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Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is a senior columnist and contributing editor for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is the author of "Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing - and How We Can Revive Them," "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined," and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

All Stories by Jonathan Merritt

My own personal Jesus: Can he be trusted?

By Jonathan Merritt — June 24, 2021
(RNS) — In a new book, Diana Butler Bass says our understanding of Jesus needs to be informed by personal experience.

Albert Mohler’s darkest hour

By Jonathan Merritt — June 18, 2021
(RNS) — In his bid to lead America’s largest denomination, he was his own worst enemy.

Eugene Peterson authorized biography backs up that ‘yes’ on LGBTQ inclusion

By Jonathan Merritt — March 15, 2021
(RNS) — When Peterson died in 2018, many wondered what he actually thought about same-sex relationships.

Biden’s first 100 days: What’s not for evangelicals to like?

By Jonathan Merritt — January 25, 2021
(RNS) — Biden’s agenda for his first 100 days shares many concerns championed by white evangelicals.

Liberty University football team realizes Falwell’s winning vision, but at what cost?

By Jonathan Merritt — November 20, 2020
(RNS) — Liberty is one of three teams in the running for the NCAA's top tier playoffs.

It’s time to rescue the ‘pro-life’ label from anti-abortion activists

By Jonathan Merritt — November 2, 2020
(RNS) — The 'pro-life' term was once a moral call to arms, but it has become a mere political checkbox.

How will the post-pandemic church pay the bills?

By Jonathan Merritt — October 13, 2020
(RNS) — The pandemic may accelerate a long-term decline in congregational giving and force churches to develop new sources of revenue to survive.

Evangelicals perfected cancel culture. Now it’s coming for them.

By Jonathan Merritt — June 17, 2020
(RNS) — One Alabama megachurch preacher is experiencing a cautionary tale about a central spiritual idea: What goes around comes around.

Al Mohler, Southern Baptist leader, says he was ‘stupid’ to defend slavery in 1998 CNN interview

By Jonathan Merritt — May 15, 2020
(RNS) — The Rev. Al Mohler, longtime Southern Baptist leader, repudiated past comments defending slavery, calling them ‘stupid,’ says he is ashamed of seminary title with a link to slaveholder.

Mohler’s turn to Trump is the crowning flip-flop of his career

By Jonathan Merritt — April 17, 2020
(RNS) — Many, including Mohler’s friends and colleagues, have pointed out that his decision to favor Trump is consistent with a career marked as much by ambition as conviction.

From dating to the workplace, the ancient Enneagram can transform relationships

By Jonathan Merritt — June 21, 2018
(RNS) — The Enneagram has recently developed a cult following and is now being used to help people form healthy relationships.

Paige Patterson has resigned. Imagine if he were Tim Cook.

By Jonathan Merritt — May 23, 2018
(RNS) — Many of the secular communities in America that Southern Baptists have painted as evil possess more moral courage than they do.

What Alcoholics Anonymous could teach Paige Patterson

By Jonathan Merritt — May 15, 2018
The beleaguered baptist leader should join a 12-step program. It might teach him how to make amends.

Why Paige Patterson’s apology may not be enough

By Jonathan Merritt — May 10, 2018
(RNS) — Southern Baptists cannot move on because they've been thrust into a larger cultural conversation.

How American Christians can break free from ‘slaveholder religion’

By Jonathan Merritt — May 2, 2018
(RNS) — It's been 150 years since the Civil War ended, but does the racist theology remain?
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