The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America

Gabe Lyons, Doubleday Religion, $22.99 (240p) ISBN 9780385529846
Lyons (un Christian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters) garnered attention in 2007 with fresh research quantifying evangelical Christianity's image problem among American youth. His newest book aims to "restore" U.S. evangelicalism by elevating a generation of leaders marked by six traits suitable for a postmodern, pluralistic, post-Christian America. Evangelicals will need to be "provoked, not offended; creators, not critics; called, not employed; grounded, not distracted; in community, not alone; and countercultural, not relevant." Lyons surrounds his argument with engaging personal stories; he also draws on the successful community model of William Wilberforce's Clapham Hill group, the theology of N.T. Wright and Dallas Willard, and—surprisingly—the sociopolitical strategy of gay rights activists to demonstrate where this youthful evangelicalism is rooted and what effective cultural engagement might look like. It's possible to fault Lyons for his almost exclusively male and predominantly white role models. They don't represent future U.S. generations—evangelical or otherwise. However, for those following what church growth expert C. Peter Wagner called the "new apostolic reformation," this is an important book for the shelf. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Religion
Open Ebook - 146 pages - 978-0-307-71618-7
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