fact that Skye brought up that we created these situations in the first place, by invading Iraq which led to the creation of Isis. He points to the injustices we're combatting in these places, that literally only exist because we invaded these places to force our will on them. I thought it was an absolutely twisted theology, justifying kil…

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David French alert: on the Chuck ToddCast, with a thought experiment on what-if Scalia hadn't died when he did in 2016?

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Replying to

Wow. Talk about a counterfactual. I should check that out.

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