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The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America Hardcover – October 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religion (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385529848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385529846
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for The Next Christians and Gabe Lyons

“Gabe Lyons leads an important group of younger Christians who are seeking to avoid both the triumphalism as well as the cultural withdrawal of former generations of believers. We all have a long way to go as we think out how Christ relates to culture in our day. As we do so, we would do well to consider many of the significant insights that Gabe offers in this book.”
—Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

The Next Christians is a revolution tightly packaged within a book. As a pastor, it was game changing for me and the people of my church…every person should read it. This is the future!”
—John Ortberg, best-selling author and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

“Gabe Lyons is one of the brightest young Christian leaders I’ve worked with and mentored. I’ve challenged his thinking; he has challenged mine—as he does again with his latest book, The Next Christians. I recommend this book, which will give you great insight into the hopes and aspirations of the next generation of Christian leaders.”
—Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview

“If I had to pick one leader for the next generation for Christians, it would be Gabe Lyons. If I had to pick one chapter from this book, it would be ‘Relearning Restoration.’ If I had to pick one sentence it would be this one: Christ didn’t come only to save us ‘ from something. He wanted to save Christians to something.’ Gabe Lyons gets it: restoration is the vision for the Next Christians, and I’m cheering them on.”
—Scot McKnight, New Testament scholar and author of The Jesus Creed

The Next Christians is the best book you’ll read this year. Filled with stories of hope and grace, it’s a passionate call to join followers of Jesus everywhere in restoring the faith. You can’t afford to miss it!”
—Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine and The Organic God

“At a time when a central challenge to faith is to be both faithful and fresh, Gabe Lyons’s is a voice I always listen to and benefi t from enormously.”
—Os Guinness, cultural historian and author of The Last Christian on Earth

“It seems an impossible task: restore a 2,000-year-old religion so that it no longer rejects, no longer chases, but actually leads a modern, pluralistic culture running at the speed of Twitter. Gabe Lyons offers hope for Christianity’s next one hundred years by profiling the next set of Christians transcending this epic challenge. I found his preview of Christian innovators inspiring post-Christian America persuasive and one of the most encouraging views of Christian faith in recent years.”
—Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Wired magazine

The Next Christians is a must-read for anyone seeking to engage a broken world with the healing power of the Gospel. Provocative, yet massively optimistic, Gabe Lyons’s message challenges the ‘Christianity vs. Culture’ paradigm of the recent past with the hopeful template of ‘Christ as restorer of humanity,’ worked out through a new breed of Jesus followers, who are unashamedly running into the darkness—broken-yet-loved ambassadors for the One who makes all things new.”
—Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church and founder of the Passion Movement

“What Lyons gives us here, in spades and with proof texts, is the good news about the state of the Good News in tomorrow’s America. Those who have despaired that even the label ‘Christian’ might be tarnished beyond credibility, much less affection and influence, will find a thousand reasons to rejoice here. Chock-full of examples and stories, Lyons’s work also is full of brilliant insights and piercing applications of traditional verbiage to new ways of being in this world.”
—Phyllis Tickle, founding religion editor, Publishers Weekly

“We’re in an important time in Christianity. Leaders are considering the Gospel, its implications, and how we might live faithfully in the world we find ourselves. Gabe Lyons is an important voice in that conversation. In The Next Christians, he sets out a vision for Christians making a difference in the world. You should read this book and wrestle with his ideas as we consider together how we might be faithful to the Gospel in today’s world.”
—Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research; coauthor of Transformational Church

The Next Christians is not about rehashing stale debates or reliving the culture wars. It is not about empty ideologies or even about branding a movement—it is about reading the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other and listening to God say, ‘Come change the world with me.’ ”
—Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and recovering sinner

“Gabe Lyons articulates a fresh and inspiring vision for bringing Christian faith forward in the new cultural paradigm of 21st-century America. May this become the predominant expression of Christianity for an up-and-coming generation of ‘next Christians’ and those of us who are counting on them.”
—Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today’s Board of Contributors and author of Onward Christian Athletes

“Gabe Lyons is a contemporary innovator who possesses relevant insight and profound foresight relative to Christ, culture, and the next generation of Christians. This must read book will inspire you and guide you to a new place of purposeful passion!”
—Charles Jenkins, senior pastor, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

“The prophet Isaiah declared that God would do a new thing. In The Next Christians, Gabe Lyons frames the narrative of a new Christian movement emerging in our lifetime. While addressing the challenges before us, Gabe presents the facilitative platform for the followers of Jesus to reconcile righteousness with justice under a canopy of compassion and love. This book will challenge us to embrace change as we welcome a fresh move of God’s Spirit.”
—Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

