Posting Peace: Why Social Media Divides Us and What We Can Do About It, By Douglas S. Bursch

Posting Peace

Why Social Media Divides Us and What We Can Do About It

by Douglas S. Bursch

Posting Peace
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: April 20, 2021
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4780
  • ISBN: 9780830847808

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Why is everyone so angry online? The internet seems to have brought the world together only so we can tear each other apart. Social media platforms have become toxic and polarizing environments. Many of us are overwhelmed and disillusioned by endless online conflict and negativity. How did we get here, and what can we do about it?

The internet changes not only how we communicate but also what we communicate. Pastor and former radio host Douglas Bursch provides a spiritual examination of why social media divides people and how Christians can address polarization through a ministry of peacemaking. Digital media dehumanizes and disembodies us, dulling our ability to know when to speak and when to remain silent. But healthy online communication is possible through a constructive posture of reconciliation. Bursch offers practical examples of how to proactively manage social media and handle online conflict in redemptive ways.

Together we can change the discourse of online Christian communication. Discover how we can use social media in a positive, Christ-like manner.

"Thoughtfully, authentically, and intelligently, Doug Bursch companions us through the fractured landscape of a technological society increasingly dependent on the ubiquitous presence of social media, and points us to hope in the true way: the very presence of Jesus in us and in the world as it is. This book is a challenging and joyful read, absolutely relevant to now!"

Paul Young, author of The Shack and Lies We Believe About God

"We've become a culture divided by a common technology. How in the world do we learn to find common ground again? Dr. Bursch's book Posting Peace is an absolute godsend and a must-read for any person seeking to exhibit the peacemaking ways of Jesus. I've always wondered, What if we took the Sermon on the Mount seriously in our digital environments? Finally, someone has shown us how. Bursch's lucid analysis, laser-pointed research, and witty and whimsical writing not only teach us of digital peacemaking, they model it. Buy, read, and do this book. Rinse and repeat. Every year."

A. J. Swoboda, assistant professor of Bible and theology at Bushnell University and author of After Doubt

"Doug Bursch recognizes both the power of social media to shape us and the potential for us to shape our online engagement thoughtfully, deliberately, and well. In Posting Peace, he offers a vision for what social media can be as part of our God-given ministry of reconciliation—to be peacemakers in our face-to-face interactions and online. As he seeks to live this out, Doug invites readers to join him, and I gladly accept!"

April Yamasaki, pastor and author of Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

"Doug Bursch has written a wise and deeply Christian book on how to cut through all the foolishness and the many dangers of social media, and use internet platforms for better and higher purposes. He brings a good sense of humor, a kind heart, and a perceptive mind to the task and gives us, as a result, an astute manual of great guidance. It's wonderful, tremendously needed, and highly recommended."

Tom Morris, author of Plato's Lemonade Stand and The Oasis Within

"Posting Peace is so thoroughly researched, so engagingly written, and so practically applicable that I plan to read it again—and share it with others when I do. Doug Bursch has the right combination of expertise, humor, wisdom, and compassion to give this important subject the Christ-centered perspective we all need right now. Put down your smartphone and pick up this book. Then when you go back to your social media feeds (we know you will!), you'll be better equipped to use them well instead of having them use you."

Karl Vaters, teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, author of 100 Days to a Healthier Church

"Drawing on research from experts in the field, Bursch argues that social media, by its very nature, tends to isolate its users from meaningful interactions, and that online connections are by nature superficial and transient. He uses Biblical allusions to support his assertion that Christians should value demonstrating the love of God in their social media interactions more than the "rightness" of their convictions. . . . A timely reminder of the need to model the behavior we hope to see in others, this text could easily be the basis for group study."

Library Journal, Gail Eubanks, February 2021

Read an Excerpt


1. Angry Online
2. Internet-Formed Identity
3. Detached Individualism
4. Never Fully Present
5. Arguing, Partisan, Segmented People
6. A Reconciling Current
7. An Online Savior
8. A Peacemaking Plan
9. Trolling for Jesus
10. When Justice Demands Conflict
11. The Power of One Peacemaker
12. Make Room for the Lord



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Douglas S. Bursch

Douglas S. Bursch is copastor of Evergreen Foursquare Church in Auburn, Washington. He serves on the US Doctrine Committee, International Doctrine Committee, and Education Commission of the Foursquare Church, and he has taught theology courses as adjunct faculty for Life Pacific College and Life Ministry Institute. He earned a DMin from George Fox Evangelical Seminary with his dissertation research focusing on social media. A former newspaper columnist and talk radio host, Doug has produced and hosted over 1,200 Christian radio broadcasts. He is the producer and host of the Fairly Spiritual Show radio program and podcast.