Virtual Virtue: Ethics, Communication, the Bible and other related things… Rich Wyld #MediaLit11

Another ‘stand on this line exercise’ if we always need to tell the truth, or when it might be acceptable to ‘twist’, ‘miss areas’, and what about the role of banter (can it be damaging or does it demonstrate real friendships). Should (super) injunctions exist, should Rowan Williams ‘get involved in political comment’, and if you had refugees in your house, and the police came knocking, what would you say? If swearing, do you then confess a sin? Is it all about what’s in your heart?

James – Christian Wisdom

  • On wealth and poverty
  • On speech

What distinguishes something that’s persuasive in a good way from something that’s manipulative?

See: (British government looking to the message to persuade, Nazis backed up with violence). If you agree will you find it persuasive rather than manipulative and vice versa. Bad writing gives you the answer, good writing gives you the evidence to come up with the conclusion.  Persuasion is being open to being wrong. Is it about the attitude of the person communicating with us? What about the trust we have with the author.

What is God’s speech like in the Bible?

  • God’s speech changes things (Genesis 1)
  • Psalm 1
  • Isaiah 55.11
  • John 1

In human speech

  • James 3 (feeds people and helps them grow)
  • Proverbs 10.18-21
  • Proverbs 12.18

How do we shape and form the world around us and the each other in our communication?

There are specific understandings of words within cultural contexts. There’s a social understanding. There are specific formal contexts (wedding, law courts, etc.), but when we make a promise we make the most obvious commitment to our future.

“If you promise to take the bins out then don’t it changes things” (less trust in other promises, or even if retract the promise, things have already changed.  Most promises are relational and are about trusting. Promises pre-suppose trust.

God’s communication s faithful, hopeful and loving. If we trust God’s promises that he will save the world, then we will live our lives differently…  God’s communication is vulnerable because it’s motivated by love. A covenant rather than a contract (contracts are built around a lack of trust).

Faithful Communication

  • James 3.14 (absence of envy, in response to humanity, an inward life of grace)
  • James 5.12 (don’t choose specific times to swear by God, otherwise indicates rest of time are less trustworthy)
  • James 3.9-10 (personal change, to give is neutral)

Words and Deeds

  • James 1.22 (related to self)
  • James 1.26 (actions demonstrate faith; words have an effect)
  • James 2.14-17 (being and doing, back it up, commitment of our)

Ethics of the technology that we use. Context in which a laptop might be made, e.g. sweatshops; the mining of minerals in e.g. the Congo. If we’re using technology to communicate, does the way that our technology is made add cognitive dissonance?

When do we discern when we should be silence and when we should speak out?

  • James 2.1-7
  • James 4.11-12
  • James 1.9-10

How does the way we communicate shape the way the world works? God’s communication may look foolish to the world because it’s vulnerable, so how do we communicate with weakness/vulnerability in a world that looks for slickness/professionalism?  Who are we listening to, how do we hear!


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The #BigBible Project. Educating in the digital spaces, creating 'bigger Bible conversations' between #digidisciple(s). Look out for #bigread14.