The Next Christians: The Good News about the End of Christian America By Gabe Lyons

12 Dec

I got this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group to review and was excited because it was the first with this company. I have posted this on the Amazon review that i wrote for this book as well. In this post i will cover more thoughts on this book.

I Thessalonians 5:21

Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.

The Next Christians that are described in this book as "restorers" are nothing new to society. The description gave is a "Christian" with no backbone, and let's the world dictate how they are to interact with this world. They also sound like a buffet believer, picking just what they want out of scripture. Before i get to far into this, and probably forget i would like to get this one out. On page 95 he mentions "the most good for all people" I had another man mention that in a talk he was giving and i asked him, who decides what "good" is?  I think his "good" and Gods' "good" would be quite different.

Anyway another area that i thought was comical was on page 41 he talks about churches that accommodate their congregations need to fit in, he calls these people "blenders". From the book

"Over the last decade, several churches - even evangelical ones - have responded to this "blender" mentality by accommodating their congregation's need to fit in." "...On the surface, this seems to be admirable. They place emphasis on providing a comfortable environment where all are welcome. When they do, spiritual seekers and blenders feel right at home. Complete with a Starbucks-style coffee shop, Disney-like children's programming, and a worship experience that rivals a Coldplay concert, weekend services attempt to emulate the cultural competition."

I can agree with this, there is a church i have heard about in one of the towns by where i live that passes out ear plugs before the service because the music is so loud. I thought that was a big joke. So with this i can agree with Lyons, churches have gotten out of hand with the way they present the gospel. Now the funny part for me comes some pages  later (136) where Mr. Lyons says that "The Message, is one of the Bibles that is popular with this new group of "restorers". Also the Biblica institutes "Books of the Bible" removes chapter and verse, saying "...before King James came along and made it a perceived requirement."

Sir i ask you do you study before you write on a topic, who is teaching you these things? Let's see what some other sources say, shall we? Dear reader remember the King James Version was started in 1605 and completed in 1611. In Josh McDowell's book The New Evidence that demands a verdict 1999 on page 20. We can read about the chapter and verse divisions "...after the Protestant Reformation, the Hebrew Bible for the most part followed the same chapter divisions as the Protestant Old Testament. These divisions were first placed in the margins in 1330." And the New Testament  he writes "Stephen Langton, a professor at the University of Paris and afterward Archbishop of Canterbury, divided the Bible into the modern chapter divisions (about 1227).

So there we have chapters and now how about verses?

Still quoting from Josh McDowell's book, "In the Old Testament, the first verse indicators "were merely spaces between words, as the words were run together continuously through a given book ...It was not until about A.D 900 that the markings were standardized." As for the New Testament he writes "Verse markings similar to what we have in our modern Bibles did not appear in the New Testament until the middle of the sixteenth century. They actually followed the development of chapters, "apparently in an effort to further facilitate cross-references and make public reading easier."" "...In 1555, Stephanus introduced his verse divisions into the Latin Vulgate edition, from which they have continued to the present day."

Also you can read more about his on website. I know some people would not want to go purchase a book, however i do recommend Josh McDowell's book.

So why do i say all this. The reason is because this book is more evidence of the undisciplined "Christians" that are walking about. Not building on the Christian history, but ignoring it. Not growing from what was learned centuries ago, but going on blindly thinking they know what's best. Many don't take II Timothy 2:15 seriously "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Many of them cannot because the book they read labelled "Bible" doesn't read that any more.  Maybe one of the reasons for taking the chapter/verse out of the Bible is to better hide the fact that some remove scriptures.

One last thing, why talk about Churches trying to be relevant, and then recommend a corrupt Bible that does the same thing? Like i asked before who decides "good"?

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