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Bart asked a great question in a recent post about They Like Jesus But Not the Church. His question was: If you only had time to read book on “emergent” what would it be?

I wanted to answer this question as a separate post because I am hoping more of you will notice the discussion and contribute your ideas. So, what one book would you recommend on emergent if you could only recommend one?

I am going to immediately break my own rule, because I can see a few different ways of coming at this. So here is the one book I would recommend if you wanted to learn more about emergent but you only had time to read one book:

  1. They Like Jesus But Not the Church by Dan Kimball. I think this books is just a great book, so I want everyone to read it. But I think it also lets you inside Dan Kimball’s heart. It lets you see why the whole emergent conversation matters. I have to confess that this book doesn’t really explicitly deal with emergent at all, so if you are trying to learn about what emerging folks believe, etc., this is not the one book you should read about emergent. But it should be the one book you read to learn about how to better love people who are outside of the church.
  2. A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren. My perception is that this is one of the books that really started to gain attention and build momentum for the emerging church movement. This books describes a conversation between a pastor who is close to burnout and someone who helps him rediscover his calling. I have to be honest and say that most of the books I have read like this were somewhat frustrating for me because I wanted them to be a little more concrete. I much preferred McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy and The Secret Message of Jesus.

So that is my .02. I am sure that there are other folks out there who have an opinion. What one book about emergent would you recommend if you could only recommend one book?

You can also find more resources at Emergent Village, Dan Kimball’s website, or Brian McLaren’s website.