Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review "The Next Christians"

First, let me start off by saying that I'm really excited to get back into blogging, if for no other reason than to just share with you all some of the books I'm finally able to read now since I finished my master's degree program. Recently, I just finished reading another book the other day called "The Next Christians" by Gabe Lyons. I have to say that this book was able to put into words much of what my desires for the church today are. It's also really helped me develop a a way of analyzing churches and how effective they are at meeting the mission that Christ as given us. What Lyons does in this book is outline why the 'end of Christian America' is actually a good thing, and how the 'Next Christians' are utilizing this change to change how the greater culture views the church as a whole. One of the underlying values of the "Next Christians" is 'restoration.' This is key because EVERYTHING that the "Next Christians" believe, think, and do stems from this value! The basis for this value comes from embracing the 'entirety' of our story than rather just the end as many Christians today have the tendency of doing. What this means, is that the "Next Christians" believe in the importance of 'restoring' here on earth rather than just waiting and relying on Jesus' return and life after this. They believe that Jesus didn't die for us just to be 'saved' and then do nothing, but rather we were saved and then expected to join in God's current mission of restoration in the here and now! Obviously, for anyone who knows me, this really resonates with me! After establishing who the 'Next Christians' are, he spends chapters discussing the qualities/characteristics that they see as important and that differ from the previous generation(s) of the church. These qualities included:

  • Provoked, Not Offended
  • Creators, Not Critics
  • Called, Not Employed
  • Grounded, Not Distracted
  • In Community, Not Alone
  • Countercultural, Not "Relevant"
Lyons ends his book by discussing how throughout history, there has been big 'shifts' in Christianity that have occurred every 500 years. If this trend continues, then the next big "shift" is at the door step, and Lyons argues that the "Next Christians" are the ones who are going to usher it in with excitement and purpose.

I would encourage you all to read this book if you want to read something that deals with the Church and culture. There could be parts of Lyon's personal convictions that I know some people might find difficult or hard to accept, but what's obvious is Lyon's heart for the Church as a whole to reverse the current perception that our culture has of the Church (which is what the book 'Unchristian' deals with), and bring the restoration to the world. Well I guess that's all I have to say about this book for a short review. Until next time! =)