On Faith and Culture

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

By Jonathan Merritt — 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?

By Jonathan Merritt — 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

By Jonathan Merritt — 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?

By Jonathan Merritt — 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

By Jonathan Merritt — 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

By Jonathan Merritt — 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’

By Jonathan Merritt — February 16, 2018

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

What living with a death sentence can teach all of us about life

By Jonathan Merritt — February 6, 2018

(RNS) — ‘If someone found cancer to be a gift, wonderful. But there is a certain cruelty to asking suffering people to bear the weight of other people’s theological conundrums,’ Christian historian Kate Bowler tells RNS’ Jonathan Merritt. (Commentary)

Is the ‘evangelical’ label worth preserving or nah?

By Jonathan Merritt — February 2, 2018

Should we abandon the term or work to revive it? Theologian John Stackhouse weighs in.

Nancy Pearcey and Jonathan Merritt spar on the hottest of hot topics

By Jonathan Merritt — January 26, 2018

Pearcey’s razor-sharp mind combined with a compelling personal story makes her a powerful, if undervalued, champion for conservatives.

Moving beyond a fear-based faith

By Jonathan Merritt — January 19, 2018

Fear is largely seen as a psychological issue. But it is also a spiritual issue, according to author Benjamin Corey.  

‘Double persecution’: The untold plight of Christian women worldwide

By Jonathan Merritt — January 10, 2018

Every day, six Christian women are reportedly raped, sexually harassed or forced to marry under threat of execution due to their faith.

The 12 most dangerous countries for Christians

By Jonathan Merritt — January 10, 2018

While American Christians are a privileged majority, their brothers and sisters in many places are a persecuted minority. 

RNS Best of 2017: Eugene Peterson backtracks on same-sex marriage

By Jonathan Merritt — December 31, 2017

(RNS) — After condemnation from conservatives, ‘The Message’ author says he regrets telling RNS columnist Jonathan Merritt that he would officiate a same-sex wedding.

Sexuality, race, and gender: 3 explosive insights about America’s 100 largest churches

By Jonathan Merritt — December 29, 2017

Last October, evangelicalism was rocked by the launch of ChurchClarity.org, an organization that reports churches’ LGBTQ+ policies and rates congregations based on their level of clarity. The website angered Christians on both sides of the issue. Some conservatives attacked the CC’s liberal leadership, while some progressives claimed that labeling churches undermined progress. Nevertheless, Church Clarity persisted. […]

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