Review – The Next Christians

Gabe Lyons is one of the cofounders of the national conference “Catalyst” and the co-author of the Christian bestseller unChristian. He has become something of a spokesperson for the post-emerging evangelicals that he calls The Next Christians in the book of the same name.

I am not sure what I expected from Lyons’ book. For one thing, I had no idea who he was – which reveals just how out of touch I have become, although the jury is still out on whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose that I expected something along the lines of an evangelical attempt at being Brian McLaren.

Lyons delivers a varied narrative of the lives and ministries of a number of young evangelicals who have chosen to transform the world through compassion and through recognizing that God has placed them where they are for a reason. Where are they? In drug houses, in Hollywood, in distinctly “unChristian” settings.

And if you don’t see that right away, just wait until the next chapter because he will remind you – time and time again.

In all seriousness, Lyons does overdo things a bit. The Next Christians is a parade of stories too similar for me to differentiate, and I found myself getting confused as to whom he was referring to at any one time. In my opinion, a slightly closer and more disciplined editing would have made this book a much better work.

Don’t approach The Next Christians as if it will necessarily present you with a lot of new information. It is far from the best introduction to the theme of the younger evangelicals (Robert Webber’s book The Younger Evangelicals does a much better job at that), but it is a good collection of stories worth telling if for no other reason than I think they foreshadow good things to come for the Church at large.

I received a free copy of The Next Christians from Waterbrook Multnomah and was not compensated in any way for this review.

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