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Several years ago, when author Jonathan Merritt moved to New York City, he ran into “a crippling language barrier.” Raised in a predominantly Christian community where the meaning of sacred words was mostly taken for granted, Merritt discovered an unsettling scenario in his new city: “My problem was that I could no longer ‘speak God.’”

As Merritt began to ponder his new reality, he discovered that he wasn’t alone. He learned that many others—raised in the Christian faith and accustomed to speaking “a kind of Christian cultural lingo” with most people they encountered—felt they too had been “struck mute in a strange land.”

In Learning to Speak God from Scratch, Merritt draws on his experiences as a prolific religion and culture writer and shares his own struggles with depression, identity, and chronic illness as he embarks with his readers on “an expedition to rediscover a love for consecrated terms and discover why speaking God matters now more than ever.”

Reflecting on sacred words like creed, blessed, prayer, sin, neighbor, confession, and more, Merritt shares their histories and shows how their meanings have sometimes changed over time. More important, he explores how we can use these words in fresh, Spirit-led ways to communicate the power and beauty of the gospel in today's world. (Convergent Books)

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