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 News Briefs
IRS investigation fallout, Muslim convert goes into hiding, and Gordon College receives gift.
RecommendedThe World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy
Subscriber Access Only The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy
Goodness, truth, and beauty all come from the same Person.
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickI Found the Gospel in Communist Romania
I Found the Gospel in Communist Romania
And then I shared it with the man the government sent to kill me.
Christianity Today
The Evangelical Elite
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2007

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