Tweet Share

Nancy French on Love, Trauma, and Partisan Politics

“God is never going to betray you—even if the church does.”

So says Nancy French, best-selling author and investigative journalist, on this episode of The Russell Moore Show. French, who is known for her groundbreaking reporting on abuse at one of America’s largest Christian camps, joins Moore to discuss her new memoir, Ghosted.

French talks about growing up in the Bible Belt, where she was sexually abused as a child by her Vacation Bible School teacher. She and Moore discuss the importance of righteous responses to people who have been harmed, the ways institutions too often cover up abuse, and how all of this shows up in partisan politics.

Their conversation highlights the power of love—specifically in the case of Nancy’s marriage to David French—in healing from trauma. Moore and French also talk about French’s experiences ghostwriting for high-profile families such as the Palins and the Romneys. They talk about shifts in political culture, the state of racism in America, and what it’s like to be part of a church family that is primarily made up of people outside of one’s ethnic culture. Their conversation also touches on adoption, online discourse, and the incredible work that God can do through personal relationships.

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Do you have a question for Russell Moore? Send it to [email protected].

Special offer for listeners: 

Russell Moore will join friends David French and Curtis Chang in Washington, DC, for The After Party LIVE! on April 19. As a faithful listener to the podcast, we’d love for you to join us and use this $20 off offer just for listeners! The After Party is a free six-part video curriculum designed for people and pastors alike, and offers “a better way” for Christians to engage in politics. Learn more and buy tickets here—we’ve saved a seat for you!

Click here for a trial membership at Christianity Today.

“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today

Executive Producers: Erik Petrik, Russell Moore, and Mike Cosper

Host: Russell Moore

Producer: Ashley Hales

Associate Producers: Abby Perry and McKenzie Hill

Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens

Audio engineering by Dan Phelps

Video producer: Abby Egan

Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).