4 Stars Out Of 5
December 28, 2010
When I asked a group of my pastor friends recently if they had read The Next Christians by Gaby Lyons they said "no, but I heard it's a great book". They heard correctly.
Lyons presents a great case for the end of Christian America. His premise is not earth shattering but his argument is clear and distinct. His articulation of the rationale for its demise places this culturally historic shift not only context but in a framework for a conversation on the end of Christian America. A conversation that beyond the realm of church leadership and academic ideologues is very difficult to engage in.
Two outstanding areas Lyon addresses are first how Christians historic of the last century and current have engaged, disengaged and in many cases ignored culture. His categorization of Christian Culture alone is worth the price of the book.
Secondly optimism oozes from the pages. Optimism of the restores who are moving beyond the pure philanthropy that can be applied devoid of the gospel. An optimism of a group of restores who are dedicated to the often dirty of work of gospel driven counter-cultural living.
A strong critique of Lyons work is that from page one he shows his cards. You can easily see his view point, his criticism of church, the wounds that the church of his upbringing and personal context has inflicted upon him and the direction that he is going to take you over the next several pages. He is well researched in formulating his analysis the pages take you on a journey of getting to his conclusions.
Lyon is able to take what is a difficult issue to address could be discouraging and transforms it into an optimistic battle cry. Not a battle cry to retake the culture but a battle cry for the church to be the church. Living, vibrant, spirit filled and actually engaged in counter-cultural living.
The next Christians is definitely worth the price of admission.