The Circle, by Dave Eggers

“If you had to choose one book to help a person embarking on pastoral ministry, what would it be?” We posed that question to some pastors and professors. Here are their choices. —Ed.

Eggers’s novel is about a mega social network corporation that takes over the world—seemingly benevolently. Its characters have no depth or soul; their personhood is defined by electronic connectedness. It is an alarmingly accurate (if heavy-handed) account of the contemporary cultural context.

We continually hear that we must bring everything online—that there is no other way to be successful. New church leaders would do well to pause and consider this TechGnosticism on the one hand and, on the other, what the church has going for it: the body and the blood, messy physicality, incarnation. Maybe it’s OK not to tweet. My teenage children would disagree, but I’m making them read the book, too.

Read all reflections.

Debbie Blue

Debbie Blue is a pastor at House of Mercy Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her most recent book is Consider the Women (Eerdmans).

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