Monday, October 25, 2010

The Next Christians

The Next Christians: the Good News about the end of Christian America, by Gabe Lyons (author of Un-Christian)

From a review by Scott Wenig:
Lyons sincerely believes that the church is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation, not unlike the era of the Reformation. But to seize the day he offers a word to the wise: the next Christians must emphasize the whole Gospel and stay committed to keeping it first. Our ongoing temptation is to get sidetracked by secondary issues such as theories of cultural engagement, methodologies of outreach, models of doing church and even environmental stewardship. These are not unimportant but they must be subsumed under the larger and more potent agenda of living out the Gospel by the power of the Spirit. As Lyons so astutely notes, ‘where Christians restore, people get saved.’ (p. 193).

From a review by Charles Erlandson:
[Lyons] presents a lot of good tools for understanding different kinds of Christians...Another excellent analysis he presents is the 7 channels of cultural influence employed by the gay movement very successfully. These 7 channels are: Media, Education, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Government, Social Sector, and Church. Unfortunately, Christians have not acted very much like light in these 7 spheres. Because Christians who want to "restore" the world, instead of blending with it or retreating from it, will often be tempted to become like it. Lyons wisely lists 5 practices that will discipline "Next Christians" in their quest to engage and restore the world:

1. Immersed in Scripture (Instead of Entertainment)
2. Observing the Sabbath (Instead of Being Productive)
3. Fasting for Simplicity (Instead of Consuming)
4. Choosing Embodiment (Instead of Being Divided)
5. Postured by Prayer (Instead of Power)

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