His basic thesis is that religious groups engaging and becoming players in the political process has a moderating affect as they face the need to make partnerships with those outside their own particular branch of the faith in order to pursue their political desires successfully. He sees evangelicalism as here to stay in American politics, but not in the Bush/Rove and Religious Right/Christian Coalition incarnation. The shift going on in this presidential election cycle may be paradigmatic and a glimpse of the future. Evangelicals (among Christians more broadly) find themselves supporting multiple candidates and multiple parties according to the way they perceive the Church’s relationship to the state and according to the way they discern how to balance competing values when no one candidate matches their theological ethical convictions regarding the issues.
Here’s an interesting bit of commentary, representing at least one version of how evangelicals are perceived:
American evangelicalism today is flexible, user-friendly, and market-driven. It has its core convictions: that a personal encounter with the risen Christ is necessary for salvation, and that the Greek and Hebrew scriptures offer a wholly trustworthy guide to God’s will for humankind. But given those core convictions, this religious tradition seeks above all to be relevant, to be engaged, to reach sinners regardless of their culture, their ethnic background, or their politics.