Professors Rediscover the Lost Art of Good Communication

Lewis and Muehlhoff Guide Readers in Understanding Communication

Apr. 19, 2010 By Jenna Bartlo

What would life be like without communication? What if people were able to use effective communication skills throughout their day? Perhaps the most mundane task of everyday life seems to be taken for granted or forgotten. Rediscovering good communication is especially important for Christians both in and out of the church.

“Christians all too often communicate with jargon or expectations of a Christian evangelical interpretation and the postmodern world doesn’t hear our language or meaning…only what they interpret as intent…and that is seldom caring or sensitive,” said Todd Lewis, professor of communication studies.

In the new book Authentic Communication, released April 1, 2010, Tim Muehlhoff, associate professor of communication, and Todd Lewis, tackle the lost art of good communication through addressing the concepts of communication such as empathy, conflict management, interpersonal communication, and persuasion.

“One of the goals of Authentic Communication is to help students studying communication at the university level to challenge and undo the naturalness of communication,” said Muehlhoff.

When discussing the power of communication, Muehlhoff and Lewis appeal to leading communication scholars such as J.P. Moreland, C.S Lewis and Julia T. Wood to discuss the issues at hand.

Throughout the book Lewis and Muehlhoff advocate that studying and practicing communication accomplishes crucial aspects in the life of a believer. The two discuss several commands given in the Bible, such as settling disputes and love between husbands and wives, as being embedded in communication.

“Remarkably, God has entrusted his gospel to human communicators and asked that it be taken to all people groups,” said Muehlhoff.

The call to communicate God’s story to a diverse world, as the two explain, requires careful consideration of the basic principles of communication.

“Just as a metalsmith carefully studies how precious metals like silver and gold can be brought together to form fine jewelry, so we ought to study the wonderful complexity and mystery of human communication,” said Muehlhoff.

The authors give special attention to the place of Christians as people who present alternative perspectives to dominant voices in society. The duo offers a guiding hand in understanding communication through a Christian perspective.

“What we endeavor to do in this book,” explained Lewis, “is give practical help with applications to allow people to see how skills can be increased and sensitivities enlarged for topics such as evangelism and concerns for issues or social justice.”

Tim Muehlhoff received his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. Todd V. Lewis received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State.

Written by George Garcia, Media Relations Intern. Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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