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Social media was made to bring us together. But few things have driven us further apart.    Sadly, many Christians are fueling online incivility. Others, exhausted by perpetual outrage and shame-filled from constant comparison, are leaving social media altogether. So, how should Christians behave in this digital age? Is there a better way?    Daniel Darling believes we nee Social media was made to bring us together. But few things have driven us further apart.    Sadly, many Christians are fueling online incivility. Others, exhausted by perpetual outrage and shame-filled from constant comparison, are leaving social media altogether. So, how should Christians behave in this digital age? Is there a better way?    Daniel Darling believes we need an approach that applies biblical wisdom to our engagement with social media, an approach that neither retreats from modern technology nor ignores the harmful ways in which Christians often engage publicly.    In short, he believes that we can and should use our online conversations for good.  


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Social media was made to bring us together. But few things have driven us further apart.    Sadly, many Christians are fueling online incivility. Others, exhausted by perpetual outrage and shame-filled from constant comparison, are leaving social media altogether. So, how should Christians behave in this digital age? Is there a better way?    Daniel Darling believes we nee Social media was made to bring us together. But few things have driven us further apart.    Sadly, many Christians are fueling online incivility. Others, exhausted by perpetual outrage and shame-filled from constant comparison, are leaving social media altogether. So, how should Christians behave in this digital age? Is there a better way?    Daniel Darling believes we need an approach that applies biblical wisdom to our engagement with social media, an approach that neither retreats from modern technology nor ignores the harmful ways in which Christians often engage publicly.    In short, he believes that we can and should use our online conversations for good.  

30 review for A Way with Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darryl Dash

    I’ve wanted to quit social media lately. Open up Facebook or Twitter and you’ll mind all manner of opinions on any issue you can imagine. I haven’t quit yet, but I’ve made good use of the unfollow and mute features. The worst part is what happens to my heart. I want to join the fray. I want to share my perceptions of what’s right and wrong. I am part of the problem. I can’t think of a more timely book in times like these than Daniel Darling’s A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Go I’ve wanted to quit social media lately. Open up Facebook or Twitter and you’ll mind all manner of opinions on any issue you can imagine. I haven’t quit yet, but I’ve made good use of the unfollow and mute features. The worst part is what happens to my heart. I want to join the fray. I want to share my perceptions of what’s right and wrong. I am part of the problem. I can’t think of a more timely book in times like these than Daniel Darling’s A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good. THE BEAUTY AND DANGER OF WORDS Darling begins by giving us a theology of words. God made us in his image; we reflect God’s image as we communicate. But words are also what led us astray. Words have power for both death and life (Proverbs 18:21). The internet can amplify this power. A Way With Words is about how we use words online. The internet is a gift, but it also brings dangers. “The internet can make us smarter, but it can also be the equivalent of eating junk food three meals a day,” writes Darling. We need to understand online dangers. Darling helps us wrestle with some of these, such as: - over-reliance on devices - confirmation bias - social media shaming and pile-ons - using the internet for self-promotion rather than service - presenting a false image of ourselves - becoming online justice warriors - dealing with conspiracy theories Again, could there be a more timely book? HELPFUL GUIDANCE Darling provides some helpful guidance for us on recovering civility. He presents the “ancient and analog rhythms of church life” as “the solution for our increasing isolation in a digital age.” He sounds a timely warning: "This is why we shouldn’t race too quickly to make the church experience like every other experience during the week, why we should proceed cautiously with the assimilation of screens and pixels into our weekly liturgy. Our weekly gatherings shouldn’t be one more burden for the digitally exhausted but should serve as a place of soul rest, a rebuke of sorts to the digital gods." We need embodied, physical worship and deep, social interaction. We need the local church. We can use the internet for good. The place to begin is with ourselves: “How can I make my corner of the internet a better place?” Darling makes a few suggestions: “Whether your online platform is large or small, don’t make it all about you. Be free with your praise of others’ work. Share good content and ideas widely. Lift up others.” I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this book a lot this year. We probably can’t all quit social media. We can learn how to avoid some of its dangers, though, and prioritize the analog church. Maybe we’ll be able to redeem our part of the internet and use it to bless others. It’s worth a try.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tim Franks

