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A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446557234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446557238
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,204,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Merritt represents a hopeful new current in evangelical America." (USA Today )

"By broadening evangelicalism's agenda, younger evangelicals like Jonathan Merritt..are doing us a favor." (Dallas Morning News )

"Merritt...writes with humility and clarity. He addresses the political, cultural and biblical assumptions many of us hold." (Christianity Today )

"In this book, Jonathan Merritt forces the reader to 'choose this day whom you will serve.' In choosing the right Kingdom and right King, we have the most affect on the one that is passing away. But in choosing the wrong Kingdom and King, we affect neither."
-Cal Thomas, syndicated and USA Today columnist / Fox News contributor

"After a wearisome decade where younger Christians welcomed the downfall of the Religious Right, Merritt charts the way forward--helping us imagine a constructive way to advance the common good in the public square. A Faith of Our Own provides a roadmap for how Christians can engage the future."
-Gabe Lyons, Author of The Next Christians

"In this personal, provocative, and well-written book-- part memoir, part manifesto-- Merritt lays out his journey and his case. If you want to understand shifts among younger Christians, this book is a must read."
-Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research

"A Faith of Our Own is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand a post-culture war generation of Christians."
-Matt Lewis, senior contributor, The Daily Caller

"In this provocative book Merritt again and again challenges Christians to reconsider their comfortable lives and their easy acceptance of either right-wing or left-wing politics as God's way of living their faith in the world."
-Steve Monsma, Senior Research Fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College

"Merritt represents an entire generation seeking to reconcile sanctification with service without embracing the extremes. This book provides a blueprint that if applied will replace the image of an angry, white evangelical in the public square with a compassionate follower of Christ in the heart of the community."
-Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

"With eloquence, wit and experience, Jonathan illuminates the incongruence between Christian political partisanship and the Gospel of Jesus... [He] inspires hope that there is a less divisive way for Christians to engage politics and culture-a way that looks more like Jesus, marked by humility, grace, mercy and respect."
-Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul

"Tearing down sacred cows that served as idols to a previous generation, Jonathan offers insight into a way forward that encompasses a hopeful future for the role of faith in American culture. With A Faith of Our Own, Merritt reveals the courage to speak bold truth in love for the good of the Church."
-Soong Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism; Professor, at North Park Theological Seminary

"Jonathan Merritt gives us a personal and intriguing guidebook for Christian participation in the public square. As a church leader involved in the moral causes of our time, he helps us all understand how political participation can be yet another way to exercise our faith in Christ. This is a fresh look from a young leader!"
-Joel Hunter, author and pastor of Northland Church

"Jonathan Merritt is part of a new generation of evangelicals seeking to be kingdom builders rather than culture warriors. He thinks Christians should be salt and light rather than fire and ice. We should listen to him."
- Barry Hankins, author of Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties, and Today's Culture Wars and professor of history and church-state studies at Baylor University

"A forceful but loving critique of the tragic failures of my generation of evangelicals by a gifted young leader. Plus a biblically solid, Christ-centered way forward. A must read."
-Ronald J. Sider, bestselling author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and President of Evangelicals for Social Action

About the Author

Jonathan Merritt is a faith and culture writer who has published over 350 articles in outlets such as USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN.com and Christianity Today. He is author of Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet, which Publisher's Weekly called "mandatory reading for churchgoers." As a respected Christian voice, he has been interviewed by ABC World News, CNN, Fox News, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Jonathan resides outside of Atlanta, GA where he actively serves and teaches at Cross Pointe Church.

You can follow him, but please, only on twitter: @jonathanmerritt

More About the Author

Jonathan Merritt is a faith and culture writer who has published more than 1000 articles in outlets such as The Atlantic, USA Today, National Journal, The Washington Post, and CNN.com. He is Senior Columnist for Religion News Service, America's largest provider of news and commentary focused on religion and spirituality. His previous books include A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars and Green Like God, which Publisher's Weekly called, "mandatory reading for churchgoers."

