Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at six different Christian authors and studying how their “tweeting” affects their Twitter followers in such a way that is spreading the Christian faith. I chose to look at Max Lucado, John Piper, Gary Chapman, Timothy Keller, Gary Thomas and Kay Arthur. What I have noticed through these six authors’ tweets is that they all seem to deliver messages that are Biblically based, however their tweets are geared toward the audience in which these authors are trying to reach. For instance, authors such as Gary Chapman and Gary Thomas both deliver biblical tweets, however their tweets are targeted to marriage life. On the other hand, authors such as Max Lucado, John Piper, and Timothy Keller tailor their tweets to the general audience—delivering messages that are applicable to all types of people (married or not).
No matter the selected audience, these authors all use various methods to deliver their messages. The methods they use include writing scripture verses verbatim (John Piper), giving inspirational messages that are supported by scripture (Chapman, Keller & Thomas), providing one’s own personal thoughts about life (Lucado) or asking questions to their followers that provide links to external sources of information (Arthur).
Many of these author’s messages pertain to 1) how to deal with suffering in a Godly way and 2) how to build and maintain relationships in a Godly way. Of course, these authors’ messages pertain to general aspects of the Christian life, however the main themes of their tweets have to do with advising people in their walks with God as they experience the hardships of the secular world.
Overall, these authors do not disagree in any of their statements. They frame Christianity in the same way due to the fact that they use the same source of information (the Bible) before delivering their messages. Many of these authors, in fact, all come from seminary schools; therefore, their thought processes are relatively the same. They deliver Christianity as a way of religious life where one is able to take their suffering and transform it into a positive light of redemption and growth. For instance, author Gary Chapman lost his mother this past week and tweeted many messages of how to use one’s suffering as a period of spiritual growth in life. These authors use their own life experiences to enhance their religious messages.
Over the next several weeks, I will be further analyzing how Christianity is displayed via Twitter. I will be answering the question of “How are the tweets and re-tweets of prominent Christian authors affecting the lives, in a positive and negative way, of both Christians and non-Christians as they follow these authors on Twitter?”