    This is one of the best books to read in what we have been through in 2020. Unbelievably this was written before all the racial tensions and pandemic life started, but it feels written perfectly to deal with the issues at hand. This work is basically a theology of words and pictures we post online. This book really makes you ponder how you can be the solution, not adding fodder to the problem. The reminder in the opening chapter about being a life long learner is a lesson we all need for all of This is one of the best books to read in what we have been through in 2020. Unbelievably this was written before all the racial tensions and pandemic life started, but it feels written perfectly to deal with the issues at hand. This work is basically a theology of words and pictures we post online. This book really makes you ponder how you can be the solution, not adding fodder to the problem. The reminder in the opening chapter about being a life long learner is a lesson we all need for all of life. We need to seek truth and come with civility to how we post online every single day. Would highly recommend this book for all people, especially those living in a 2020 world.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    In this book, pastor, writer, and communications leader Daniel Darling leverages his background and skills to address the urgent topic of how Christians can engage online in a way that supports the common good. He addresses lots of different topics in this book, and directs it to an audience of Christians with different denominational and political persuasions. This book never goes on a campaign against one group to shelter another, but is consistently fair and direct, addressing the pitfalls of In this book, pastor, writer, and communications leader Daniel Darling leverages his background and skills to address the urgent topic of how Christians can engage online in a way that supports the common good. He addresses lots of different topics in this book, and directs it to an audience of Christians with different denominational and political persuasions. This book never goes on a campaign against one group to shelter another, but is consistently fair and direct, addressing the pitfalls of how Christians of different ideological inclinations tend to engage online. He is also honest about his own failings in humility and civility, and emphasizes the importance of repenting and repairing relationships. Darling encourages his readers to avoid falsehood, partisan bias, incivility, and dehumanization, and he reminds us that we all have a duty to steward our platforms well, regardless how large or small they may be. Those who become teachers "will receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1), and in today's online democracy of information, people need to consider whether or not they are leading others well through what they write and share. Darling writes to pastors and Christian leaders specifically at times, but he also addresses laypeople and their social media use, explaining that we are all responsible for how we use our influence online. Darling helps his readers evaluate their social media behavior by providing heart-check questions and practical advice for how people can conduct themselves well online. He cites from research and news stories to illustrate his points, and provides wise advice for how people can check fake news against reputable sources, guard against mob behavior, resist the temptation towards "cathartic rage-tweeting," and advocate for social causes without being Pharisaical. He also encourages Christian bloggers and readers to be discerning in their news intake about Christian culture, relying on good faith information and reporting instead of engaging with "discernment blogs" that exist to smear leaders by taking their comments out of context and spreading lies about them. This book provides strong guidance about a range of different issues affecting Christians' online behavior. However, I wish that the author had engaged more with those who choose to avoid social media, instead of making it sound like they are against technology in general or are abandoning their Christian mission. I agree that the Internet brings amazing opportunities for blessing, and that the worst things about it are merely the worst things about us, but even though good social media use is important and possible, many people have great reasons for disengaging from social media or avoiding it in the first place. The author has ministry obligations online as a Christian leader and writer, but those with different callings may not need to use social media, and should not feel like they are abandoning God's work if they step out. Also, even though Darling addresses issues related to social media obsession and overuse, I wish that he had further emphasized the ways that social media tools are designed to capture and hold a user's attention, and to reward the kinds of mob actions and mindless cruelty that he warns against. People are responsible for their own behavior and can set healthy boundaries for themselves, but social media companies profit by making their apps as addicting and emotionally intense as possible, and even though technological power is neutral, the way that people build and shape it is not. This book is a great introductory look into how Christians can steward their online communication well, but I would encourage people to also read research about how our tools are rigged against us to encourage and reward the worst of human nature, not just reveal it. This practical, evenhanded book addresses common pitfalls in Christian online engagement, and Daniel Darling provides sound Scriptural advice and social science perspectives to show how incivility, mob behaviors, virtue signaling, and other issues damage one's Christian witness and harm and dehumanize other people. Although aspects of this book's message focus on dynamics for Christian leaders and others in positions of influence, the basic message and practical applications apply to any Christian with a social media account, and even though I wish that the author had engaged more deeply with some people's concerns about social media, this is a helpful, information-packed guide for anyone who is seeking to honor God and love their neighbors through what they post and share online. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lori Jorgensen

