Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Next Look at Keller, Thomas and Lucado

Following my research from last week, I have now chosen to look at three more Christian authors in regards to their influence on society via Twitter and tweeting. I am looking at author and pastor Timothy Keller, marriage author Gary Thomas and author and pastor Max Lucado.

Beginning with Timothy Keller, his tweets tend to follow a trend of pointing ideas to Christ while finding their basis in biblical teachings. What I mean by this is that his tweets are not necessarily Bible verses word for word. Instead, he incorporates God’s teachings in a roundabout way—through encouraging statements or convictions. For instance, this past week I pulled a few of his tweets off his Twitter page; this is what I found: “According to the Bible, we don’t merely need the money from work to survive; we need the work itself to survive and live fully human lives… If you want Jesus with you, you have to give up the right to self-determination…[and] Our best defense in the fight against Satan’s lies is generally not the production of incantations but the rehearsal of truth.” These tweets contrast to John Piper’s tweets last week that stated explicit verses from God’s Word itself. Another thing I found interesting with Keller was that with a couple of his tweets, some of his Twitter followers offered a rebuttal to what he was saying. For instance, in Keller’s tweet “At the end of your life, you never wish to have worked more” he received a response saying, “What will you wish for?” Keller then replied, “Probably to have spent more time with family.” I find this interesting because not only is Keller tweeting religious ideas to spread God’s word, he is responding to his follower’s feedback in order to clarify what he is saying. He is using Twitter as a tool of interaction vs. one-sided conversation. 

Next, I chose to look at marriage author Gary Thomas. Thomas does not have as many followers as Keller or Lucado, however his tweets seem to be just as effective (when looking at the number of re-tweets he has compared to his number of followers). Thomas’ tweets are obviously geared more toward marriages and relationships than general tips for living a Christian life. He still spreads Christian ideas through his tweets; however his tweets are more about how to build and maintain a Christ-centered marriage. Following are a few of his tweets I recollected from this past week: “Where resentment lives, intimacy dies… A marriage is not a joining of two worlds, but an abandoning of two worlds in order that one new one might be formed…[and] A mission that is always about the Kingdom is what keeps a marriage vibrant.” Unlike Keller, Thomas did not have any rebuttals or arguments following his tweets. This may be because he is not as renown as Keller, therefore he does not have as many followers to act as a devil’s advocate; or, his tweets are just not as controversial. However, what we do know is that Thomas is tweeting and people are re-tweeting.

Finally, I looked at author and pastor Max Lucado. Lucado tends to tweet similarly to Keller in that his tweets are inspirational messages versus specific Bible verses. He gears his messages to the general public (contrasting to Thomas’ messages to married couples). A couple of his tweets are as follows: “Delight yourself in God, and he will bring rest to your soul…[and] You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because he is active. You can rest because he is busy.” Of his 832, 074 followers, Lucado receives on average 900 re-tweets per tweet.  There is no doubt that his tweets are reaching the multitudes. 

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