Archives For Jonathan Merritt


The Relational Consequences
of Sacred Talk


A Response to

(by Tim Muehlhoff ) of Jonathan Merritt’s  New Book
Learning to Speak God from Scratch:
Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing
–and How We Can Revive Them

By D.S. Leiter


READ our review of this book

And Watch for our interview with the author
in our Fall 2018 magazine issue.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This reflection was
originally posted on the writer’s blog,

and is reprinted here with her permission.
I’ve been getting my mind in gear to teach my general education communication classes that start in just over a week. And so when I read a recent Christianity Today review that’s in my wheelhouse—I’m a communication scholar, after all, and it’s a review by a communication scholar (Tim Muehlhoff) of a recent book about sacred language by Jonathan Merritt—my mind turned to an important distinction that pops up in Chapter 1 of the interpersonal communication textbook I teach.
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Transformation Through Play.

A Review of (and Response to)

Learning To Speak God From Scratch:
Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing—and How We Can Revive Them.

Jonathan Merritt

Paperback: Convergent, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]

Reviewed by Chris Schumerth

Who among us hasn’t had the experience of uttering, or perhaps hearing, words and phrases that are expected, so much so that they begin to lose their meaning? And then once the meanings are lost on us, and once the fad has run its course, might we just let the words slip right out of our vocabulary altogether? This is the phenomenon Jonathan Merritt takes on his new book, Learning To Speak God From Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing—and How We Can Revive Them.

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This is an important new book on the words we use and the practice of conversation!


*** Watch for an interview
with the author in our
Fall 2018 magazine issue!


We’re giving away THREE copies
of this brand new book:


Learning to Speak God from Scratch:
Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing
–and How We Can Revive Them
Jonathan Merritt

Paperback: Convergent
Enter now to win a copy of this book (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing–and How We Can Revive Them 

Jonathan Merritt

*** WATCH the trailer video for this book…
We will run an interview with the author
in our Fall 2018 magazine issue!


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This summer is shaping up to be an extraordinary season for new book releases! And to help you get ready, we are giving away advance review copies of three of the summer’s best books… 


One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a summer reading package that includes advance copies of the newest books (pictured above) by Rachel Held Evans, Jonathan Merritt, and Lisa Gungor.

Enter now to for your chance to win this package!

Prize Package Includes:


Enter now to win this package!

 (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :
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Listening, Looking, and Expectant

A Feature Review of

Jesus is Better Than You Imagined

Jonathan Merritt

Hardback: FaithWords, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Rachel Marie Stone

Jonathan Merritt’s newest book, Jesus is Better Than You Imagined, falls into the emerging category of post-fundamentalist faith memoirs including Addie Zierman’s When We Were on Fire, Micha Boyett’s Found, and Rachel Held Evans’ Faith Unraveled. Like those books, Merritt’s is, as the title suggests, more a story about the emergence of a different kind of faith than the story of faith abandoned.


Does every generation need faith stories releasing them from legalism; opening hands and hearts to receive grace? Do Christians – and perhaps Protestants in particular – need to repeat regularly the call that Galatians had on Martin Luther so that we may remember afresh that our faith does not consist of or thrive on our own ability to follow the rules, regulations and mores that change in detail but not in their essential function, which is to delineate the borders beyond which one cannot go and still be considered Christian?

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Jonathan Merritt - A Faith of Our OwnFull of Hope for the Future of Christianity.

A Review of

A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars.

Jonathan Merritt.

Hardback: Faithwords, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Scott Elliott.

One of my favorite quotes is by David Lipscomb. He once wrote, “We are satisfied that voting does much more harm to the church than dancing does.” I love that quote because I believe it to be true, but also because it has probably been perceived differently by every generation since it was first written. The Christian generation before mine viewed dancing as a great evil, and voting as part of a Christian?s duty. Nowadays you would be hard pressed to find a Christian of my generation who believes in the evils of dancing, and voting is no longer an essential element of the Christian faith. This monumental change is documented in Jonathan Merritt?s new book, A Faith of Our Own.

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GREEN LIKE GOD - Jonathan MerrittWe are giving away five copies of Jonathan Merritt’s new book Green Like God.

How to enter to win:

  1. Announce the contest on Twitter, Facebook or your blog:
    The Englewood Review (@ERBks ) is giving away 5 copies of GREEN LIKE GOD by Jonathan Merritt.  Enter here:
  2. (IMPORTANT!) Post a comment to this announcement with your name and a link to your post for #1.   We will choose our winner from among those who have left comments.
  3. You may enter one time per day for the duration of the contest.
  4. We will pick a winner at random from the eligible contestants and notify them this weekend.

The contest will end at 4PM ET on Friday April 23rd.

Excerpt from

Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet.
Jonathan Merritt
Hardback: FaithWords, 2010.
Buy Now: [ ]

A South Jersey farmer visited New York City not too long ago and took a tour of the Big Apple with a friend.  They were standing in New York’s theatre district just off Broadway during the rush of the day.  Car engines were roaring, people were shouting, feet were shuffling, and horns were honking.  The wide-eyes farmer stopped and asked his buddy, “Do you hear that cricket?”

His companion wondered how the farmer possibly heard the song of such a miniscule insect.

The farmer remained still, likely squinting his eyes and straining his ears.  He slowly took steps up an alleyway, motioning for his friend to follow.  Finally, the farmer turned and looked down to see a tiny cricket hiding in the cracks of a brick building.

How did the farmer hear its faint music?  The farmer’s ears were sensitive to the cricket’s melodies, having heard them many nights back on the farm.  He was primed to listen to the sound.  In the same way we must open all our senses to God around us.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat:  they miraculously bring us life day in and day out.  We put seeds in the ground and somehow they grow into edible bounty—corn and what and rice.  In the most simplistic yet fascinating cycle, water condenses in clouds and rain falls to the ground.  It accumulates on mountaintops and flows down rivers into lakes.  This happens each and every year with no prodding from us whatsoever.  Without words, it is as if God is murmuring, “I am here and I will provide for you.”  The beauty of a sunset or the majesty of a snow-tipped mountain peak seems to echo, “I am here and I want to communicate with you.”   (72-72)

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You can also read the book’s first chapter here: