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.
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," … more