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Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite [Hardcover]

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Item description for Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite by D. Michael Lindsay...

Overview
Description
Evangelicals, once at the periphery of American life, now wield power in the White House and on Wall Street, at Harvard and in Hollywood. How have they reached the pinnacles of power in such a short time? And what does this mean for evangelicals--and for America?

Drawing on personal interviews with an astonishing array of prominent Americans--including two former Presidents, dozens of political and government leaders, more than 100 top business executives, plus Hollywood moguls, intellectuals, athletes, and other powerful figures--D. Michael Lindsay shows first-hand how they are bringing their vision of moral leadership into the public square. This riveting volume tells us who the real evangelical power brokers are, how they rose to prominence, and what they're doing with their clout. Lindsay reveals that evangelicals are now at home in the executive suite and on the studio lot, and from those lofty perches they have used their influence, money, and ideas to build up the evangelical movement and introduce it to the wider American society. They are leaders of powerful institutions and their goals are ambitious--to bring Christian principles to bear on virtually every aspect of American life.

Along the way, the book is packed with fascinating stories and striking insights. Lindsay shows how evangelicals became a force in American foreign policy, how Fortune 500 companies are becoming faith-friendly, and how the new generation of the faithful is led by cosmopolitan evangelicals. These are well-educated men and women who read both The New York Times and Christianity Today , and who are wary of the evangelical masses' penchant for polarizing rhetoric, apocalyptic pot-boilers, and bad Christian rock. Perhaps most startling is the importance of personal relationships between leaders--a quiet conversation after Bible study can have more impact than thousands of people marching in the streets.

Faith in the Halls of Power takes us inside the rarified world of the evangelical elite--beyond the hysterical panic and chest-thumping pride--to give us the real story behind the evangelical ascendancy in America.

Features
Beautifully written and convincingly argued, the most exciting work on American evangelicals to appear in years

Publishers Description
Evangelicals, once at the periphery of American life, now wield power in the White House and on Wall Street, at Harvard and in Hollywood. How have they reached the pinnacles of power in such a short time? And what does this mean for evangelicals--and for America?

Drawing on personal interviews with an astonishing array of prominent Americans--including two former Presidents, dozens of political and government leaders, more than 100 top business executives, plus Hollywood moguls, intellectuals, athletes, and other powerful figures--D. Michael Lindsay shows first-hand how they are bringing their vision of moral leadership into the public square. This riveting volume tells us who the real evangelical power brokers are, how they rose to prominence, and what they're doing with their clout. Lindsay reveals that evangelicals are now at home in the executive suite and on the studio lot, and from those lofty perches they have used their influence, money, and ideas to build up the evangelical movement and introduce it to the wider American society. They are leaders of powerful institutions and their goals are ambitious--to bring Christian principles to bear on virtually every aspect of American life.

Along the way, the book is packed with fascinating stories and striking insights. Lindsay shows how evangelicals became a force in American foreign policy, how Fortune 500 companies are becoming faith-friendly, and how the new generation of the faithful is led by cosmopolitan evangelicals. These are well-educated men and women who read both The New York Times and Christianity Today, and who are wary of the evangelical masses' penchant for polarizing rhetoric, apocalyptic pot-boilers, and bad Christian rock. Perhaps most startling is the importance of personal relationships between leaders--a quiet conversation after Bible study can have more impact than thousands of people marching in the streets.

Faith in the Halls of Power takes us inside the rarified world of the evangelical elite--beyond the hysterical panic and chest-thumping pride--to give us the real story behind the evangelical ascendancy in America.



From Publishers Weekly
Lindsay, a sociologist at Rice University who has previously worked with pollster George Gallup Jr., looks at the rise of evangelical Christian influence in the spheres of power of American public life: political, intellectual, cultural and economic. Based on interviews with 360 leaders from these spheres, including two former presidents, as well as a command of what everybody else has heretofore written, Lindsay demonstrates how over the past two decades evangelicals have moved into positions of great influence. From a sociological point of view, their path to power is easy to discern through networks of relationships or institutions that have seeded larger political and economic institutions. This growing network has produced new leaders whose ideas and actions are motivated by their Christianity. The interviews allow Lindsay to cite numerous examples that make his point persuasively. He is a sympathetic observer who understands that evangelicalism is as reformist as any other movement that has ascended to power in America. Yet he also understands that evangelicalism has made accommodation to the larger public life it seeks to reform, a tension he calls "elastic orthodoxy." This important work should be required reading for anyone who wants to opine publicly on what American evangelicals are really up to. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   332
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0195326660  
ISBN13  9780195326666  


Availability  0 units.


More About D. Michael Lindsay


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D. MICHAEL LINDSAY is the president of Gordon College and one of the youngest college presidents in the country. An award-winning sociologist and educator, Dr. Lindsay has lectured on five continents and worked with dozens of organizations to increase their leadership capacities. His Pulitzer-nominated book, Faith in the Halls of Power, was listed in Publisher's Weekly "Best Books of 2007," and his work has been profiled in hundreds of media outlets worldwide. He and his wife, Rebecca, live with their three daughters on the campus of Gordon College just north of Boston.



D. Michael Lindsay was born in 1971.

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2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion


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Reviews - What do customers think about Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite?

Faith in the Halls of Power a Must Read  Nov 24, 2009
Lindsay presents a well-researched message for anyone interested in the evangelical community and its influence in universities, business, and politics. The material does not attempt to sway the reader, but shows how evangelicalism is moving in the areas of power. The book is an easy read and can be informative for young executives to spiritual leaders.
 
