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The Relevant Nation: 50 Activists, Artists, and Innovators who are changing their World through Faith
Editor: Heather Zydek 
Publisher: Relevant Books
Pages: 209
 
The Relevant Nation reads like a modern roll call of faith for those under 40. These men and women are passionate about using their gifts and abilities to serve God and others. 
 
Reading the brief two page summaries is inspiring, convicting and challenging. Itís an encouragement for the rest of us to find our place, if we havenít already, and do what we can to make a difference in this world. 
 
Some of the profiles are done in an interview format; most provide an overview supplemented with quotations from the individual. Key personal information appears in block format at the top of each section. The book is neatly divided into three parts: Activists & Philanthropists, Artists & Thinkers and Innovators & Leaders. 
 
Some of the subjects are better known like Don Miller, Lauren Winner, Dan Haseltine and Derek Webb but many are not. 
 
Many may not realize that the founder of Paste magazine, Josh Jackson, is a committed Christian. Jay Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, is now a Pastor who has been set free by grace. Itís a theme that he shares freely with young people that feel alienated from God and the Church.
 
Social justice is a common theme in the lives of these people. "Christians may have vague ideas and notions that some people might be doing something about injustice somewhere in the world," says Bethany Hoang. "But if you read Scripture, itís abundantly clear that justice is the calling of all who follow Jesusóno matter who you are and where you live. Justice is fundamental to the heartbeat of Godís passion for the world."
 
Scott Derrickson loves to create. For him itís a calling. You might not expect a Christian to be involved with horror films, but he managed, to critical acclaim, to combine horror with courtroom drama in _The Exorcism of Emily Rose_.
 
Donald Millerís desire to be true, to be free from any pretense is even more intriguing than his books being bestsellers. Christianity, he says, "exists outside of coolóitís the sort of thing you come into when youíre done trying to redeem yourself with people."
 
Itís remarkable how consistently these individuals have a desire to be honest and live authentic lives while being faithful to God. Christians who are confused about what they should be doing can glean ideas from these pages. These people demonstrate just how far a willingness to learn and simple availability can take someone. They also show the many varied ways that one can serve God in a world of need.
 
Michael Dalton
August 26, 2006
 

 
 
 

 

 
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