It’s an election year, in case you’ve missed it, and that means more discussion about the relationship of religion and politics. In Faith in the Halls of Power (Oxford Univ Press), D. Michael Lindsay draws on extensive interviews to survey how evangelicals have moved from the edge of American culture to take up leadership roles in politics, on Wall Street, and even in Hollywood. It’s a fascinating and illuminating read.

Lindsay, a sociologist at Rice University, previously worked with pollster George Gallup Jr., and looks at the rise of evangelical Christian influence in American political, intellectual, cultural, and economic life. Based on interviews with public 360 leaders the author demonstrates evangelicals have moved into positions of great influence during the past two decades. Lindsay’s sympathetic understanding of evangelicalism as reformational is combined with his understanding that evangelicalism has  accommodated the public life it seeks to reform, a tension he calls “elastic orthodoxy.”

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