Recently named one of 30 leaders reshaping Christian leadership by Outreach Magazine, Jonathan has become a popular speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches. As a respected Christian voice, he has been interviewed by ABC World News, Fox News, CNN, NPR, PBS, Politico, Slate, and The New York Times.

Jonathan sits on the national board of directors for Bethany Christian Services, America's largest adoption and orphan care agency. He holds master's degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and he resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Follow Jonathan on twitter: @jonathanmerritt

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Customer Reviews

Jonathan tackles some of the thorniest issues with great skill and care.
C. Medearis
The same free market economists espoused by the religious right when politically expedient have a great deal to say about the dangers of political expediency!
Nathanael D. Snow
Jonathan Merritt and A Faith of Our Own represent well the voice of a new generation.
William Samson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Mason on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I admit I'm frustrated with politics as a conservative Christ-follower. I have been for some time. I don't think that my government or my representatives reflect my views, much less the views of the majority of the people in the U.S., much less anything outside of their own self-interest. I grew up in the Reagan era and in the urban South, there was a lot of pride in our leadership back then. We had an enemy in Communism, we were strong economically, and in conservative circles, everything just seemed "right" with the world.

Of course now, years later, I realize just how much was wrong with the world back then, and that politics glossed over much of the real challenge of making a positive difference. We fought the Communists, but we tolerated the racists and the bigots. We built great wealth, but we ignored the poor and let AIDS run rampant across Africa. The Berlin Wall fell, but walls of class envy and ethnic division were built up across our country. Today, much travel, experience and wisdom that comes with age, along with my beliefs, presses me to do something significant to help the poor, to change attitudes on race and to use our resources to better the world.

If only some of these things could be done without the muck and stench of politics clouding the way. In "A Faith of Our Own", I found a voice of many of these concerns in Jonathan Merritt's experiences. The book shares this sense that Christ-followers today, especially the younger generation--the one behind mine--wants to impact their world in a meaningful way. And, like me, they're turned off by the political banter. Worse, and I think Merritt does a masterful job of writing in this regard--they're just frustrated with politics in general and feel used as a "voting bloc" for others with agendas.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Scott Elliott on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.

A Faith of Our Own is a well written book about things that are taking place right now in Christianity. The book is not just a collection of data, although Merritt has done his research. It is his personal story of growing up in the church. He is the son of a Southern Baptist President. He attended Liberty University, while Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority, was president. He was brought up in a church where Bill Clinton and other liberal politicians were rebuked publicly from the pulpit. He was raised in an all around conservative environment in the middle of the culture wars. During his upbringing he bought into the hope the religious right was selling. They wanted to convince everyone that, "If all you will do is vote a certain way, then we can change America." Merritt eventually discovered that this was a false hope. Even with a Republican in the White House, and a Republican controlled house and senate little or nothing changed. The two issues that were at the forefront of the culture wars 30 years ago, abortion and gay-marriage, are still at the forefront today. Neither has been resolved.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dabbs on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let's start with the unique value of this book, A Faith of Our Own. The big question of this book is how should Christians' faith influence our political views and how we engage in political discourse? More importantly, how do we as Christianity instigate meaningful change in this world in a way that is in tune with the kingdom over worldly political processes? What makes these questions so important is that they are questions more and more young people are asking. What makes Jonathan Merritt's perspective unique is that he grew up in a family that was entrenched in Christian conservatism. Just to give you an idea he starts the book with a story as a senior in high school having lunch with Jerry Faldwell trying to get him to come to Liberty University. His family has connections with the Religious Right.

By reading Merritt's thoughts you gain insight into the struggles and questions of many young adults today in regard to faith and politics (I am still wondering how the word politics didn't make it into the title of this book). The biggest concern is trying to find consistency in faith and politics by wading past all the junk to the core of what is really most important. Reading Jonathan's perspective will help you understand where many young adults are coming from, what they have had to wrestle with and will make you, no matter what your political leaning, consider your own approach to faith and politics.

As has already been mentioned, Jonathan Merritt grew up in the inner sanctum of conservative Christianity. He has seen the inner workings of how previous generations have tried to put faith and politics together and reflects on how there can be a better fit than what he experienced growing up.
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