The Four Principles of the Sower

by Tim Downs & Tim Muehlhoff

Author Tim Downs gives two lectures at the 2014 Razor's Edge Arts Conference: the first on the difference between sowing and reaping as demonstrated in John 4, and the second on communicating truth imaginatively and indirectly. Down argues that not enough attention has been placed on sowing and that to accomplish sowing will take shrewd engagement with culture. You cannot say everything to everyone Downs says, but you can say something to anyone.

While teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Muehlhoff received his department's highest award for teaching and has been recognized by the International Communication Association for outstanding teaching. In his M.A. thesis Dr. Muehlhoff developed a method of encouraging civil dialogue and perspective-taking between groups who perceive themselves as morally opposed with no room for, or interest in, connection. Extending his thesis research, his dissertation focused on a performative approach to enriching marital communication. His research interests also include social justice, gender, family communication, interpersonal communication, and persuasion. Outside the classroom Dr. Muehlhoff and wife Noreen are frequent speakers at marriage conferences and seminars. His current project involves understanding the narratives of oppressed women in rural parts of New Delhi, India.

Tim Downs is an American author best known for his "Bug Man" series of novels featuring forensic entomologist Dr. Nick Polchak. The series includes the books Like Flies To A Corpse later renamed Shoofly Pie (2003), Chop Shop (2004), First the Dead (2007), Less Than Dead (2008), Ends of the Earth (2009), as well as, a new release entitled Nick of Time (2011). In addition, Downs is the author of the novels, Plague Maker (2006), Head Game (2007) and Wonders Never Cease (2010). Although not a "Bug Man" novel, Plague Maker featured a cameo by Dr. Polchak.

Downs is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University. While attending college, he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was printed in numerous college newspapers from 1974 through 1979, even after Downs' graduation in 1976. Three collections of Downstown were published by the Indiana Daily Student: This is Winning? (1977); With Love, Chuck (1978); and Get in There and Quit (1978). On March 24, 1980, the strip entered syndication with Universal Press Syndicate. It appeared in more than a hundred major newspapers worldwide until Downs discontinued the strip on February 1, 1986.  Downs self-published one retrospective collection of the series, The Laylo Papers: The Complete Guide to Relationships (1989), which remains in print. Downs is also the founder of the Communication Center, a communication training and consulting ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Downs has also authored numerous books on Christian relationships and communication both on his own and in conjunction with his wife, Joy Downs. His first book, called Finding Common Ground (1999), a work of non-fiction, was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. Downs lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife and three children.

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