The book looked cool, had a good title, and seemed to be about subject matter I'm interested in. So, after sitting on my Amazon Wish List for a few months, I finally lumped it in with a purchase of some sheets or a shirt or something to get free shipping.
Relevant does well at packaging books. I'm more or less their target audience in terms of demographics (young, Christian, middle-class), but not in terms of theology. Thus, it would be interesting to see how the book presented the material of some of the greatest needs in the world.
The book is divided into nice little chapters ranging from topics like Human Trafficking and Poverty to Clean Water and the Environment. While I'm not an expert on every area of social need, I do take the time to be well informed about a lot of them. The book presents basic facts and stats, so a lot of it I had already heard.
The spin is in motivating Christians to do more, give more and pray more. Each chapter has action steps such as donate, activate, advocate, educate, and pray. I'm most critical of how these steps were fleshed out in each chapter, mainly because I'm making a living at showing people how to make a difference. Thus, when the 'Donate' sidebar in each chapter simply says, "Find a organization that works in this area and give them money," it seems like a lazy way to fill white space. If you don't recommend some organizations and show me what my specific amount will do, then you really haven't helped me.
I was tempted to put the book down when I read the chapter on women's rights. Although the need for gender equity in many parts of the world was highlighted, this was also an anti-abortion chapter. I felt duped. I was tricked into reading about the need for health care in developing countries and then preached at how abortion needs to be outlawed in the US. It was also ironic that the need for gender equity in the evangelical church was ignored.
So, don't buy the book. It's cheap (less than $10), but not worth your time. If you want a free copy, let me know.