Book Review: The Next Christians

On pages 30 and 31, in response to a conversation Lyons has with a producer from Lionsgate Films he says this:

” … the most profound and unavoidable observation that confronted me as I answered Haley was how significantly Christianity had become divided and incoherent to the average spiritual sojourner. The century-long buildup to this perfect storm had wreaked havoc on the movement of Jesus. Many spiritually curious non-Christians weren’t seeing a clear expression of God’s work through Christians. Instead, they were experiencing splinters of a fractured community laden with dysfunction.”
From this revelation he divides all these “splinters” into three main categories according to how Christians engage the culture today. The first two he labels as Separatist and as Cultural where then he goes about defining the kinds of Christians you might find in these categories using a great deal of the information he discovered when researching his former book unChristian. The third category which he uses nearly the rest of his book to define and discuss he labels Restorers.
This book, I feel, is in line with a growing trend of works seeking to interpret some of the shifts we are seeing in Christianity today. Though many of the thoughts conveyed throughout may be new to some, to many the information and assertions Lyons shares with his readers here is simply added to much that has already surfaced and continues to grow.
I like Lyons’ style as it combines easy to understand, fact-based reasoning with poetic description that one might more easily relate to the novelist.
Considering myself to be more in line with the Restorers category, I found much with which to identify and gain confidence; however, throughout, I wondered what someone in one of the other two categories might gain and feel after reading this book. It seems this book was written with the restorer in mind with less consideration given to the separatist or culturist. Whatever the category, however, I believe that this book would be best in the hands of a seeking non-Christian or early-staged, new believer as they will have a better understanding of Christian engagement in general as they navigate the unclear waters that many of us “old-timers” simply accept with a grain of salt.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.

Comments

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Next Christians”
  1. Steve Finnell says:

    you are invited to follow my blog

  2. Amanda O'Tremba Oster says:

    Steve–Thanks for the invite.

  3. Laura says:

    I agree that Lyons wrote the book with the Restorer in mind. He hopes that more and more Christians will become restorers and seek a genuine change in the world.

    Do you think that's a noble goal? Does America need more Restorers?

    I follow Lyons work at qideas.org. I'm inspired by other Christians who live as agents of change in their communities. I'd encourage you to check it out!

  4. Amanda O'Tremba Oster says:

    Laura–In answer to your question, I do think that becoming a restorer is a noble goal and that not only America, but the world at large, could use more restorers. Thank you for the referral, I will certainly check it out.

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