Reza Aslan said he wants to show the power of Jesus as a flesh-and-blood human being, rather than the savior of the world. Photo courtesy Malin Fezahai

Reza Aslan defends controversial new book on Jesus

(RNS) Reza Aslan’s controversial new book about Jesus is about to make him a best-selling author. “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has already reached No. 1 on Amazon.com. But critics say Aslan has simply created his own version of Jesus.

The Rev. Frank Page, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, with his daughter Melissa Page Strange, 32, who took her own life in 2009. Photo courtesy Frank Page

Church leaders tackle the stigma of mental illness

(RNS) For years, Southern Baptist leader Frank Page did not share the painful details of his daughter’s suicide, fearing that some Christians might speak ill of her if they knew. Mental illness and suicide were taboo topics for many churches, seen as a kind of spiritual failure. That may be starting to change.

RNS photo by Steven S. Harman/The Tennessean, courtesy USA Today

Unitarian Universalists see chance for growth in growth of secularism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Unitarian Universalists grew nationally by 15.8 percent from 2000 to 2010, and while they remain small in total numbers with about 211,000 adherents nationwide, Unitarians believe their open-minded faith has a bright future as an alternative to more exclusive brands of religion. By Bob Smietana/USA Today.

Religious labels matter less in 2012 campaign

(RNS) There aren't any white Protestants on the presidential ballot this year — a first in American history. It's a situation that probably would have baffled famous evangelicals such as the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. By Bob Smietana.

RNS photo courtesy the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormons and Baptists compete for converts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Every year, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend tens of millions of dollars to spread their takes on Christianity. They rely heavily on thousands of faithful volunteers willing to spread out across the country to share their faith. By Bob Smietana.