Posting Peace: Why Social Media Divides Us and What We Can Do About It

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Posting Peace: Why Social Media Divides Us and What We Can Do About It


Douglas S. Bursch


InterVarsity Press

Publication Date:

April 20, 2021




224 pages


Especially in the last five years, much has been said about the anger and pain created by social media. Many Christians have resorted to dropping social media entirely or just removing anything they quality as giving “negative feelings.” Douglas S. Burch argues that we must recognize how much social media influences us and develop a vision that recognizes the universal Christian mandate to pursue reconciliation and peacemaking, recognizing the challenges and limits of doing so on social media.

Marshall McLuhan is famous for coining the term “the medium is the message,” meaning that not only does information change in new formats, but the new medium affects how people think. Bursch builds on this idea, applying it to social media in an intelligent way. He urges readers to consider that social media affects us as much more than we think, and often in very unexpected ways. In that respect, Bursch is doing to social media what Neil Postman did to TV in Amusing Ourselves to Death. However, Postman’s book ended without giving many solutions or hope that TV’s problems could be fixed. Bursch devotes the second half of his book to arguing that Christians are called to be peacemakers whatever their station in life. Therefore, Christians must seek ways to redeem social media even if it’s difficult. He admits this will not be an easy task. The Internet is evolving rapidly, and it’s hard to say whether the entire system can be fixed. Giving a “With your help, in five years we can change the universe” Steve Jobs-style speech would be overly optimistic.

At the same time, Bursch points out the Internet is still in its early stages: the possibilities for shaping it are still to be determined. He argues that regardless of whether Christians can change social media across the board, they are still called to try: that is what peacemakers do. Christians must learn to create peace well, even if it’s just making a little change every day. Thus, he gives readers an honest look at how complicated the problem is, but also a vision for how vital it is to face it.

A clearly written book with great insights.


Rating (1 to 5 Stars)

4.5 Stars

Suggested audience

Christians considering how to handle social media and understand it in both a theological and Christological context.

Christian impact

Bursch routinely takes readers back to understanding that hard is may be, to be a Christian is to pursue peacemaking and reconciliation between people. He carefully shows what this looks like in a social media context, giving humble but perceptive insights.

Posting Peace: Why Social Media Divides Us and What We Can Do about It

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