Communicating for Life

Christian Stewardship in Community and Media

series: RenewedMinds

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"Easily the best presentation I know of a Christian perspective on communication and the media. It raises questions where most of us just take things for granted, and issues challenges where most of us just go along."--Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University

We are responsible for how we communicate, for what we communicate, and for how our communication affects others.

In this discerning introduction to communication theory, Quentin Schultze guides readers through an interesting, creative, and spiritual study of communication. Rooted in a Christian worldview, Communicating for Life explores the implications of individual human communication and the influence of communication on community.

Several aspects of the discipline of communication are examined, including the flawed nature of human communication, contrasting views of communication, and the role of media in contemporary society.

Communicating for Life is the first book to be released under the imprint RenewedMinds, a new publishing partnership between The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and Baker Academic that will cover a variety of disciplines.


"This book answers the question, 'What does it mean to think like a Christian about human communication?' In striving to answer that question, the author touches on topics seldom treated in the communication literature: the role of grace in human relationships, the nature of wisdom, the power of forgiving, the knowledge of good and evil, the creative force of peacemaking, and the transforming reality of God's love. Although specifically written for undergraduates, this book should be read by everyone concerned with the interrelationships among communications, community, and communion. . . . The bookstores are full of treatises about communication written from Marxist, feminist, positivist, and cultural studies perspectives. Now there is a book written from an explicitly Christian perspective and one thing is clear: never again can religious beliefs and values be relegated to the intellectual sidelines. To study human communication is to be immersed in questions of the most profound religious significance."--Martin J. Medhurst, Texas A&M University

"Easily the best presentation I know of a Christian perspective on communication and the media. It raises questions where most of us just take things for granted, and issues challenges where most of us just go along. . . . Though deeply informed in both the Christian tradition and contemporary discussions on the media, it nonetheless wears its learning with extraordinary grace and vividness of rhetoric."--Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale Divinity School

"This high-torque book engages your mind and invigorates your spirit. The theory of symbolic action is a splendid achievement. It catches hold of Augustine, Burke, Elliot and contemporary cultural studies, but is distinctive with Shalom. The problems and stories are stunning in themselves--from across history and around the globe. Quentin Schultze sets the standard for all work henceforth in the theology of communication."--Clifford Christians, Research Professor of Communications, University of Illinois

"(Schultze) connects stewardship with how we speak and listen, how we interact in word and gesture, what we have to say and hear, whether one-on-one, in community, or in mass communication within our culture. . . . I hope his book will convert others to this approach to communicating and then inform them as they go about living up to their new resolves."--Martin Marty, University of Chicago (from the foreword)

The Author

  1. Quentin J. Schultze
    © Corriveau Photography

    Quentin J. Schultze

    Quentin J. Schultze (PhD, University of Illinois) is a speaker, mentor, consultant, and professor of communication emeritus at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His many books include Communicate Like a True Leader, An Essential Guide...

    Continue reading about Quentin J. Schultze


"Understanding communication has always been important for Christians, but maybe never more so than in an era that seems to value mass communication over interpersonal communication. Schultze's book is a good place to start."--Moody

"Schultze's work gives us: a better understanding not just of communication but of God's grace and shalom."--Nathan Bierma, The Banner

"We commend Communicating for Life to you."--Denis D. Haack, Critique

"Quentin Schultze guides readers through an interesting, creative, and spiritual study of communication."--Christian School Teacher

"This book seeks to examine how, why, when, and where Christians can share God's message in today's fast-paced, multimedia world. . . . This book brims with such specific examples, as well as an analysis of each effort. The author assumes his readers have a good working knowledge of history, politics, and contemporary technology; so this book is for a more educated audience."--Church Libraries

"Quentin Schultze, professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin College, takes media literacy to a deeper level. He reminds us that media literacy is not about a technological keeping up with the Joneses. Rather, if fits into the wider context of how each person uses God's gift of communication. . . . Several striking images and stories (some of which may inspire homiletic illustrations) give form to each of Schultze's concepts. The index gives a good indication of the breadth of his illustrations--they range from Marilyn Manson to the Tower of Babel, from Humpty Dumpty to Stalin. . . . Schultze does not spare criticism of the media, though he is just as critical of those who scapegoat the media as the source of societal problems. Spreading shalom involves transforming sinners through Christ. Schultze is adept at showing us the sin embedded in our communication and our need to be transformed by God's grace to enable us to become agents of shalom. He is convinced that 'books, teachers and ideas can help us greatly, but we must first follow the One who called the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee."--The Christian Century

"There is much to appreciate in Communicating for Life. Schultze stands strong in his convictions and also takes his own message, 'speaking the truth in love,' to heart. He is insightful, writes clearly, and respectfully draws upon the considerable contributions of various scholars, writers, and theologians while remaining true to his own message. His book raises important questions, particularly concerning how these principles might relate to Christian institutions as well as individuals. . . . Communicating for Life provides an insightful road map for Christian responsibility in communication."--The Princeton Seminary Bulletin

"Schultze's writing style makes great use of vignettes and illustrations. He is breezy without being overly simple. His analysis of contemporary communication is qualitative rather than quantitative. Once finished, readers will want to dig deeper into many of the issues that he raises. Once equipped with a perspective like that offered by Schultze, that is exactly what communication professionals ought to be doing. This work is highly recommended."--John Suk, Calvin Theological Journal

'The entire volume is masterfully centered on three concepts: communication, cocreation, and stewardship. . . . Shultze is well-known for his many books on media written from a Christian perspective."--Bruce Evensen, Journal of Media and Religion