Are you tired of hearing Generation X-ers and Generation Y-ers described as disaffected, apathetic, and materialistic? Then you may want to look at The Relevant Nation, edited by Heather Zydek. The book describes fifty influential Christian young people from various ethnic backgrounds, races, religious affiliations, and countries who have committed themselves to changing the world for the better.
Zydek has divided the book into three sections: activists and philanthropists, artists and thinkers, and innovators and leaders. The authors interview the activists who range from popular singers committed to stopping AIDS in Africa, to a metalsmith who spreads her faith in the jewelry she creates, to a Zambian pastor dedicated to reaching the youth of his nation through radio, to a woman involved in the fight for religious freedom worldwide. Some of these people have started organizations to spread their concerns; others influence by example or teaching or the work they do.
Each chapter covers an individual or a pair who work together. The chapter opens with a full-page photograph, then some personal information. In most cases, the authors interview the individuals. Most chapters carry a quotation by someone influential to the person covered or influenced by them. Some chapters include brief descriptions of organizations they have started or work with, such as International Justice Mission, 24-7 Prayer, or Blood:Water Mission. The individuals and organizations vary in mission, denomination, and political leanings. Most chapters include websites for the individual or organization.
A sample of causes and concerns that these activists prove passionate about include: racial reconciliation; religious persecution; weight issues; clean water in Africa; homelessness; Christian community; women trapped in prostitution; and children forced to become child soldiers.
Some of the information and attitudes are refreshing and exciting; some are troubling. Several describe a disaffection with the established church. While some are deeply committed to the Word, others express attitudes that suggest they are not so well grounded, even though they have great intentions. A few of the chapters carry quotations identifying people who oppose all rock music as "xenophobic," or denigrating living up to people's expectations, and rejecting the "shackles of man-made religion."
Readers dealing with youth may find this book especially interesting to gain an understanding of today's young people and younger adults and to discover how these individuals developed their passions to serve God. This book may also lead older leaders to take a look at themselves for fresh personal perspective. Young people may be encouraged to launch out in faith after seeing what others are doing.
Purchase of the book includes a free one-half year subscription to Relevant Magazine. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
READY TO IMPACT THE WORLD?
The Relevant Nation tells the stories of 50 visionaries under the age of 40 who are living influential, active and passionate lives grown out of their Christian faith. In a series of conversational profiles, the book examines innovators from the worlds of art and entertainment, science and technology, business and social justice. The stories will inspire you to take risks, serve others with greater passion and embrace an influential and fulfilling life.