Authentic Communication: Christian Speech Engaging Culture

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Whether setting about to love our neighbor, to settle a dispute, to share in the suffering of others or to speak up on behalf of the marginalized, we inevitably must engage in communication. And what could be more natural, more human, than communication?

But we all learn quickly enough that good communication is not always natural. There is much to learn from Scripture and from the academic study of human communication. Tim Muehlhoff and Todd Lewis are able guides, aiding us in understanding the broad field of human communication in Christian perspective.

Here they offer readers a vital assessment of the power of words, perspective-taking, persuasion and conflict management—all in an effort to improve our abilities to communicate forgiveness and shape the world we live in for the good. Special attention is focused on the place of Christians as counterpublics—those who offer alternative perspectives to the dominant voices in society.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert H. Woods Jr.
"If you want to wed communication theory with practice in ways that promote authenticity, foster community and serve the needs of others, then this book will challenge you. If you want to respond faithfully to postmodern messages in ways that demonstrate your commitment to biblical truths and respect for others, then this book will serve you and those around you well. In engaging and accessible ways, Muehlhoff and Lewis help readers to think Christianly about communication by illuminating complex communication theories and concepts from biblical perspectives. This book is a reminder that Scripture treats words, and our use of them, very seriously."
Quentin J. Schultze
"Authentic Communication pops with insights and ideas about how we can communicate more faithfully in a world filled with miscommunication. The authors practice what they preach too, courageously using their own lives as stories for us to learn from. I recommend the book highly."
Em Griffin
"In Authentic Communication, Tim Muehlhoff and Todd Lewis perform a valuable service for Christian students of communication by bringing a biblical worldview to bear on key concepts in our field. I'm particularly struck by their chapter-length treatments of perspective-taking, conflict, forgiveness, social justice, postmodernism and the argument culture in which we live."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830828159
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 2/18/2010
  • Series: Christian Worldview Integration Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 219
  • Sales rank: 1,066,961
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Muehlhoff (PD., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication and gender. Tim is the coauthor of The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith and Authentic Communication: Christian Speech Engaging Culture. He and his wife, Noreen, are frequent speakers at FamilyLife Marriage Conferences, and Tim has served with Campus Crusade since 1986. They live in Brea, California, with their three boys.

Tim has written about God, communication and faith in diverse publications such as the Journal of Religion and Communication, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Mars Hill Review and Discipleship Journal.

You can visit Tim's website at

Todd Lewis (Ph.D., Louisiana State) is professor of communication studies at Biola University, where he teaches courses in history and practice of oral interpretation and has coached intercollegiate forensics.

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Table of Contents

Series Preface 7

Acknowledgments 27

Introduction 29

Part 1 Understanding the Components of Communication

1 The Power of Human Communication 37

2 Perspective Taking: Engaging the Views of Others 49

3 Words! Words! Words! We Can Only Imagine 66

4 Persuasion: Spiritual Power or Manipulation and Rhetorical Tricks? 80

Part 2 Applying Communication

5 Before the Sun Sets: Conflict and Christian Unity 101

6 Communicating Forgiveness 118

7 Communicating About and Evaluating the Messages of Popular Culture 131

8 Resident Aliens: Christians as Counterpublics 146

9 Postmodern Times and Christian Counterpublics, Part 1 159

10 Postmodern Times and Christian Counterpublics, Part 2 171

11 Abnormal Communication: A Christian Response to the Argument Culture 181

12 Social Justice: Speaking for the Marginalized 197

Final Thoughts 212

Index 215

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