Guest / Limited Access /

For decades, evangelicals have lamented their lack of representation or respect in politics, media, education, and business. Michael Lindsay, a sociology professor at Rice University, says that's no longer true. His latest book, Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite, reflects an unparalleled degree of research of evangelicals in high-profile leadership positions. Christianity Today senior writer Tim Stafford interviewed Lindsay to find out what he learned about today's newly empowered evangelicals.

You conducted 360 in-depth interviews with American evangelical leaders from every walk of life. What prompted you?

In the late 1990s, I was working for the Gallup Institute as a consultant on religion and culture. One of my responsibilities was to handle media inquiries. In the run-up to the 2000 election, there were lots of calls from reporters saying, "I need the numbers on evangelicals and how they have grown over the last 30 years." And as I looked into it, I realized that the number of Americans who self-identified as evangelicals hadn't changed much. What had changed was that evangelicals had become much more prominent. And that got me wondering what was going on.

The media's portrait of evangelicals has focused on the obvious—popular evangelicalism. Yet you found something distinct, a hidden evangelicalism.

I wouldn't say hidden, so much as one that's less understood, more behind the scenes … what one person I interviewed called "move-the-dial" Christianity—folks who have their hands on commanding positions of American society. Just by their very presence, they have the ability to affect public institutions—for instance, the way a corporate mission statement is worded, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Short-Term Troubles
Lessons from the South Korean kidnappings in Afghanistan.
RecommendedThe Theology of Donald Trump
The Theology of Donald Trump
Four words that reveal what his followers really believe.
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickPorn Is More Criticized and More Popular Than Ever
Porn Is More Criticized and More Popular Than Ever
There are so many problems with porn; it’s hard to pick just one.
Christianity Today
The Evangelical Elite
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.