4 Stars Out Of 5
Six distinctives are on target.
February 15, 2011
The emerging generation of Christ-followers value, to borrow a phrase, high touch. According to Gabe Lyons, twenty-first century believers are committed to taking a hands-on approach to "restoring" all of God's creation, not just humanity, back to the Creator's original plan.
In this sequel to his best-selling book UnChristian, in which he outlined how Western Christianity is diminishing in influence, Lyons describes six characteristics of The Next Christians, the new generation of Christians who "see themselves on a mission, partnering with God to breathe justice and mercy and peace and compassion and generosity into the world." The heart of the book is a fleshing-out of the six distinctives with real life stories.
It's not that we haven't heard this message before (the lampooning of crusade and Evangelism Explosion-style outreach, and word-without-deed Christianity is hardly prophetic), but Lyons is a fresh and authoritative voice. The vision of Ã¢â¬Ëthe next Christians' sounds strikingly like that of the Jesus People in the Ã¢â¬Ë70s, and even the reformers before them who launched missions agencies and built schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Ã¢â¬ËThe good news about the end of Christian America' is that a new generation of Christians is re-dreaming the dream _ and putting hands and feet to seeing it realized.
Readers looking for some hope in impacting the culture with the Gospel will be encouraged by the vision presented by Lyons in this well-written and researched analysis.
(I was provided with a reviewer's copy of The Next Christian by WaterBrook Multnomah Books.)