Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Next Christians

Gabe Lyons (bestselling author of UnChristian) new book, "The Next Christians" is a good read that captures the heart of a new generation of followers of Christ. I think some are in denial in the shift of Christianity for new generation Christians, some are excited to be a part of it, some think that there is no need for another "reformation" of faith, while still yet others wish we would just go away. Lyons proposes (and I agree) that the shift is irreversible.

The message at the heart of this book is that the next Christians are restorers. I couldn't agree more. Here are a few quotes from the book:

".....patterns of historic changes in the Christian faith taking place every 500 years. The first shift took place roughly 500 years after Christ's death when the Roman Empire fell and with it, Constantinian Christianity. 500 years later, the Great Schism of 1054 divided Roman Catholicism and the Orthodox Church. Finally, in 1517 the Reformation gave rise to Protestant Christianity. With history catching it's stride, the movement seems primed for the next iteration of Christian practice."

"Christians who engage the world - like the many stories I've (Lyons) shared and the many more I could have - are consumed by this "the way things ought to be" mind-set. They eat, drink, and breathe restoration. They see injustice and they fight it. When confronted with evil they turn it for good. They are motivated to bring the love of Christ into every broken system they encounter. Instead of being cynical and hopeless, they bring optimism and expectation. For them, the entire world has been flipped on its head. Their focus has moved from self to others; from problems to solutions; from failure to redemption; from brokenness to restoration. They recognize the broken, weak, fallen, and corrupt but can't leave them in that condition - they are moved to change things. The next Christians are offering a new way forward - a way to act, live, and bring others along with them into the new reality of how things ought to be."

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