Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Fourth Great Awakening

Michael Lindsay's book, Faith in the Halls of Power is an easy and interesting read. It is available from your favorite bookseller. I strongly recommend it.

Michael Lindsay is a member of the sociology faculty at Rice University where he is also the Faculty Associate of Leadership Rice and Assistant Director of the Center on Race, Religion, and Urban Life. He formerly worked at Gallup and wrote two books with George Gallup.
Here is what Oxford Press, the publisher has to say about it.
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 ... 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.

This last sentence is very interesting. For some time I have been involved in developing networks of Seasoned Believers to share and support each other. Over a decade ago Jerry Kirk, Damon Lynch, Michael Dantley and I launched Hope for Cincinnati to bring Seasoned leaders together for mutual support, prayer and care. Ron Peake and I are still sponsoring quarterly gatherings at Kenwood Baptist Church and they are quiet but solid times for growth.

Lindsay's book indicates that the primary force behind the Evangelical Renewal in society comes not from the political or media giants but from leaders in business, industry, education and religion who come together to hear God. Stay tuned for more opportunities for collaboration, networking and mutual support.
According to the Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Fogel we are in the midst of a huge nation changing shift called The Fourth Great Awakening. And, it is being led by Seasoned Leaders from business, media, education and psychology.

Gary Sweeten
Seasoned Leader Coach and Consultant

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