In conclusion to my research over the past few months, I have come to the understanding that prominent Christian authors all seem to have the same intent behind the messages they deliver to their audience. To explain more fully, a common trend in the tweets I have studied is that they all tend to act as a guide for modern-day Christians in their walk with the Lord through the turmoil of this world. The messages of these tweets are ones of encouragement through struggles, convictions regarding sin, and advice on how to enhance one’s relationship with God. However, these authors all approach the delivery of these messages in a variety of ways from the syntax to the content of their tweets.
For instance, authors John Piper and Dennis Rainey tweet directly from the Bible—using Old Testament Scripture verses verbatim to deliver messages of reminders to people that the struggles people face today were similar to the struggles people faced during Biblical times; this verse is one example “’Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21” Piper and Rainey generate their syntax and content directly from the Bible. https://twitter.com/JohnPiper
On the other hand, authors such as Max Lucado, Timothy Keller, Francis Chan, and Gary Thomas all deliver tweets of encouragement and conviction that do not come from the Bible directly but are instead based off the Bible. These messages tend to have the most followers in that they relate well with the situations of the twenty-first century. Even though sin is all rooted in the same areas (lust, greed, selfishness, etc.), these authors relate their tweets to situations of modern life today. For instance, take a look at one of Francis Chan’s tweets: "I wouldn’t want to forgive someone who walked into my daughter’s school and shot her, but that is exactly what Christ asks us to do." This tweet hit’s home for many American Christians due to the amounts of shootings in schools today.
Overall, Twitter has become its own “church” for many Christians in that authors such as these post Scripture verses, words of encouragement and messages of conviction in 140 characters or less. In response to my research question, “How are the tweets and re-tweets of prominent Christian authors on Twitter creating a modern-day religious space that contextualizes Christianity in a positive or negative way to both Christians and non-Christians?”, I would say that majority of the tweets of these authors are influencing the religious Twitter audience in a positive way in that they are bringing the Christian messages of the Bible to a virtual space that is growing in popularity in today’s society—thus reaching far more people than perhaps just the bookworms of the world.