Back in January, TIME Magazine compiled a list of The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America. It was a controversial list in many ways, but I suppose that all depended upon where you were coming from, and what you determined to be influential. The list seemed to weigh heavily on the side of Conservative-Political-Evangelicals, with the usual names making the list.

time again.bmp

Now I see that RELEVANT Magazine has compiled a list of the The 12 People Who Risked It All To Make A Difference. This comes in the issue titled, “The Vision Issue” which I suppose is assuming that these 12 people are visionaries for various reasons. Some people made the list that I would have expected, and some I had never even heard of, while some I wondered why they were on the list.


Compiling lists is a tricky endeavor. No one is ever happy. It reminds me of the sports talk shows I listen to in the car. They can spend hours debating who should be in the Hall of Fame. Which World Series Team is the best ever, and can you really compare different eras. Things like this. Things that are very subjective.

The outcome of a list can depend on things like one’s age, social circle, etc., etc. I’m wondering if I should make my own list right now, since I’m not completely happy with any of the lists I have seen, except for a few names. But making me happy is not the point, nor should it be the point.

But let’s just look at the names that TIME and RELEVANT compiled. Not that this is a fair comparison of course, because they are listing different things. Those who are influential vs. those who risked it all to make a difference. And the reading base of these two magazines probably couldn’t be more different. But I guess that is my point. Maybe we are heading down different paths….that is…maybe Christianity is quite polarized right now, which would be nothing new, but it seems like it is becoming more and more, glaringly apparent. But this is my own wondering….

Here are some names: (and if you are wondering who some of them are, GOOGLE ’em) And the names are not in any order of importance.

Rob Bell
Josh Jackson
Jim Wallis
Jon Foreman
Mike Cina
Kayne West
Sonny Sandoval
Brandon Ebel
Curtis Martin
Barbara Nicolosi
Pete Greig

Rick Warren
James Dobson
Chuck Colson
JI Packer
Mark Noll
Bill Hybels
Billy Graham
Rick Santorum
Jay Sekulow
Michael Gerson
Douglas Coe
David Barton
plus 15 more…

Like I said, this is not a fair comparison, and from a statician or sociologist viewpoint, I would be in error for comparing this data with one another. But the point is not that. The point is the difference in names that come to mind when one thinks of Christianity, and those who make a difference, or are influential, or are visionaries. And I wonder if we were to ask the same groups to compile each other’s list for one another, if we would just not end up with the same group of names. The people who compiled the TIME list would put the same names down for the RELEVANT list and vice-versa.