The Anointed

The Anointed: evangelical truth in a secular age

Randall J. Stephens
Karl W. Giberson
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    The Anointed
    Book Description:

    Why do so many evangelicals follow leaders with dubious credentials when they have other options in their own faith? Exploring intellectual authority within evangelicalism, the authors reveal how the concept of anointing—being chosen by God to speak for him—established a conservative evangelical leadership isolated from secular arts and sciences.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-06267-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    I disagree with these experts,” said Don McLeroy, the intense, balding chair of the Texas State Board of Education, speaking at a distinctly non-Texan clip. The board was in the middle of a massive revision of the state’s public school social studies and science curriculum. Texas conservatives, many of them evangelicals like McLeroy, had been focusing on three simple words, “strengths and weaknesses,” around which their wagons were now circling in a final act of confrontation. The three words were all that remained after de cades of legal wrangling had steadily pushed the biblical story of Creation from America’s public...

  4. 1 The Answer Man
    (pp. 21-60)

    Highway 20 runs across northern Kentucky and ends in the small river town of Petersburg in Boone County, named for Kentucky’s legendary hero Daniel Boone. The highway cuts through rock formations revealing countless layers of limestone alternating with shale; the stacked patterns are often visible from a car window. The rocks are part of a famous formation called the “Cincinnatian” that contains some of the richest fossil beds in the world.

    Cincinnatian fossils date from a half-billion-year-old geological epoch called the Ordovician, named for the Welsh tribe known as the Ordovices. Major extinctions bracketed the period, which is not unusual;...

  5. 2 The Amateur Christian Historian
    (pp. 61-96)

    In 2006 conservative Virginia congressman J. Randy Forbes voiced concerns about America’s godlessness. “Day by day,” he lamented, “the spiritual foundations of America are being pushed out of our lives.” Some lawmakers had issues with the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and secularists wanted to ban God from public life. Just studying the religion of the Founding Fathers in public schools had become “controversial.” Forbes complained to his constituents that Christianity was under attack and that under the false banner of “tolerance” some Americans were turning the country into a secular wasteland.¹

    The agitated Forbes, well placed...

  6. 3 The Family of God
    (pp. 97-138)

    I’m a psychologist,” James Dobson told Larry King in 2002, as the popular CNN host chatted with the nation’s premier Christian childrearing expert, chief evangelical counselor, and political powerbroker. Dobson headed Focus on the Family, one of the largest Christian organizations in the nation. He wrote books that sold in the millions and hosted one of America’s most popular radio programs. King asked Dobson’s opinion on religious and ethical matters: the end of the world, the nature of Islam, war, the death penalty, and America’s culture of violence. Dobson admitted that he was not a theologian or a minister: “I...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  8. 4 Trust Me, the End Is Near
    (pp. 139-179)

    Ronald Reagan rode a wave of disenchantment to the White House in the 1980 election, cheered on by America’s evangelicals. Though his opponent, Jimmy Carter, was an evangelical, most conservative Christians came to view the Georgia native as a weak, ineffective president who had squandered what little remained of the nation’s prestige. Reagan pledged to restore faith in America and to rekindle patriotism. An ideological conservative who condemned big government and endorsed deregulation, he was also a social conservative reaching out to evangelicals. In 1980 Reagan told voters that legislation reinstituting school prayer would counter the harmful cultural revolutions of...

  9. 5 A Carnival of Christians
    (pp. 180-223)

    Paul Miller, a young man in his twenties, works full time in the admissions department of a liberal arts college on Boston’s North Shore. He has never had a secular friend. Yet Miller did not grow up on a hermetically sealed compound; nor were his parents religious fanatics who, afraid for his soul, kept him cloistered with his siblings behind stacks of end-times pamphlets written by doomsayers. Paul was in no sect that shunned outside influences. His parents held “secular” jobs in a world that Paul simply did not encounter as he was growing up. For Paul Miller, the extended...

  10. 6 Made in America
    (pp. 224-270)

    Three highly visible evangelical leaders—Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Oral Roberts—made names for themselves over the past half-century as irascible, controversial religious celebrities. Ridiculed by comedians, unsympathetically dissected by scholars, and critiqued to the point of excoriation by the media, the three men nonetheless embodied holy boldness, righteousness, and right thinking to millions of stalwarts. They had, in their own words, the “anointing.”

    In 2001 Jerry Falwell proclaimed on national television that the September 11 terrorist attacks were God’s judgment on the country. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), People for the American Way,...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 273-332)
  12. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 333-336)
  13. Index
    (pp. 337-356)