    As with speaking to people wether face to face or as of now through texting or on line platforms you need to know what to say, how to say it. God holds us accountable for our words we speak!! You can either bless someone or curse someone and YOU are responsible. D does a great job of being the big brother and showing you right or wrong.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zach Probst

    This was a timely and challenging book on the very important topic of Christians and their online engagement. The reminder that even our tweets, post, and typed conversations can be used to build up or tear down. It is a very practical read and I appreciate Daniel's much needed wisdom on the topic. I appreciated the entire book but greatly enjoyed the final chapter on The Internet for Good and the reminder that Christians can be the contributors to a better and more edifying internet. I received This was a timely and challenging book on the very important topic of Christians and their online engagement. The reminder that even our tweets, post, and typed conversations can be used to build up or tear down. It is a very practical read and I appreciate Daniel's much needed wisdom on the topic. I appreciated the entire book but greatly enjoyed the final chapter on The Internet for Good and the reminder that Christians can be the contributors to a better and more edifying internet. I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Mcneese

    Dan Darling is such a needed voice right now. This book is balanced, measured, kind, and truthful. It is undeniable that, for a host of reasons, many Christians have felt justified to lash out in anger, defensiveness, and downright ugliness online, usually in the name of "defending the faith" or "standing for what's right." While standing for right is needed, the way in which we do it is just as important, if not more so. We represent Christ to the world (and world wide web!) and need to use our Dan Darling is such a needed voice right now. This book is balanced, measured, kind, and truthful. It is undeniable that, for a host of reasons, many Christians have felt justified to lash out in anger, defensiveness, and downright ugliness online, usually in the name of "defending the faith" or "standing for what's right." While standing for right is needed, the way in which we do it is just as important, if not more so. We represent Christ to the world (and world wide web!) and need to use our words accordingly. Thanks to this book, we have a biblically sound blueprint for how to do just that. I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren DuPrez

