Authentic Communication: Christian Speech Engaging Culture, By Tim Muehlhoff and Todd Lewis
Authentic Communication
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: February 18, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2815
  • ISBN: 9780830828159

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Part of the Christian Worldview Integration Series

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.

The Christian Worldview Integration Series, edited by J. P. Moreland and Francis J. Beckwith, seeks to promote a robust personal and conceptual integration of Christian faith and learning, with textbooks focused on disciplines such as education, psychology, literature, politics, science, communications, biology, philosophy, and history.

"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."

Robert H. Woods Jr., J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication, Department of Communication and Media, Spring Arbor University

"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."

Quentin J. Schultze, Arthur H. DeKruyter Chair, DeVos Communication Center, Calvin College

"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."

Em Griffin, author of A First Look at Communication Theory


Series Preface: Importance of Integration--J. P. Moreland Francis Beckwith
Part I: Understanding the Components of Communication
1 The Power of Human Communication
2 Perspective-Taking: Engaging the Views of Others
3 Words! Words! Words!: We Can Only Imagine
4 Persuasion: Spiritual Power or Manipulation and Rhetorical Tricks?
5 Before the Sun Sets: Conflict and Christian Unity
Part II: Applying Communication
6 Communicating Forgiveness
7 Communicating About and Evaluating the Messages of Popular Culture
8 Resident Aliens: Christians as Counterpublics
9 Postmodern Times and Christian Counterpublics (Part 1)
10 Postmodern Times and Christian Counterpublics (Part 2)
11 Abnormal Communication: A Christian Response to the Argument Culture
12 Social Justice: Speaking for the Marginalized
Final Thoughts


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Tim Muehlhoff

Tim Muehlhoff (PhD, University of North Carolina) is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California; codirector of The Winsome Conviction Project; and a speaker and research consultant for the Center for Marriage and Relationships. His books include The God Conversation, I Beg to Differ,Winsome Conviction, and Winsome Persuasion, which received a 2018 Christianity Today book award in apologetics/evangelism.

Todd Lewis

Todd Lewis (Ph.D., Louisiana State) is a professor emeritus from the Department of Communication Studies at Biola University in La Mirada, California. While teaching at Biola, his interests concerned persuasive communication and the rhetoric of popular culture. Todd is the co-author (with Tim Muehlhoff) of Authentic Communication.