Monday, January 3, 2011

"Next Christians" by Gabe Lyons

The Next Christians: The Good News about the End of Christian AmericaSnack of choice:
It was Christmas time, so LOTS of sweet and gloriously tasting treats along with the mug of hot cocoa... or two.

Story behind the story:
I think I'm going to be in trouble with a couple publishing agencies. I've had their books for a while, but I gotta say, it's mostly because they lacked an interesting selection. I picked what I picked and it was... to say the least... not fantastic. So I signed up with another publisher to send me another free book :) Is the book mafia going to come and get their books back with interest? We shall see, but for now, this QUALITY book has been provided to me by the good folks of … I CAN'T REMEMBER... [pardon the awkward silence. I had to go look it up] WaterBrook Multnomah and the Blogging for Books program. And of course they aren't making me write a glowing review in order for the loot.

Story Line:
Claims of Christianity are on a decline. Seriously, there are “less” people who are claiming to be Christian in America than in previous generations. Now, if this was a true reflection of the change that takes place in the heart, I'm not sure what else you could claim to be...none the less. There is a new “breed” of Christians – the next Christians. These are different from the Separatists and the Cultural Christians. This new generation is unique in their perspective. They aren't touting religion in the aggressive, anti-people perspective of ages past. No, these are Christians on the front lines of cultural change in the most “everyday” [you should hear the stories] jobs and relationships. Bottom line, though, is that faith without works is dead. Sound familiar?

The Real Story:
I was impressed right away with the great writing style of the author who brought the best selling ”unChristian.” He's thoughtful and thought provoking. He caught me off guard with his great use of language and imagery. He grabbed me with his understanding of the Separatist Christians that I can clearly see with my mind and most identify with. In fact, I gained respect for him as he exposes the harm that we do to the cause of Christ when we adopt the “us vs. them” mentality. He didn't mention it in the book, but he made me think of the “Keep Christ in Christmas” mantra heard every year at Christmas. Obviously, I'm a big believer in giving Christ His rightful place on His birthday, but I say, don't try to convince unbelievers with your relentless signs, convince them by actually displaying Christ in your life! The angry thing -- doesn't show Christ face to the world. He doesn't dwell on these ideas for too long, but moves on to what the “Next Christian” is. I'll let you read that for yourself (or just look at the chapter titles)

Great insights about getting outside the walls of our church and reaching out to others in our daily lives... not just when we're “on the clock.” He makes sure that we realize, however, the importance of what the church is and does. My favorite quote in the whole book:

"The church remains the epicenter of what is possible. It is the most uniquely positioned    channel of cultural influence when it is operating on all cylinders. No other institution regularly convenes people who work within the other six channels [Media, Education, Arts/Entertainment, Business, Government, Social Sector] of culture on a weekly basis. On any given Sunday in the church, leaders from all seven channels join together to pray, worship, learn, and socialize in one place. Then they are sent out, dispersed to support one another and to work within the sphere of society God has gifted and called them to in order to carry out his restoration work" (121).

Check out:

Book of James (the faith without works one)

5 out of 5 Crazy Christians.

Please rank this review: click here
120 x 60

1 comment:

  1. Chris, thanks for sharing your book review. You are an inspiration. I learn something new from every one of your blogs.

    The quotation from the book was especially enlightening.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jeff LeMaster