12/11: Will the Next Christians Bear Fruit?
My brief political commentary on the new book, The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America, published in The Center for Public Justice's Capital Commentary:
Will the Next Christians Bear Fruit?Xavier Pickett
It is quite possible that the end of Christian America may be, in part, due to the gospel rhetoric of Christian America no longer being able to carry the weight of our political reality. This then points to the ways in which Lyon’s book could impact political discourse in our pluralistic society. Lyon argues, “Unconcerned with outcomes, Christ’s followers must get back to the heart of their faith—recovering, relearning, and rebuilding from the core first, and then out.”
In a complex political climate where issues ranges from Wall Street Reform to the record high poverty figures of 2009 to the “take back my country” Tea Party movement, we should be suspicious of any group of citizens who are “unconcerned with outcomes.” If we as ordinary democratic citizens are to take seriously the Christian vision that Lyon offers, can we really afford to turn our cheek to the outcomes of his vision? Every Christian vision must be held accountable to the type of fruit (or the lack thereof) that it bears.
The fact of being any type of Christian does not guarantee prudent or productive political payoffs for all Americans. What this political moment needs is fewer Christians focusing on settling matters of theological dogma. Instead, our country needs more ordinary (Christian) citizens courageously testing the claims that we all make in public in order to determine whether they bear good fruit.