Persuasion 211 | Universal Language, with James Beitler and Richard Gibson


Communicating with others is something we’re born doing. We emerge from the womb with limited skills, of course. Our skills grow in time, from wails to words and eventually to full sentences and fully nuanced, complex ideas. But that’s not all it takes to communicate well. We can use all the skills at our disposal—verbal and nonverbal—and still experience a breakdown in communication with others. In the past few years, these breakdowns have become seemingly more common. We wonder what has changed and why we are unable to connect well with others as we once did.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson dig into a new series called Finding Common Ground. Each episode will consider a different aspect of natural revelation and how the world around us gives us the common ground we seek—and desperately need—with our fellow humans. Despite the rifts we feel with others ideologically, there is still much we have in common. By turning our eyes to creation and its rhythms, we find commonality in our shared human experience. One thing that used to bind many of us together here in the United States was a shared language. But these days, we can use the same words as others only to discover each of us uses them with different intent. Shared language is lost when the meaning behind the words shifts. We’re left policing terms or retreating to our cliques or pretending it doesn’t matter. But there’s another way. Erin and Hannah invite Wheaton College English professors James Beitler and Richard Gibson to discuss the importance of using language well, especially in this current moment. Their book titled Charitable Writing: Cultivating Virtue Through Our Words points us to a more effective use of language for connecting with others. By looking outward and upward, we see what’s real and true in nature as God’s revelation for us. We can find shared meaning and goals as we recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around any one person or set of ideas. In humility we see that something greater than our personal definitions are at play. What has contributed to the loss of shared language? What does creation tell us about our place in the world and our perspective on it? How does a humble posture improve our communication? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these as we find common ground together. Then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.


This episode of Persuasion is sponsored in part by LifeWay’s Christian Standard Bible, a translation that presents the truth of God’s Word with accuracy and clarity. The CSB equips today’s readers for lifelong discipleship with hundreds of designs to choose from at CSBible.com.


Your Hosts

Erin Straza: Web / Twitter
Hannah Anderson: Web / Twitter

Persuasion 211 Resources & Links

Charitable Writing: Cultivating Virtue Through Our Words by James Beitler and Richard Gibson

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give the entire series a listen!

Persuasion 209 | Finding Common Ground

Persuasion 210 | Dust to Dust

Theme music by Maiden Name. Produced by Jonathan Clauson.


Sponsorship Details

This episode of Persuasion is sponsored in part by LifeWay’s Christian Standard Bible. If you are interested in sponsoring an episode of Persuasion, please email us for available packages and rates.


Episode Transcript

This transcript has been edited to enhance readability.

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