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The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live…
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The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live the Gospel and Restore the…

by Gabe Lyons

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I usually avoid books like this or if I read them I don't like them. The reason is that they often make a caricature of 'old forms' of trying to live faithfully to the gospel and posit that everything good that is happening with Christians and culture are the result of new trends (often with a 'generational component' attached). And yes, Gabe Lyon is pretty well guilty of dismissing old school Christians who are either separatists or indistinguishable from the wider culture. The new movement, he sees, is restoration and identifies a ground swell with a whole new way of interacting with culture. Thankfully he doesn't repeat the tired pop-sociological analysis where he argues that millennials are somehow less fallen than the previous generations (despite the cover's tagline: "How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith").

As a whole I really liked this book because I resonate with the trends he describes. Is he always fair in describing 'seperatist' Christians or 'cultural blenders'? Probably not, but by trying to shine a light on a third way Christians are navigating culture, he ends up having some good things to say.

According to Lyons, the Restorers are:

Provoked, not offended,
Creators, not critics,
Called, not employed,
Grounded, not distracted,
In community, not alone
and counter-cultural, not "relevant."

In terms of analysis of the wider Christian culture, I don't think that this book is very insightful. But I enjoyed how Lyons shone a light on some of the 'new' ways he sees how people are trying to live lives faithful to Christ within our culture. I do think that some of the 'trends' are over stated and not as new as he said, or as widespread. In any age, it is easy to point at the innovators. But by all means, point me to the innovators. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
I have read several books on vocation and this is a very good one. It talks about aggressively and proactively putting faith to work, looking to infuse the world around us with beauty, grace, justice and love. It is about envisioning the world as God meant it to be and working toward that vision, working through the careers where we have been placed and being generous with time and possessions. It is about thoughtfully engaging the world with respect and love, while being optimistic that God is on the move, doing something unique in our time and letting us be part of it. It is about faith activity not being restricted to "religious" activities - just an hour a week - but faith that carries over into every day of the week and each aspect of career, relationship and social life. It is about seeing God working and benefiting lives now, through us, and not just in the afterlife and looking for oportunities the Holy Spirit brings our way today. It is about churches and Christians engaging and changing their communities today and, frankly, it is scratching exactly where I am itching. ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
NCLA Review: Recent books contend that modern Christianity has gotten snarled up in doctrine and law, missing Jesus’ basic message of loving. If that depresses you, read this one for a shot of encouragement. Gabe Lyons is co-author of Unchristian, one of the books that attempts to explain why Christians are held in such low esteem in today’s North America. Lyons here suggests ways to offset the negative image of Christians and their churches. He packs the pages with examples of exemplary Christians whose lives illustrate the way Jesus calls us to live and love. These people, he has labeled “next Christians,” are expanding the Kingdom of God on earth by “rediscovering the Gospel” and becoming “a force for restoration in a broken world even as [they] proclaim the Christian Gospel.” The “next Christians” reject an “us vs. them” mentality, choose communication over judgment, affirm good wherever it comes from—and make a difference. Rating: 4 —DKW ( )
  ncla | Jul 31, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385529856, Paperback)

“I recommend The Next Christians, which will give you great insight into the hopes and aspirations of the next generation…."
Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship
 
“Provocative, yet massively optimistic!”
Louie Giglio, pastor and founder of the Passion Movement
 
 Gabe Lyons is optimistic that Christianity’s best days are yet to come. His best-selling book, UnChristian, revealed the pervasiveness of culture’s growing disregard for Christians. Now, in The Next Christians, Lyons shows how a new wave of believers are turning the tide by bringing the truth of the Gospel to bear on our changing, secular society.

“Restorers,” as Lyons calls them, approach culture with a different mentality than generations past. Informed by truth, yet seasoned with grace and love, these believers engage the world by drawing it to the sensibility and authenticity of the Christian life.   
 
You can be one of these “next” Christians and change the negative perception of Christianity by living a life that is faithful to the Gospel, yet credible and coherent to your friends and neighbors.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:17 -0400)

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