Essential Read

I’ve just started reading Gabe Lyons new book The Next Christians.  So far it seems he presents a well researched and accurate assessment of Christianity in the context of our American culture.  While there is some bad news, there is a lot of good news and inspired optimism.  But if Christianity hopes to effectively re-engage and impact our culture, we have to hear the truth about ourselves.  That is not always easy.

“Young people outside the faith perceive Christians as antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, and proselytizing.  While Christians have been busy defining themselves against one another, the broader culture looks on with disdain.  Turned off largely by their own experiences with the church and inauthentic Christians they’ve known, many are rejecting organized religion altogether.  To many onlookers, Christianity has become a parody of itself.”

                                                                               -Gabe Lyons

More comments to follow….

2 Responses to “Essential Read”

  1. 1 Larry Eisner
    November 13, 2010 at 6:22 am

    I’m currently in the middle of UnChristian, which is a cooperative effort between Lyons and Kinneman, and while I’m only halfway through, currently, this seems the perfect follow-up book, based on their findings and musings presented therein.

    I’m assuming you’ve read it, but if not, it’s really awesome and very interesting. Good, hard statistical evidence of how the church is failing, and opinion with a solid basis as to how the church should best proceed if we’re to continue bringing people to the throne of grace (instead of bringing them to our personal throne, which is what is killing Christianity in such a widespread manner right now…)

  2. 2 Dan
    November 16, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I think one of the issues the church has is the need to overcome the negative image portrayed by the media. We tend to hear about the extreme negative actions by a few churches and not the typical good that occurs in most churches.
    When a church with a few dozen members threatens to burn the Koran or marches around with hate filled signs, it becomes international news covered by all forms of media for days on end. On the other hand, when a church with a thousand members donates a hundred thousand dollars to build wells in third world countries, impacting thousands of lives for decades to come, it is rarely known to those outside of that church building. Which of these actions represents the majority Christians?
    It seems to me that churches today are far more active in rolling up their sleeves and serving the poor through mission trips, service projects, opening their buildings up for community needs, food drives and other tangible ways then they had in the past, yet church attendance is declining?
    Maybe our tendency to quietly and humbly serve others is the appropriate way to serve Christ, but at times it makes me wonder if it creates an inaccurate perception for those outside of the church.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
November 2010
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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