I received a copy of this incredible book for being a part of Jonathan's launch team, and I could not be more excited to share it with you today! We need more resources like this one in the Christian living space. I absolutely loved it, and I'm confident that its wisdom will be a blessing to you too.
About the Book:
The full title of this book is Learning To Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing--and How We Can Revive Them. Jonathan moved from the heart of the Bible belt to New York City and found that much of the language he used to speak about faith in casual conversation was unfamiliar, poorly defined, or carried heavy negative associations for the average person he met. With some research, he learned that conversations about God are steadily declining in our society, and he associates this issue with the often abstract, churchy language we use to communicate about God, faith, and spiritual matters. Much of it only makes sense to those who are already within the context of a church community.
Therefore, this book is an exploration of some of those crucial words we use to discuss God, and how we can shed new light and understanding on them. His use of illustration and example is profound, often funny, and incredibly insightful. I have a feeling that this book will set many people free--free to give words to their spiritual experiences, free to understand stale terms in new light, and free to speak God again.
Fall: Scientific Quandaries and the Beauty of You
Sin: Pocket Nails and a Mountain of Metaphors
I don't even want to get into them. The cost of the book is worth it for these two chapters alone. All I will say is that they are full of rich, beautiful theology that makes me love God more.
Top 5 Quotes:
"Perhaps the greatest threat to faith is not doubting God but being disappointed with God." (Chapter 11: "Disappointment: Dopamine Roller-Coasters and Palm Branches")
"We might think of sin as anything that robs us of the fullness of life--or something we've done that robs others of the fullness of life." (Chapter 15: "Sin: Pocket Nails and a Mountain of Metaphors")
"I knew that the word broken is itself broken and in need of repair. Sure the word still has some life left in it. We should speak freely about 'broken marriages' and 'broken political systems' and 'broken hearts.' We use these not as tools of marginalization but as signposts of hope reminding us that mending is possible." (Chapter 17: "Brokenness: Reparative Therapy and Our Aversion to Responsibility")
"The purpose of receiving blessings is to bless others." (Chapter 18: "Blessed: Hollow Hashtags and Marble Toilets")
"Jesus' definition of neighbor seems to be 'anyone who is in need.'" (Chapter 19: "Neighbor: Mister Rogers and the Global Refugee Crisis")
Follow the Author:
Jonathan Merritt writes about religion and culture for The Atlantic among many other publications. He hosts multiple podcasts including The Faith Angle and, to go along with this book release, Seekers & Speakers. You can follow him on twitter here and instagram here.
The book is out in the world TODAY, and you can grab a copy on Amazon here.