The Internet can be a space for positive connection or it can be a very dark place. In his new book, "A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversation for Good" (B&H Publishing, August 2020), Daniel Darling urges Christians to bring light to the digital world with gracious speech.
Darling's book is more timely now than ever, as the events of 2020 seem to have brought out the worst in us-especially in the ways we interact online. A worldwide pandemic, a presidential election and natural disasters compel many to choose a side and defend it vigorously, even if we are vicious in the process. Instead of perpetuating incivility, offense and hatred on social media, Christians, Darling urges, should speak with a distinctly, Christlike tone.
"In this book, I ask questions about the way we conduct ourselves in this digital age, the way we behave online," said Darling. "The internet is not going away anytime soon. Platforms may change, but the call for Christians to steward their words well is the same now as it always has been."
"Publishers Weekly" called Darling's writing style "substantive and punchy," and his articles have appeared in leading national publications such as "USA Today," CNN, "Washington Times," "TIME Magazine," Huffington Post, "National Review," "Washington Post," "Christianity Today" and many others. He is regularly interviewed as an expert commentator on television and radio, has appeared as a commentator on CNN and on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and is the host of a weekly podcast, "The Way Home with Dan Darling."
Darling believes Christians need an approach that applies biblical wisdom to engagement with social media, an approach that neither retreats from modern technology nor ignores the harmful ways in which Christians often engage publicly.
"A Way With Words" examines all ways we express ourselves online, including:
- the temptation to constantly check our devices for FOMO (fear of missing out);
- the effects of confirmation bias and our tendency to "believe what we want to believe" before gathering all the facts;
- adopting authentic biblical discernment;
- Scripture's view of the teacher's responsibility and how that relates to "platform";
- The temptation to craft and curate a projected view of ourselves;
- advocating for and spreading truth, not falsehood; and
- embracing civility and kindness in all our interactions online.
"My prayer is that 'A Way With Words' would encourage readers to commit to becoming a part of what's true and beautiful online," said Darling. "So rather than writing off social media and other platforms as irredeemable, let's be intentional about creating and communicating truth and beauty with the tiny corner of the Internet we control.
Darling is the Senior VP for Communications at National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and served for six years as VP of Communications for Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC). He has written nine books, including the bestselling "The Characters of Christmas" (October 2019, Moody Publishers) published most recently.
B&H is supporting "A Way with Words" with a special presale offer, launch team and national marketing and publicity. All who preorder the book will receive a PDF download of Darling's "Social Media Survival Guide." For more information, visit awaywithwordsbook.com.