Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist 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 author of "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

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

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.

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

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.

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

May 15, 2018

The beleaguered baptist leader should join a 12-step program. It might teach him how to make amends.

On Mother’s Day, let’s listen to our moms’ cries for justice

May 12, 2018

(RNS) — “We cannot honor our mothers in this #MeToo moment without listening to the cries of generations of women who have suffered sexual violence and domestic abuse because of an unrighteous order that we imagined to be from God,” writes Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

Why Paige Patterson’s apology may not be enough

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’

May 2, 2018

(RNS) — It’s been 150 years since the Civil War ended, but does the racist theology remain?

‘Doubting Thomas’ story is about gratitude, not doubt

April 11, 2018

Post-enlightenment Christians read this as a story of dogma and doubt. But it is actually a story of thanks.

From hell to atonement, musician Audrey Assad has been quietly evolving

April 5, 2018

(RNS) — ‘I suppose if there is anything I could say I reject, it is the idea that God’s love and acceptance is dependent on our right belief. I no longer see how that could be possible,’ said Audrey Assad.

Why isn’t there a ‘War on Easter’ like Christmas?

March 28, 2018

Despite their many similarities, Easter has avoided the controversy that stalks Christmas. Here’s why.

Evangelicals haven’t always cozied up to Russia

March 21, 2018

(RNS) — A generation ago, evangelical luminaries denounced the Soviet Union and Russian leadership in the strongest possible terms.

Can former journalist Lee Strobel make a convincing case for miracles?

March 14, 2018

Former editor for “The Chicago Tribune” compiles evidence to prove miracles. But is it effective to build a logical case for a mystical event?

Advice for dealing with critics — from a religion writer with plenty of them

March 9, 2018

If you have courage enough to speak up in this divided and uncivil moment, you’ll soon find yourself facing a wave of criticism and resistance.

Responding to American Christianity’s obsession with youth

March 1, 2018

Author Andrew Root says, “As the church finds itself with an authenticity deficit, it often runs to youthful forms to legitimate it.”

Desiring God, mental health, and the truth about ‘chronological snobbery’

February 16, 2018

“Thank God for psychologists and Lexapro,” writes Jonathan Merritt. “Without them, I might be dead today.”

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