Monday, November 29, 2010

I Was Ignorant, and You Taught Me

Nov 29, 2010
David Mills

Over the years, I have learned five things about the sort of people who write strangers to ask religious questions: 1) even a question about an apparently trivial matter or a wildly unfair criticism may reflect a real spiritual struggle; 2) most inquirers are looking more for confirmation or consolation than engagement and teaching; 3) many of those who honestly want to be taught do not want to be taught that much, beyond a “yes” or a “no” and a two sentence explanation; 4) many who ask your advice believe they know as much as you even though they have never read more than three pages on the subject; and 5) few will read you closely and will instead often misread what you’ve written as agreement or approval because that is what they really want.

Here are ten rules developed from my experiences writing people I don't know, for those who find them helpful. the rest

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