Thinking Out Loud

December 11, 2008

Top Christian Newsmakers of 2008: Charisma Magazine’s List

Once again, editor J. Lee Grady and Charisma magazine have chosen their top 12 newsmakers for the year.   Not surprisingly, there are a few names here that may not be recognized outside the charismatic world, but it makes an interesting springboard for discussion.   You can read the list in its original context here.  Here’s the short version with a few comments of my own on the top ten (but be sure to read the original, also):

1.  The Martyrs of India – Religious violence in this country shows no signs of slowing down.

2.  African American Pastors – Chosen for their pivotal role in the outcome of the U.S. election (again, the significance on a world scale is lost here, as with other instances where the American Christian media can’t see past its own border.)

3.  Sarah Palin – Possibly America’s first  political Pentecostal at the executive branch level raised some key issues, but also provided late night talk shows with lots of laughs.

4.  Alex and Stephen Kendrick – The filmakers from Sherwood Baptist Church responsible for this year’s Fireproof movie as well as Facing The Giants.   (A great film, but the credits tell the film’s own story which is just as interesting.)

5.  William P. Young – The author of The Shack caused many heated discussions right here on the internet, and a million other places, too.  Probably got more people thinking theologically who had never done so much before.   But remember folks, it’s fiction.   Fiction.   Fiction.

6.  Bob Fu – Outspoken critic of China’s human rights abuses who Lee Grady says was a “voice in the wilderness” during all the Olympic glitz; Fu met with U.S. president Bush before the games began.

7.  Jim Garlow – California minister behind that state’s Proposition 8; injecting a traditional definition of marriage into the state consitution.   Google the phrase “Prop 8” to see how huge this issue was and is.

8.  Irene Gleeson – Didn’t know this story, though presumably Charisma readers did.   An Australian grandmother who started a school for orphans in northern Uganda which became the basis for a movie, Cinderella’s Children.

9.  Doug Stringer – His organization, Somebody Cares, played a key role after Hurricane Katrina and again this year after Hurricane Ike.

10.  Joe Stockstill – Youth evangelist sees about 100 kids come to Christ each week through a cell-based ministry.

So now then, what do you think of the list; the placement on the list; and who do you think ought to have been added??

1 Comment »

  1. I agree more the list produced by Christianity Today. However, as you mentioned, it must be considered that Charisma is focused more on the world of Charismatic/Pentecostal spirituality.

    Interestingly, the Todd Bentley saga made number nine on the CT list, while coming in number 12 on Grady’s list.

    The Christianity Today Top News Stories of 2008 article can be read at

    Comment by Jon Rising — December 11, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

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