This book was a real Hate-Love relationship for me.Lyons is basically a proponent of the post-Christian era … not that he believes that this is as it should be; rather, he seemingly resigns himself in the concept that this is where the world now is. Certainly, he would be joined by many who would offer a similar opinion.
The book started off on a very negative slant (from my perspective) as it delineated the gradual digression of the church since its birth. In this digression, Lyons affirmed that there is a growing disdain for Christianity and the church.
What I failed to grasp at the initial stages, however, was that Lyons was building a foundation to introduce a counter culture similar to the original intent of Christianity (but from which Christianity has moved throughout the years.)
These “next Christians” as he called them are those who mingle among the world’s elite as well as the world’s down-and-outers.
They are those who are confident in their callings and who often choose to use those callings in their various venues.
In other words, these individuals who Lyons introduces are those who have the gifting to move in any circle but who choose to move among those whom many of us would define. as secular; they choose to ignore the lines between the sacred and the secular.
Perhaps this is all OK, but it sits strange with me.
While I have always stated that we need to allow the sacred to invade and influence the secular, what is see here is a “blurring of the lines” in which one can hardly tell the difference (if there is, in fact, such.)
My critique of The Next Christians: although it was a well-written book with many powerful vignettes of Christians participating in their local “worlds,” I felt there was a call for relevance when I would have preferred to have seen a call for difference.
On a scale of 1-5, I rate this book a 3.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Isaiah 49:2- "I am like a polished arrow in His quiver."
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