    A recent Amazon search brought to my attention A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good by Daniel Darling. The title instantly caught my eye as interactions between Christians on social media, especially this year, have caused many questions to arise in my heart. I enjoy using social media and unlike many, I'm a firm believer that it can be used for redemptive purposes. However, I've often felt that I'm in the minority when it comes to the way I think about social media. I've wo A recent Amazon search brought to my attention A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good by Daniel Darling. The title instantly caught my eye as interactions between Christians on social media, especially this year, have caused many questions to arise in my heart. I enjoy using social media and unlike many, I'm a firm believer that it can be used for redemptive purposes. However, I've often felt that I'm in the minority when it comes to the way I think about social media. I've wondered why it doesn't seem that more Christians view it as a means of proclaiming the gospel and a catalyst for loving, what Darling refers to as, our digital neighbors. A Way With Words helped me work through my questions and brought so much clarity to my heart and mind. I couldn't put it down and it is one of the best books I've read this year! The book begins with Darling addressing the general lack of information discipline among social media users. Regarding this he wrote, "Paul was not against the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. All over his letters, we see him urge people to study and grow and learn. And it is Paul who, nearing his own death, asked for someone to bring his books (2 Tim. 4:13). And yet he understood the difference between idle pursuit of cheap information and a lifelong commitment to wisdom. He committed to this discipline in his own life, telling the church at Corinth that he 'decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified' (1 Cor. 2:2)." Darling urges Christians to use their online conversations to speak of the hope of the gospel and to honor God with how they speak as well as when. On page 39 he wrote, "Being slow to speak seems bizarre in a world that is quick to speak, in a world where we can press 'send' and let everyone know our opinions in a matter of minutes. But even though Scripture urges believers to, at times, speak out and to seek justice, it doesn't ever say that we have to do so immediately. In fact, the Bible seems to counsel the opposite." Building on this example, Darling explained, "We might think we are doing the right thing by speaking against injustice, but if we do this without having all the facts and spread misinformation, we are sinning. Even if we are doing it in favor of a right cause." These words were both convicting and compelling and made me firm in my position to seek out the truth at all costs and to value the Truth (John 14:6) above all else. A few pages later, Darling provided readers with some really helpful questions to consider when approaching online interactions. The questions are: "Am I commenting on this because it makes people with whom I disagree look bad? Would I have the same position if the person in this story were in my own 'tribe'? Am I willing to comment on news stories that might provoke disagreements with those who are most apt to agree with me? (pg. 42)". A Way With Words explores concepts relating to online communication including discernment, media, tribalism, and conspiracy theories. I found the bit on discernment (pg. 56-57) to be particularly refreshing: " . . . discernment is not an opportunity to show off our theological brilliance or to win arguments or to own somebody rhetorically. Discernment is not about proving our rightness or the rightness of our tribe. Paul tells the young Timothy that before he confronts someone who is in error he must confront his own soul, to ask the Spirit of God to discern his motives. There is a delicious temptation to approach doctrinal disputes, even genuine fights for the faith, with less-than-pure motives. Paul urges some personal diagnostic questions: Do I have a pure heart? Do I have a good conscience? Do I have a sincere faith?" I'm generally not a fan of discernment blogs as they seem to make for lazy Christians which is why I'm grateful for the gentle reminder on page 59, "I think what separates Biblical discernment from what we often see online is love. Love motivates us to avoid offering critiques flippantly, without getting all the facts and understanding fully the position of the person with whom we disagree." The chapter discussing biting and devouring (Galatians 5:15) was peppered with more helpful questions. These include: "Is this conflict a matter of Christian orthodoxy or a matter of foolish controversy? (2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9), Is what I'm about to publicly say, spread, or read actually true? (Phil. 4:8), Am I applying the law of love (1 Cor. 13:7)? What is my heart motive? (1 Tim. 1:5), Am I the person to speak at this moment?, Am I choosing my words carefully? (1 Pet. 3:15-16), Are we known for love for brothers and sisters in the Lord? (John 13:35)." Perhaps my favorite chapter was Act Justly, Love Mercy, Post Humbly. This chapter addressed the growing trend of digital activism and reading it was equal parts convicting and refreshing. Darling wrote, "Social media often brings out our inner Pharisee. Every day, it seems, we are at our digital temples crying loudly, for everyone to hear, that we are so very unlike those other people. This kind of activism isn't neighbor love. It's self-love, a misguided quest for retweets and shares, the pursuit of digital approval. The truth is, we often mistake cathartic social media rants for real work. Christians should be outraged at injustice and use their voices on behalf of the vulnerable, but we don't have the right to use them as outlets for our outrage and props for our personal identity crafting. This kind of activism is not only not what Jesus intends when he calls us to follow him into the world, it's also highly ineffective in producing actual change. Do we really care about injustice, or are we only here to cheapen ideological points?" In addition to providing an excellent and compelling treatise on best practices for Christian social media users, Darling gives readers hope for their digital interactions by encouraging them to be a part of a local church. He said, "Church life, done right, helps us cultivate community, offline, with real people who are different than us," (pg. 159). A Way With Words was a refreshing and especially helpful read and I'm pleased to give it my highest recommendation. If you are a Christian who uses social media, even at the most basic level, I highly encourage you to read this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Josh Headrick

