Many Christians have grave concerns about the moral decline in America. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values from which we draw our moral code and sense of law and justice. Author Gabe Lyons “began to notice that the perceptions my friends and neighbors had about Christians were incredibly negative. In fact, their past experiences with anything labeled Christian had sent them running in the opposite direction”. He further states “I witnessed countless instances when the lives of Christ Followers were incongruent with Jesus’ call to be loving, engaged, sacrificial, unselfish and compassionate contributors to culture.” (1) This disturbed him greatly. The first thing he did was to study and understand the perceptions that young people have about Christians. His study confirmed that the majority of those questioned perceived Christians as judgmental, hypocritical, too political, among other things. In other words the research revealed what happens when Christians act unchristian. The results of this study were published in a book titled “Unchristian”. This book exposed something much bigger – “the Christian faith is quickly losing traction in Western culture”. (1). The results of this research led to the writing of the book “The Next Christians”. This foundation was firm and cast, as in concrete. Our Founding Fathers came to American soil because they sought freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion – something they did not have in the country they came from. There your religion was dictated by the State. In this new country people would be free here at the nation’s inception to practice their religious beliefs without restraints or government interference. Over the past century the foundation has been crumbling and turning into dust. The Ten Commandments have been sorely tested and tried and have even been physically removed from some public buildings. Protestors from other religions claim that Christians are trying to force their belief system on them. As they protest, more and more of our Christian traditions are being challenged and denied to accommodate non-Christians and maintain peace. No longer is it freedom of religion, but judgment on certain religions. It is beginning to look like Christian America could become history. There is hope. Out of the dust is rising a new generation of Christian believers who have a passion to bring true Christianity back to life in a new and exciting way. The Next Christians is a book written by Gabe Lyons that tells the reader how this is happening even at the time this book is being written. Lyons talks about the Jesus of the New Testament, the type of man He was . Unlike the Pharisees of His day, He sought out the dirty, the broken, the lost and the down and out, to bring change to their lives. Good change. Change that would restore them physically, mentally and spiritually. Lyon’s Next Christians have seen the complacency of the world and the attitude of those who do not want to get involved. They see Christians isolating and keeping to themselves, avoiding would-be troublemakers and places where crime and evil are likely to occur. They won’t be seen with people who are of questionable character so as not have their own reputations tainted. The Next Christians are just the opposite. They see the hurt in the world and are, even now, bringing many healing, restoration, and into relationship with God. Grace and mercy over condemnation and judgment. Lyons talks about the people behind the movement of this new breed of Christian. Although there are many groups and personalities who fall into different roles to meet the needs of these lost and hurting, they are of the same mindset and purpose. Restoration. I highly recommend this book. It gives hope to a despairing world. It is filled with some history, stories that will bring tears and smiles, as the possibilities of what can be done are shared when devoted Believers put their minds to it. With trust in God, the world can be restored to what He had originally planned for it. He said it himself: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Jer 32:27). He said it again through Jesus in the New Testament. The disciples were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:25-27) Hope abounds. Read this book. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13:8) We can all have a part in the future of America. We just have to take the first step. It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. The wind of change is in the air. Be on the look out for people in your communities, workplaces, neighborhoods who are more caring, more sensitive, and who are actively involved in making change happen all around you. That is making change for the better.
Quotes: (1) The Next Christians © 2010, page 4 (2) The Next Christian © 2010 page 3 Other quotes: Holy Scripture. To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every review that Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. For example, “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General