The Next Christians
Gabe Lyons has concluded that Christian America is dead. His book, The Next Christians, describes the realities of a changing world and the future of Christianity as a restorative movement. Gabe argues that there is a generation of young Christ followers who are introducing a movement, “on par with the Protestant Reformation (p. 189).” This reformation is marked by a series of six generalities anchored in the Gospel and engaged in culture. These six traits of the next Christians are a result of relearning the story of God and His desire to restore mankind. The Next Christians is a well organized and thoughtful reflection on the condition and future condition of the American Church. In his sophomore publication, Gabe Lyons offers a solution to the problems illustrated in his first book, unChristian. The opening portion of The Next Christians revisits some familiar themes which illustrate the cultural irrelevance of the American Church. Gabe introduces the concept of the Christian ghetto and how isolated bodies fail to restore their surrounding communities. All hope is not lost! Lyons urges Christians to become creative, called, grounded, countercultural, and community based provocateurs. These acts of restoration are driven by the good news of Christ and serve to chance culture instead of withdraw from it. The Church is challenged to engage their communities and adopt a long term vision for evangelism. Only then, Lyons argues, can the next Christians emerge.
This is a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in understanding past, present and future trends of the Church. Gabe’s conclusions surpass superficial remedies and aim to correct gross errors of popular church culture. The Next Christians will grab you from the first chapter and prove itself as a thoughtful and constructive criticism of the church. Just remember to keep one thing in mind: the church is you.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their Blogging for Books program.