    We live in an extraordinarily connected age. The power and reach of our communication is no longer bound by location or social station. Through the power social media, anyone can directly speak to their favorite celebrity, the CEO of Apple, or even the President of the United  States.   But while we've magnified our ability to speak, we haven't also raised the standard for speech. The platforms themselves seem to reward hot takes and sharp replies that generate likes, shares, and follows.   So how d We live in an extraordinarily connected age. The power and reach of our communication is no longer bound by location or social station. Through the power social media, anyone can directly speak to their favorite celebrity, the CEO of Apple, or even the President of the United  States.   But while we've magnified our ability to speak, we haven't also raised the standard for speech. The platforms themselves seem to reward hot takes and sharp replies that generate likes, shares, and follows.   So how does a Christian navigate such a space? This is the aim of Daniel Darling’s new book A Way with Words. What Darling offers is not new tips for growing a platform or advice on how to avoid being "cancelled", but Scriptural wisdom about stewarding our speech for the advancement of the Kingdom.   Summary   The ten chapters and two appendices of the book form a cluster of meditations on digital communication and its pitfalls rather than a sequential or cohesive argument.   These chapters discuss a variety of issues such a the addictiveness of new information (ch 1), criticism and "discernment ministries"(ch 3), advocacy and selfish platform building (ch 6), and the problem of conspiracy theories (ch 7) among other topics. The appendices address topics of how the Bible addresses speech (Appendix A) and how to read the news (Appendix B).   Evaluation               Strengths The chief strength of A Way with Words is a rich grounding and application of the gospel. Throughout the book, Darling repeatedly applies the good news of Jesus to common snares of social media.   In answer to social media’s addictive power and FOMO, Darling reminds readers that “the quick thrill of being in the know is the cheap substitute for the peace of knowing the One who created us and rescues us from our fruitless pursuits and is leading us toward a place where our longings to know and be known will be fully realized” (25).   When discussing the temptation to present a perfectly curated – ’grammable – lifestyle online, Darling observes that at its heart is not mere vanity, but a desire to be known, “Woven into the ethos of our image-bearing selves is the deep-seated desire for intimacy with our Creator” (103). The solution, says Darling, is not to simply unplug from all social media, but instead to ground our identity in what Christ has done. “I want you to read this again: Your Father loves you. You are seen and known by him. You don’t have to perform like a hamster on a wheel for God to approve of you. You are enough because Christ was enough for you.”   These constant reminders of how the gospel speaks to and shapes our online lives was unexpected, arresting, and utterly beautiful.   Flowing from his rich understanding of the gospel is the book’s second strength: Darling’s many penetrating insights into common (yet sinful) patterns of communication. In chapter 6, Darling describes two ways in which online advocacy can quickly veer away from justice-seeking to selfish platform-building. In the first, is when online advocacy turns into a race to outrage in order to prove inherent righteousness, “Social media often brings out our inner Pharisee. Every day, it seems, we are at our digital temples crying loudly, for everyone to hear, that we are so very unlike those other people" (115). In the second, are those whose advocacy is not about playing the savior but the perpetual victim or underdog. These often embellish or even entirely favorite their trauma and trouble (118). Instead of seeking authenticity and vulnerability in their storytelling they are simply trying to gain an audience and affirmation (120).   Similar, penetrating analysis is given to a range of topics such as the importance of being slow to react and slow to rage tweet (ch 2), the difference between discernment and “discernment ministries” (ch 6), civility in engagement (ch 8), and the importance of being vitally connected to a local, live church Body (ch 9). Each chapter is full of rich, pastoral insight and wisdom.   Third and finally, A Way with Words is often wonderfully practical. Flowing from Scripture and full of warm insight, it’s not surprising that Darling is able to offer helpful advice on questions to ask ourselves before criticizing others (like in chapter 6) or his brief thoughts on how to make our corner of social media a better place, “Whether your own platform is large or small, don’t make it all about you. Be free with your praise of others’ work. Share good content and ideas widely. Life up others” (190).                 Weaknesses For all its strengths, there are two drawbacks. First, the structure of the book is unclear. As mentioned in the summary, the book does not constitute one, cohesive argument but more of a cluster of meditations on digital communication. Because neither the table of contents nor the introduction clearly indicate this, the transition between chapters and topics can feel disjointed or even a little confusing. Before I realized the intention, I found myself a little puzzled as the book jumped from pastors and platform to obsession with public image to conspiracy theories.   Second, while the book was rich and practical, at times specific application felt uneven or began to run together. If every chapter could have had the kind of concrete, specific advice of chapter 3 (on discernment and criticism) the book would have been enormously strengthened.  Yet in comparison to the enormous strengths of the overall book, these feel like minor quibbles rather than true flaws in the Darling’s work.   Conclusion   A Way with Words is simply excellent. Dan Darling has given us a clear, winsome vision of Christian engagement online. It is an insightful, Scripture-saturated, and practical book that will bless those who read. I highly encourage anyone who engages with others online to read this gift of wisdom and thoughtfulness that Dan Darling has given the church.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bill Pence

