I devoured Gabe Lyons' book, The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live the Gospel and Restore the World in two days. An engaging text that describes an appealing, wholehearted approach to faith and mission. Lyons describes what I believe about how Christians should engage culture.
Instead of hunkering down in holy huddles, shaking fists in the fight for faith, or weak capitulation to culture, Lyons advocates another way -- the way modeled by Jesus -- bringing transformation through authenticity, understanding, integrity and love.
The "Next Christians", as Lyons calls them, follow the Restoration path rather than Separatist (via fighting or fleeing) or Cultural (via capitulation or appeasement) Christianity. This rising generation of believers brings a refreshing perspective. While expressing their faith in genuine, practical ways, they are willing to face the world head-on, filled with compassion, and courageous enough to step into the darkest situations to make a difference.
This refreshing brand of Christianity is marked by being:
1) Provoked, not offended. 2) Creators, not critics. 3) Called, not employed. 4) Grounded, not distracted. 5) In Community, not alone. 6) Civil, not divisive. 7) Countercultural, not "relevant."
Lyons unpacks each of these points clearly and compellingly.
My prayer, after reading this book, is "Lord, please help me to live and lead in such a way that I can raise up more Christians like this."