A beginners curiousity  Jun 19, 2008
I have only read the first 20 pages. I wonder at this point if he will discuss the reality that people talk "religious talk" while at the same time motivated more for public attention, power and simply put, an exciting and well paying job. It would seem to me that preserving cultural values that are positive would be at the heart of seeking election to an office that might, note might, lead to change. Oh, I am a retired minister so I have a real interest.
 
Christianity - personal faith, powerful idea  Mar 26, 2008
Influence - funny word, interesting concept. Michael Lindsay, professor at Rice University, examines the idea of cultural influence and how evangelicals - those who would say they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ - have exerted influence at the highest levels in our contemporary society. From politics to the arts, Lindsay found and interviewed literally hundreds of these evangelical men and women and explored their paths to influence. Lindsay notes that evangelical influence in the culture is undergoing resurgence - having taken a back seat to "personal evangelism" and the spiritual disciplines as the sole expression of the Christian faith in years past. Today, Christians do more than read their Bibles and pray - they vote, they paint, they teach in some of the leading universities, they run some of the largest companies...and many more are doing so as Christians than in the recent past. Of course, there was a day following the Reformation up until the time of our Founding Fathers, that it was commonplace for Christians to live and work as followers of Christ - but even recently the story of William Wilberforce once again raised the issue of Christian "ministry" and the idea of one's vocation as one's calling being the same thing.

I found the book an interesting read and a great history lesson valuable for all Christians to understand. Having been raised in a Christian home that engaged the community, I remember learning as a young man that not every Christian believed it was their duty or even their responsibility to make a difference in the world in which they lived. The terms "cultural mandate" or "worldview" were not frequent or familiar to many Christians in the late `60s or early `70s...but today those terms are becoming more familiar and acceptable to the Christian community. Lindsay does a great job of exploring the progress this movement has made, not examining the movement itself, but its slow climb from obscurity and irrelevance to reasonable and relevant. As one employed in this venture at the secondary school level, I found that Lindsay's research stopped short of examining the issue to this degree and depth as he explored the college campus, but not below. I found the book to be interesting, helpful and encouraging and a worthwhile read especially for anyone seeking to make a difference in the world for the cause of Christ.
 
Balance to Evangelicalism  Mar 21, 2008
This extensively researched book by Lindsay exposes the many misconceptions concerning those who identify themselves as evangelicals in Christian faith. Lindsay explores the range of how faith is lived out daily in places of power and influence not considered by "middle America" evangelicals. This book is an important read for anyone trying to navigate the multiple expressions of evangelicalism in the United States. While much media attention [often stereotyping Christians] has been focused only on "middle American conservatism," Lindsay challenges us to remember that any one subgroup of evangelicalism does not serve as the sole voice of authority on matters of Christian faith in America. Lindsay helps identify that interpretation of scripture and living daily for Christ is understood across a spectrum and not soley defined by any one group, organization, individual, or segment of evangelicalism. "Faith in the Halls of Power" invites us to see evangelicalism in its broadest and diverse expressions, from Falwell to Bono.
 
Research impressive, conclusions weak  Feb 18, 2008
Having been touted in the Wall Street Journal and published by Oxford University Press, Faith in the Halls of Power by D. Michael Lindsay has the potential for broad readership, particularly among secular readers unfamiliar with evangelicalism and gospel themes. Accordingly Lindsay's newest work deserves close scrutiny from those of us in the evangelical community.

Lindsey's book charts the rise of the evangelicals into leadership posts within the halls of government, Hollywood, Wall Street and academia. He rightly assesses (though perhaps somewhat overstates) this rise to prominence in American society as he summarizes hundreds of interviews he personally undertook with many evangelical leaders.

But the book has a glaring weakness: Lindsay's starting point determines his conclusion. Lindsay is in essence a sociologist with a predisposition for the social gospel commenting on the rise of evangelicalism. Is it any wonder then that his recurring critique of prominent evangelicals in their supposed rise is their seeming lack of concern for the less fortunate in society? This reveals a theological bent that Christians should be about as their primary business helping the poor in this world.

What Lindsay fails to understand, or at least convey through his book, is any sort of third dimension to evangelicalism, i.e. the believer's role as an ambassador for Christ in building His Kingdom, which is not an earthly one. It is a glaring oversight of the book, a purpose for believers' lives that must have been brought to his attention by the myriads of credible believers whom he interviewed.

Why is this such an important distinction? Because as the believer seeks first the Lordship of Christ in his or her own heart and the winning of souls into His kingdom, there is and will be a consequential effect on society. Jesus' statement to His followers that "You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13) is a present active indicative in the original Greek, not an imperatival command. As believers grow in Christ likeness, they will affect their world - guaranteed - rather than setting out to effect their world as if that were their primary purpose. In this case, trickle down does in fact trickle.

Rising to power to affect American culture is not the believer's primary cause or purpose. It is and most certainly will be, however, a reflection of their lives. As a non-evangelical, Lindsay doesn't quite get that distinction, leading the secular reader to fear that cultural conquest is on the agenda here - as if that were the sneaky reason evangelicals are rising to join the American elite.

Lindsay's scope of research is impressive, but his conclusions are two dimensional, unfairly and wrongly leading his secular readers to feel quite threatened by conservative Christians.
 

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