    In this book, Daniel Darling considers the important subject of communicating in the internet age. He addresses the way we conduct ourselves in this new reality, the way we behave online. He tells us that we have a speaking God, which means that those who bear his image are also speakers. Sadly however, not all the words that we create reflect God’s own beautiful words, which is the reason for the book. The author states that nobody who bears the name of Christ is exempt from the Bible’s command In this book, Daniel Darling considers the important subject of communicating in the internet age. He addresses the way we conduct ourselves in this new reality, the way we behave online. He tells us that we have a speaking God, which means that those who bear his image are also speakers. Sadly however, not all the words that we create reflect God’s own beautiful words, which is the reason for the book. The author states that nobody who bears the name of Christ is exempt from the Bible’s command toward thoughtful speech. He reminds us that we are the people, after all, who should most care about the truth as we serve the One who ultimately claimed to be the truth. In this book, the author addresses such important topics as confirmation bias (the instinct to believe the worst things about people with whom we might disagree); a “hive mind” (groups of people who come to a consensus about something without hearing or being willing to listen to alternative ideas; performative posting (a projection of a life and a persona that we wish we had. It’s wanting to be seen as the kind of person we wish we were rather than who we really are); performative victimhood, courage and civility; conspiracy theories; the emerging shame and cancel culture; discernment (a constant theme directed toward the people of God in the Bible, and thus not an optional exercise for believers); creating unnecessary division in the body of Christ, which he writes is not just annoying, but sinful; how we process the news and interact with it online, suggesting that we begin with a commitment to read a variety of perspectives, not just those that confirm our biases; not only being right, but having the right tone; how to properly steward our influence; what our online speech is modeling for others; and the impact of the internet on the local church. The book includes two appendices: • 10 things the Bible Says about our Speech • How to Read the News A key thought in the book for me was that we should always be asking ourselves how we might be using our social media activity and our public work to serve the body of Christ and to point a lost world toward Jesus. A good question for all of us to ask is: • How can we make our corner of the internet a better place? This is an important and timely book. Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book: • The internet can make us smarter, but it can also be the equivalent of eating junk food three meals a day. Christians who live in this age have to resist the wrong impulses of either being drawn into endless rabbit trails of information or withdrawing completely. • The quick thrill of being in the know is a cheap substitute for the peace of knowing the One who created us and rescues us from our fruitless pursuits and is leading us toward a place where our longings to know and be known will be fully realized. • We are susceptible to believe news, to jump ahead of the facts, to not wait for the full story because we want to believe the worst about the people with whom we disagree. • Because we don’t wait before speaking, we allow confirmation bias and the internet’s hive mind to keep us from wisely evaluating both what we are hearing and what we are communicating. • What’s ironic about this emerging shame culture is the way it draws out the longings of the human heart for justice and the way it tries, but fails, to mirror the story the Bible tells about righteousness and justice, forgiveness and grace. • We might think we are doing the right thing by speaking against injustice, but if we do this without having all the facts and spread misinformation, we are sinning. Even if we are doing it in favor of a right cause. • I think there is a big difference between what often passes for “discernment” and genuine, biblical discernment. • Love motivates us to avoid offering critiques flippantly, without getting all the facts and understanding fully the position of the person with whom we disagree. • Influence, held loosely as a stewardship from God, can be a good thing for Christ’s kingdom. However, influence stewarded poorly can be an addictive drug, an unworthy god whose adulation is undeserved. • It doesn’t matter if ten or a hundred or a thousand people “like” us online; we are loved by the One who breathed life into us, who formed the universe, and whose assessment is the only one that ultimately matters. • The best kind of social media is when people are light-hearted and poking fun at themselves. Take the gospel seriously. Take your work seriously. But, for the good of your own soul, don’t take yourself seriously. • There is a tribe joining that is healthy community and there is a tribalism that seeks to constantly do war with everyone else. I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    We need to be aware of our public witness and social media plays a big part in that. “Parents, to pastors to presidents should think on how they are stewarding their influence.”—Dan Darling I like how he addressed how obsessed we are as a culture in making our lives “grammable”. It’s pretty ridiculous and he went in to ways people make decisions based on likes they might get on social media. He also asks the question, “Do we show performative righteousness on our social feeds?” Social media has a We need to be aware of our public witness and social media plays a big part in that. “Parents, to pastors to presidents should think on how they are stewarding their influence.”—Dan Darling I like how he addressed how obsessed we are as a culture in making our lives “grammable”. It’s pretty ridiculous and he went in to ways people make decisions based on likes they might get on social media. He also asks the question, “Do we show performative righteousness on our social feeds?” Social media has a way of bringing out our inner Pharisee and we’ll mistake cathartic social media rants for real work. I never thought about this point that he also made. He believes Christians should avoid legalism and masks of self-righteousness but that performative authenticity is as bad as performative moral preening. It’s so important that we don’t spread falsehood because it leads to human brokenness. Remember human dignity even when we are speaking online with another. I liked his point when he says that we need to fight the good fight and that most of the things we get worked up about online are not the good fight. Here’s a quote I loved. “Our weekly gatherings shouldn’t be one more burden for the digitally exhausted but should serve as a place of soul rest, a rebuke of sorts to the digital gods. I was encouraged and motivated by this book but I’m still going to pass on Facebook and Instagram for the time being!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Flora

