Our written words carry weight.
Unfortunately, in today's cultural climate, our writing is too often laced with harsh judgments and vitriol rather than careful consideration and generosity. But might the Christian faith transform how we approach the task of writing? How might we love God and our neighbors through our writing?
This book is not a style guide that teaches you where to place the comma and how to cite your sources (as important as those things are). Rather, it offers a vision for expressing one's faith through writing and for understanding writing itself as a spiritual practice that cultivates virtue.
Under the guidance of two experienced Christian writers who draw on authors and artists throughout the church's history, we learn how we might embrace writing as an act of discipleship for today—and how we might faithfully bear the weight of our written words.
"Richard Hughes Gibson and James E. Beitler III offer a refreshing alternative to agonistic argumentation, inviting us—readers and writers, teachers and students—to reimagine writing with humility as its cornerstone. Assembling a polyptych of saints as models for what such charitable writing might look like, Gibson and Beitler have added themselves to this great cloud of witnesses. Their nuanced and generous book led me to rethink the habits informing my own reading, writing, and teaching; may it do the same for you."
Foreword by Anne Ruggles Gere
Opening Meditation: At the Gallery
Introduction: At the Threshold
Part I: Humble Listening
1. Entering the Study
2. On Humility
3. Humble Listening in Local Writing Communities
4. Humble Listening in Discourse Communities
Part II: Loving Argument
5. The Law of Charitable Writing
6. On Argument
7. On Charity
8. Charitable Writing as Love’s Banquet
9. Beastly Feasting
10. Making Space at the Table
Part III: Keeping Time Hopefully
11. Slow Writing
12. Liturgies of Writing
Closing Meditation: At the Gallery
Afterword by Alan Jacobs
Appendix A: Practicing Charitable Writing: Discussion Questions and Writing Prompts
Appendix B: Teaching Charitable Writing: Choosing a Via Nova, by Jeffry C. Davis
Appendix C: Writing as a Spiritual Discipline, by Stephanie Paulsell