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#35: Samuel James — Author of Digital Liturgies on Why You Aren't Getting Published, Embodiment in a Digital Age, and Becoming More Human


Samuel D. James serves as associate acquisitions editor at Crossway Books. He is a regular contributor to First Things and The Gospel Coalition, and his writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and National Review. Samuel and his wife Emily live in Louisville, Ky., with their two children.

Connect with Samuel James: 

Substack | World Magazine

Selected Links From The Episode

Recommended Books:

Quotes From The Interview

  • “When it comes to writing, I try to help people have this strong sense of why. Why are you doing.” - Samuel James

  • “Movement itself does not mean action.” - Tim Sweetman

  • “When it comes to the web and the Christian life, the question so what do I do now is especially tricky, why because there’s no straight line from Christian  wisdom to rejection of Technology.” - Samuel James

  • “There’s something about this environment that will always kind of mess up our relationship with the world because it wasn’t meant to be just you alone in your room with a device experiencing the world is meant to be so much more dimensional than that.” - Samuel James

People Mentioned

Show Notes

  • [00:00:00] Introduction to Samuel James

  • [00:02:03] How Samuel approaches writing and bringing reality into it

  • [00:07:37] Motives for writing, what is your “why”

  • [00:14:00] Quality vs quantity

  • [00:18:23] Book contract and having a baby

  • [00:20:40] Approach to writing books and process

  • [00:21:32] Tech sometimes get in the way of writing

  • [00:26:12] Advice to those who want to write a book

  • [00:29:30] Writing a book proposal

  • [00:31:16] Does a writer need to have a huge audience to start?

  • [00:37:15] Publishers are a business

  • [00:38:04] Ability to show you can write, nothing to do with social media followers

  • [00:40:34] Samuel’s book and embodiment vs disembodiment

  • [00:47:16] Digital liturgy has changed us and now we are making decisions to make sure it doesn’t change us

  • [00:52:44] Digital environment creeping into the physical environment

  • [00:55:37] Is there a way out of this and technology will make us more human?

  • [01:04:07] Practical ways James curates his interaction with technology

  • [01:08:00] What James is currently working on

The Tension Podcast
The Tension Podcast is for those of us who’ve read every single leadership book and article that gives us just only one way to do things — but we’re ready to hold opposing ideas at once. It’s an exploration of where curiosity and wonder can take us.