Christianity Today (CT) and Relevant Magazine (Relevant) are written for an evangelical audience. Their readers are not always the same though. To overgeneralize, CT is read by evangelicals in their thirties or older while Relevant is intended for twenty-somethings. Their “top books” and “top stories” for 2011 provide an interesting glimpse into these two segments of evangelicalism.

CT divides their books into categories like apologetics/evangelism, Christian living, biblical studies, Christianity and culture, spirituality, history/biography, missions/global affair, the church/pastoral leadership, fiction, and theology/ethics. Relevant has a top ten lis with no categories. I may be finding something that isn’t there, but this seems to align well with the generational difference over how to view the secular-sacred divide. For some evangelicals there is a major difference and for others “all truth is God’s truth”.

CT’s nomination for best theology book was Michael Horton’s tome on Reformed Systematic Theology, The Christian Faith. The highest ranked book of this category for Relevant was Scot McKnight’s King Jesus Gospel. Relevant gave honorable mention to Rob Bell’s Love Wins as well, though it didn’t make their top ten.

When it comes to spirituality and Christian living CT nominated Ravished by Beauty by Belden C. Lane, Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian, and The Colors of Hope by Richard Dahlstrom while Relevant chose Practicing the Way of Jesus by Mark Scandrette who leads an “emergent” style group in San Francisco, CA.

What about biography? CT chose a book on Charles Hodge while Relevant’s was on Steve Jobs.

You can read CT’s article here and Relevant’s here.

As to news stories CT listed their top stories. Subjects include Rob Bell, John Stott, Tim Tebow, the Arab Spring, the church in China, the church in Sudan, abortion, homosexuals being ordained in the PC (USA), Bible translation, and Christian publishing (see the list here). I didn’t see a similar list by Relevant, but their front page currently mentions their article “Is Rob Bell a Universalist” as one of the best of 2011 indicating that Bell grabbed the attention of evangelicals across multiple generations. Some other articles are mentioned as their top choices for this year including one on the need for boring Christians. I assume they will mention  a few more this week, but it seems like their highlights are less about traditional news coverage and more about “relevant” articles (pun intended).

Evangelicalism is different from one generation to the next. These broad generalization are interesting and they say something about the difference between evangelicals of various generations. What do you think? Does the differences between CT and Relevant provide any observations of note?