Rethinking Our Spiritual Conversational Styles

Ironically, all three spiritual conversational styles honestly affirm biblical authority. But each is too unwilling to hear this affirmation in terms other than its own. For this reason, misunderstandings abound when Christians discuss spiritual and theological matters.

When going into such discussions, they are often over-confident that they’ll persuade the other with their own viewpoint. But not long after, they discover that they have found themselves dashed headlong into an unbridled, frustrated tension that frequently leads into virtual insanity on the one hand or division on the other.

Understanding SCSs can help us to have more profitable discussions with our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. The challenge is to swallow our initial reactions to someone else’s SCS and seek to grasp what is behind their less-than-perfect speech style. In this way, Charismatics, Quoters, and Pragmatics alike will no longer shanghai each other into pointless and unprofitable discussions. Instead, they will learn to listen to what each is seeking to communicate.

From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author

Understanding a SCS, either your own or that of another, is not a cure-all for resolving a disagreement over a spiritual matter. Not every theological battle finds its roots in a conflicting SCS. Yet, if we are revising ourselves to better understand the way in which we communicate, we’ll be brought further along in our attempt to learn Jesus Christ from one another.