“The Lord has given a great mind and incredible wisdom to Gabe Lyons to be able to speak with such clarity and such understanding of the times. You will be greatly blessed and will desire to turn the next page, only to come to the end and then wish to pass this book along to a good friend so that others can be as informed as you are.”
—Pastor Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention

More About the Author

Gabe Lyons is author of The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live The Gospel and Restore the World and founder of Q (http://qideas.org), a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. He is also co-author of Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters, a bestselling book based on original research that revealed the pervasiveness of pop culture's negative perceptions of Christians. As a respected voice for a new generation of Christians, he has been interviewed by CNN, The New York Times, Newsweek, Fox News, USA Today, and countless other media outlets.

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Customer Reviews

So, this is one of the few books that I've read that I completely agreed with, but didn't like very much.
Contemplative Life
They seek to demonstrate God's love in real and tangible ways believing that where Christians restore, people get saved.
D. Acker
The ways Lyons argues that the next Christians should interact with their culture seems to make Christianity irrelevant.
Joel Walkley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Christian school teacher, priest, and professor of Religious Studies, I eagerly awaited my copy of `The Next Christians' and immediately set to devouring it. I was hoping for reasons to believe that the next generation of Christians in America will restore faith in God, or at least that, as promised, there is good news about the end of Christian America. However, both of these promised hopes were disappointed by Lyons' book.

Let me begin with why I think the book has much value, in spite of my ultimate disappointment in it. Gabe Lyons has, in most cases, done a good job of diagnosing some of the problems with contemporary American Christianity. He's right to discern that Christians who are merely what he calls "Insiders," "Culture Warriors," "Evangelizers," "Blenders," and "Philanthropists" have not always been good representatives of Jesus Christ. Lyons has also correctly diagnosed the fact that the American culture has changed profoundly in recent decades and that many Christians have not adapted well to these changes.

Lastly, he presents a lot of good tools for understanding different kinds of Christians (including the typology of 5 kinds of Christians above). 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.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
American Christians live in a transitional age. Christian America is dead. American society is increasingly pluralistic, postmodern, and post-Christian. How should American Christians respond to this new cultural reality?

In The Next Christians, Gabe Lyons sets out to answer this question. He depicts two broad types of Christians interacting with culture: separatist Christians and cultural Christians. Then he proposes a better type: restorers. "I call them restorers," he writes, "because they envision the world as it was meant to be and they work toward that vision."

Lyons roots the work of restoration in the biblical narrative. "God's story is made up of four key parts: creation, fall, redemption, restoration (and ultimately consummation)." Historically, in the 18th and 19th centuries, evangelicals kept these four parts together, emphasizing both social reform (creation, restoration) and evangelism (fall, redemption). In the 20th Century, however, their fundamentalist heirs separated evangelism and social reform, emphasizing only the former. This led to an imbalanced spirituality. "The truncated Gospel that is often recounted is faithful to the fall and redemption pieces of the story, but largely ignores the creation and restoration components." The next Christians rejoin evangelism and social reform. "These missing elements [i.e., creation and restoration] are at the heart of what a new generation of Christians are relearning, and subsequently, retelling."

The heart of The Next Christians outlines six characteristics of the way restorers interact with culture.
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94 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Henning on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was given a complimentary copy of The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. When I read all the praise for the author on the back dust cover I felt encouraged that I had made a good choice when selecting this book. Shortly into the book I was no longer encouraged. In fact, I had a hard time controlling my anger. Frankly, I prayed before writing this review so I could elucidate in a creditable way why I dislike this book so much.

First, a synopsis: Lyons is asked to go to Hollywood to give a movie producer demographic information in order to better market her product for Christians. (Not because she's a Christian but because she is impressed by the cash cow Mel Gibson's "The Passion" had become). Instead what she got was a dissertation of the different categories of people who consider themselves Christians and why they're all wrong. He then proceeds to tell her -and spends the rest of the book telling us -who the "right Christians" are.

First of all, if you're heavily involved in your church, church activities, have your kids on the church basketball team and ESPECIALLY if you homeschool, you are a "Separatist Christian". Gabe informs us that these Christians want nothing to do with nonbelievers and hide inside their self made world that only involves fellow Christians. The are always offended and angry at nonbelievers and show it by voting against gay marriage and abortion. They give Christianity a bad image and are responsible for people not becoming saved.

"Their motivation for retreating and separating from the broader culture can be attributed to a longing for purity, integrity, and holiness in life.
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