Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Next Christians: How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith by Gabe Lyons

Publisher: Doubleday Religion

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-0-385-52984-6

List Price: $19.99

It seems as if America is slowly shifting away from its traditional Christian roots. In his book, The Next Christians, Gabe Lyons claims Christian American is indeed changing—but for the better. Younger generations are incorporating their faith into daily life instead of only worshiping in traditional churches. These new Christians embody six characteristics, each of which is dealt with in its own chapter.

  1. provoked, not offend
  2. creators, not critics
  3. called, not employed
  4. grounded, not distracted
  5. in community, not alone
  6. countercultural , not “relevant”

Opposed to these new Christians, are the separatists (insiders, cultural warriors and evangelizers) and cultural (blenders and philanthropists). Well-meaning Christians may find themselves part of these groups. For example, philanthropists view their yearning to help others as their defining mark. Although helping others is an important part of Christianity, philanthropists are doing it only to prove their self-worth.

One of the most impressive and useful sections outlines practices that help Christians remain grounded and not distracted. These include immersing one’s self in scripture instead of entertainment, observing the Sabbath, pursuing deep relationships with others and being postured by prayer. In addition to these, Gabe Lyons makes many other compelling points. Unfortunately, traditional Christians may feel left out, or even offended at times.

Note of Disclosure: "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."