We’ve all seen them. Listicles are articles that are just lists of short bullet points, usually with pictures. And they’ve even made their way to the Christian blogosphere! Like this one, and this one, and worst of all this one. But this medium must DIE!
Here’s a listicle of 8 reasons why that’s the case:
- Any talentless hack can write a listicle.
I mean really now, even I can write a listicle! Literally anyone could be hired by the devil’s website. It’s easy to come up with lame inside jokes and find images that match them. Writing should actually have something worthwhile to present.
- GIFs are for those who want to divide the church.
Seriously is it pronounced with a hard “g” or a soft “g”? All I know is it’s too controversial. We could end up with a church split over this.
- You can’t make a serious point in a whimsical and ridiculous format.
It simply can’t be done. And if it could, the readership would miss the point. When we come to talk about Christianity and the things of God, some gravity of the things we’re discussing should be felt. Certain things are best said in certain media. For example, you don’t usually write an abstract algebra textbook in graphic novel format. Similarly, listicles don’t communicate well the intricacy and interconnectedness of Christian though. Memes and silly images don’t really go well with the gravity of talking about God and don’t express the depth of His character.
- One hundred and forty characters is really nowhere near enough space for one to express oneself fully while stating any deep, serious though
Christianity and living it out in our daily lives takes a lot of careful, focused, serious thought. The brevity of listicles contributes toward creating a spiritual ADD. Without the ability to dwell on a single topic and meditate on it, we can’t actually show ourselves to be approved workmen rightly dividing the Word of Truth or find out how to be better doers of the Word rather than hearers only. If we have the mind of Christ, perhaps we should use it. Books are so much better for this.
- This total loser used clickbait. You won’t BELIEVE how corny his post was!
Listicles are clickbait. Clickbait is designed to grab our attention and tell us what we want to hear. This doesn’t help us become better thinkers. Furthermore, clickbait often tells us how and what to think. This prevents us from learning to think for ourselves. Books, however, make a good antidote.
- Seriously what’s up with all these weird numbers?
Many listicles choose weird numbers for their number of points, such as, “23 Things Only Private High School Club Tennis Players Will Understand,” or, “9 Times God Had My Back,” or, “8 Reasons Christian Listicles Must DIE!” It’s been known for thousands of years that if you want people to remember your main points, you should only have a two to four of them, with more being occasionally permissible. When you pick some non-round number like 24, you make it hard for your reader to remember how many points you even had, let alone what those points are. This is bad communication. Five paragraph essay structure has been standardized to three main points for generations, and three has been shown to be an effective number of points. Sticking with three points works quite well.
- Clichés make Christianity look so cliché.
Listicles, clickbait, etc., these just make us look mundane and tired as in the eyes of the world. It’s cringeworthy, not upworthy. I don’t mean to argue it’s immorally worldly to use a listicle, but I do mean to say that there should be an excellence in our work and our lives that turns the heads of those who see us. We don’t want to make God look boring or mundane. We want Him to appear desirable and excellent.
- Christian writing should reflect the beauty, glory, and excellence of God.
If you agree with any point heretofore in this article, you’ll see how listicles fail to do this. God’s thoughts are deep, His ways are beyond comprehension. Whatever our hands find to do, we should do with all our might. So too, then, must writing about Him take work, not slipshod, easy “writing.”