    Every now and then I come across a book that makes me think so much that I have to put it down occasionally to ponder. For instance, how is our attitude towards our local church as opposed to Christian celebrity worship artists, gifted celebrity preachers and podcasters? Now that many of us are worshipping online, have we given priority to our local churches instead of to other more vibrant online church services perhaps? The author gives biblical guidelines on how a Christian is to handle this a Every now and then I come across a book that makes me think so much that I have to put it down occasionally to ponder. For instance, how is our attitude towards our local church as opposed to Christian celebrity worship artists, gifted celebrity preachers and podcasters? Now that many of us are worshipping online, have we given priority to our local churches instead of to other more vibrant online church services perhaps? The author gives biblical guidelines on how a Christian is to handle this and other issues while interacting with social media or the internet in general. I would have loved it if the author had given a quick summary at the end of every chapter along with a quick list of practical steps to take or questions to ask ourselves. Nevertheless, this is definitely a book that I plan to buy for my church library and also to promote among the members. Thought provoking, heart-examining. A must read for every Christian in this social media, Internet world. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. This is my honest opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Yue

    This is a timely reminder to exercise wisdom and love in our words, particularly our words online. There is so much potential to make this digital platform and the sphere of influence every Christian has both online and offline to help others flourish. One great insight the author highlighted is that "the analog rhythms of church life are ironically, the solution for our increasing isolation in a digital age. Church life, done right, helps us cultivate local community, offline, with real people This is a timely reminder to exercise wisdom and love in our words, particularly our words online. There is so much potential to make this digital platform and the sphere of influence every Christian has both online and offline to help others flourish. One great insight the author highlighted is that "the analog rhythms of church life are ironically, the solution for our increasing isolation in a digital age. Church life, done right, helps us cultivate local community, offline, with real people who are different than us. The internet can help foster real-world community by connecting us, making communication easier, etc. But it cannot replace embodied, flesh-and-blood interactions." This is a much needed discussion to help churches provide a place of soul rest for the digitally exhausted.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wes Faulk

    Every time I read Darling’s books I am reminded of how much I love his writing style. He is possibly the most readable current Christian author. More than that though, Darling’s book “A Way With Words” is possibly his best. He exposes the foolish tendencies of Christian online engagement calling us to a better way. Darling’s book is the best book I have read this year.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaleigh

    I don’t know the author, but after I finished this book, I put the link to buy it in my Instagram bio, shared quotes in my highlights, and encouraged everyone I know to buy this book. I wish every American who claims the name of Christ would read it! It has helped me tremendously with navigating the minefields of social media and my own sin nature.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Roberts

    Convicting book about how we speak online. I am currently teaching through James and this book speaks to what James teaches in James 1:19 as well as elsewhere in the book. Recommended

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danhibbert

    Important reminders about the power of our words and valuable biblical reminders as to how Christians need to apply them to online discourse. Couldn’t be more needed than in the current environment.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Watkins

    This is a FANTASTIC and much needed book! The chapter on how Christians should deal with conspiracy theories alone is worth the price of the book! I HIGHLY recommend it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Miller

