Descripción de editorial
In a rapidly changing culture, many of us struggle to talk about faith. We can no longer assume our friends understand words such as grace or gospel. Others, like lost and sin, have become so negative they are nearly conversation-enders.
Jonathan Merritt knows this frustration well. After moving from the Bible Belt to New York City, he discovered that the sacred terms he used to describe his spiritual life didn’t connect as they had in the past. This launched him into an exploration of an increasing American reluctance to talk about faith—and the data he uncovered revealed a quiet crisis of affecting millions.
In this groundbreaking book, Jonathan revives ancient expressions through incisive cultural commentary, vulnerable personal narratives, and surprising biblical insights. Both provocative and liberating, Learning to Speak God from Scratch will breathe new life into your spiritual conversations and invite you into the embrace of the God who inhabits them.
Merritt (Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined) explores the secularization of key religious terms in this revealing if confusing book. When he moved to New York City from Georgia, Merritt discovered that many of his new neighbors didn't use language related to Christianity in the same way that he did. Grace, pain, lost, spirit, family, saint: these and other words common to the Christian faith seemed, to him, to have lost their traditional meanings. Many charts and infographics detail Merritt's research into the reluctance to talk about faith, which leads him to the conclusion that Christians are increasingly avoiding faith conversations because of Christian illiteracy, a trend that then causes even greater ignorance of faith. In a bid to recover a common understanding among Christians of sacred words what he calls "speaking God" Merritt explores the relationship between words and action, devoting two-thirds of the book to 19 terms and how their meanings have changed. Written in conversational prose as a journey of personal discovery, Merritt's book reiterates a seemingly simple method for reviving sacred words, but it's oddly similar to his original critique: understand that "words are malleable" and to allow fluidity in a word's changing meaning through cultures and in different contexts. Though his charts are illuminating, the confusion in Merritt's final advice makes this thought-provoking book more puzzling than it ought to be.