David French, Big Eva, and Special Pleading
You don't always have to accept the lesser of two evils. You can wait for a better offer.
I respect David French as an engaging writer and a thoughtful Christian who is tackling hard subjects in a very public way. At the same time that I respect him, I’m frustrated by what seems to be his myopic focus on the corruptions within American Christianity. Some of French’s critics may deny that such corruptions even exist. I don’t deny them. What I deny is the helpfulness of obsessing over them. I think a principle that tends to hold true in everyday life as well as intellectual discourse is that even very serious problems do not get better by taking up all of your attention and energy. Whether it’s a problem with pornography or the political idolatry of evangelical churches, the sea in which you’re drowning is not all that’s real.
It tends to be true in my circles that the folks who are most impatient with French’s problematic-Christian beat are also pretty upset with “Big Eva,” a term that supposedly describes the major institutions and networks within evangelicalism. The SBC is an example of Big Eva, as is Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition. French’s most vocal critics tend also to be critics of Big Eva, but interestingly their criticisms run in opposite directions: They think French slanders Christians but they think Big Eva is a grossly compromised and immoral entity. Here’s a thread (which did some numbers) that summarizes both the material and the emotional case that these folks make against Big Eva, particularly TGC.