Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Next Christians, by Gabe Lyons

If you listen to certain circles of the media you would believe that Christians are fading into the background and young adults are leaving the Christian faith in droves. As pessimistic as that all sounds Gabe Lyons has written a book that is full of research and interviews that might surprise you.

In “The Next Christians,” Gabe Lyons summarizes research, interviews, and studies to make the case that the next Christians are not necessarily leaving their faith but they want something different. Right off the bat, in chapter one he tells a story of when he met the great Billy Graham and even he said, “Back when we did these big crusades in football stadiums and arenas, the Holy Spirit was really moving—and people were coming to Christ…But today, I sense something different is happening…They are demonstrating God’s love to those around them, not just with words, but in deed.”

Lyons does an excellent job of stating the facts but also remaining optimistic about Christianity’s future. His book is separated into three parts: The World is Changing, The Restorers, and A New Era. The first part seems to be mainly statistics, but the second and third parts seem to be the meat of the book. They explain what is making this new generation different. Not only do they want to learn about the faith and theology but they want to actively participate and “get their hands dirty,” helping other people groups.

Finally, in the last chapter, Lyons ends by optimistically saying, “Ready for tomorrow’s challenges, they turn toward the twenty-first century horizon with grace in their hands and the Gospel as their calling. They are restoring confidence in their faith and turning “Christian” into a label worthy of the one who has called them to restore.”

Reading this book should make you want to join them. Help your local college ministry by choosing to disciple, mentor, and walk alongside these the next Christians.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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