    4.5 stars. This book surpassed my expectations and then some. It is so good, easy-to-read, helpful, challenging, and 100% necessary. I wish every church-goer would read it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    DonniE

    In this book, Dan captures the heart and art of how we as followers of Christ should communicate in the ever present digital world we live .... This book is a must read for everyone who desires to have an online presence with words that witness for the Glory of God.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nickolas Hartman

    I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher. This is a book everyone needs to read. It’s well written and focus on how to better engage on social media. So often we all revert to tribalism and tribalism leads to forgetting that another human is behind the screen. We need to treat others with respect and at times chose not to say anything at all. Darling mixes the perfect amount of reason with the impact of living a Gospel-centered life on social media. Everyone needs to r I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher. This is a book everyone needs to read. It’s well written and focus on how to better engage on social media. So often we all revert to tribalism and tribalism leads to forgetting that another human is behind the screen. We need to treat others with respect and at times chose not to say anything at all. Darling mixes the perfect amount of reason with the impact of living a Gospel-centered life on social media. Everyone needs to read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    A very practical and convincing book on how we use our words online. Good reminders to think before we post, to use gentleness and grace with our words, and to remember that we don’t always have to share our opinions on everything. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book from the publisher.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Randy Jackson

    I find myself often struggling on social media with a mix of anger and exasperation. Daniel Darling encourages Christians to avoid the harmful pitfalls of social media and the internet while being a positive witness for Christ instead. Chapters three (on cancel culture) and chapter eight (being at peace with others) were helpful for me. Thanks to this book I am much more careful with my words on social media than I was before starting to read it. Darling’s writing style is conversational. The boo I find myself often struggling on social media with a mix of anger and exasperation. Daniel Darling encourages Christians to avoid the harmful pitfalls of social media and the internet while being a positive witness for Christ instead. Chapters three (on cancel culture) and chapter eight (being at peace with others) were helpful for me. Thanks to this book I am much more careful with my words on social media than I was before starting to read it. Darling’s writing style is conversational. The book flows smoothly and is very readable. Darling does not come across as condemning the use of social media. He desires to help the reader use it better, and does so. I received an advance copy from the publisher.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Williams

    A good read, reminding people that their behavior online is important and that words matter. Words can build up, or tear down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nitoy Gonzales

    Welcome to Social Media 2020! And it’s a jungle out there! Well it already is but not like when its 2010. All you have to worry is your Farmville. Your blog or Youtube are all fun. Come 2020. It blown out of proportion. What happened? What caused the mutation? So what now? A Way With Words will help Christians make sense of this all and much more. Dan Darling wrote this book so fitting to this climate that every Christian shouldn’t miss this this one. Darling captures the online moment experience, freez Welcome to Social Media 2020! And it’s a jungle out there! Well it already is but not like when its 2010. All you have to worry is your Farmville. Your blog or Youtube are all fun. Come 2020. It blown out of proportion. What happened? What caused the mutation? So what now? A Way With Words will help Christians make sense of this all and much more. Dan Darling wrote this book so fitting to this climate that every Christian shouldn’t miss this this one. Darling captures the online moment experience, freeze it to show it to us and invites us to see how he dissects it biblically. If there is one book you’ll need to read to understand what’s happening online and how Christians should response to it, A Way With Words will be the one. The Internet and it’s netizens are always changing and this book might be outdated in a few years but this book is worth getting and reading. The topics covered are good choices since it as I say Topics like conspiracy theory, online activism, toxic political conversations and more will keep you reading till the very end. We’ll who doesn’t want to read those. Relevance is one of the aspects of this book that tackles what we love (or addicted to) which is social media. Darling ends the book with a positive note and will encourage readers to make their words online count. Every words we put out on our social media counts. A Way With Words is an accessible and enjoyable read. So again…Welcome to Social Media 2020! Oh by the way, here’s a book that will help you survive the onslaught. Highly recommended! 5 out of 5 Purchase the book by clicking here. (Review copy of this book was provided by B & H Publishing.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keith Plummer

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jed Walker

  27. 5 out of 5

    Theresa LeBlanc

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chase Livingston

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Burden

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steph

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