Books for Singles

This list of the top five books for singles is quite the list — in fact, #5 is a stunner.

So, I have a question for singles: What book/s most speak to you?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://theepiscopalian.blogspot.com/ William Birch

    “What book/s most speak to you?” Not books for singles, lol!!!

    Books for singles, including books on dating, etc., only cause me to focus more on my loneliness. I prefer books on spiritual disciplines (Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard, Scot McKnight, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton) rather than the subject of singleness. In this way, I get to deepen and focus on the most significant relationship that I’m actually in — the one with God through Christ.

  • Adrianna Wright

    I totally agree with William! I will say, however, that I found encouragement from Connally Gilliam in her book Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn’t Expect.

  • http://walkingcontemplative.com brianna

    if ever there was a book that would imagine a community, void of a chasm between the married and the single, then i’d read that book. if, we are living as the community we are created to be, would there be a need for books on singles? hmmm… this is a topic i’ve spent much time contemplating. check my thoughts (not half, but whole) on walking contemplative.

  • Marcus C

    “The Game” by Neil Strauss :)

  • http://theepiscopalian.blogspot.com/ William W. Birch

    Brianna,

    Excellent, excellent response!

  • Diane

    I agree with Brianna, and I took to heart Broadway’ last point–that unless we die with our spouses, say in a car or plane crash, we all will experience singleness–it’s not the “Other.” And a world that embraced singleness, rather than creating a chasm between singles and married, would encourage the end of abusive relationships as well.

  • Tom F.

    Okay, no joke: if you just Google “singleness” most of the top 10 posts are Christian. (All the rest are dictionary definitions.)

    Google “single” and you get dating websites, and all sorts of advice like you might expect.

    Conclusion: American Christians invented “singleness”. The question is, why? What does it mean that Christians attach this “-ness” to singles. Why is “singleness” so much more salient in Christian circles so as to warrant this extra “-ness”? There are no Christian classics on singles or “singleness” because the phenomenon is recent. And yet, discussions about singles and “singleness” are often undertaken using Biblical verses that seem old, like Paul’s very brief treatment. By only hanging out in scripture, discussions that revolve around this issue imply that the issues around “singleness” are thousands of years old. But it seem to me that they have only been around in their present form a generation or two. A great book on being single/”singleness” would explore this…

  • http://www.whitbyforum.com Carolyn Custis James

    I’d love for When Life and Beliefs Collide and Half the Church to be part of this discussion. Both books cast an expansive vision for women’s lives regardless of how our stories play out and raise the bar for all of us. The message for women coming from the church often focuses primarily on marriage and motherhood, excluding single women or treating them like a sidebar. My goal in researching both books was to find out if God’s vision for his daughters is big enough for all of us from our first to last breath. So these are not the typical book for singles, but include singles right along with everyone else.

  • Adam

    So at the top of the list there’s this sentence:
    “In search of books that move beyond longing and provide a hopeful, trust-deepening perspective.”

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to move “beyond longing”, but instead the broader church should move “into longing”. The driving idea here is that longing is not a bad thing. It’s hard to desire something and not get it but the message I receive most is that I should just stop desiring. The message is “Save yourself (and the rest of us) the pain and find your joy in God instead.”

    I’ll use Andy Root’s quote again.
    “Loneliness reveals personhood because loneliness is the confession of lost relationship; it is clutching to find your personhood… the feeling of loneliness is the closest experience that we have to death. It is to be dead to all others; it is to be alone”

    I don’t think we should ever try to hide or cover up our loneliness. Loneliness is an honest confession, but it’s also a painful one. I think the church fears this pain and so they cover it up and push it away. People are trying to push away the pain, but in the same moment they are pushing away the people who feel that pain. The thing is, community is built around people who share each other’s pain. If you want to experience community you have to experience the pain that other people have. If the church intends singles to be part of the community, the church will have to start acknowledging and experiencing the pain of loneliness.

    So what books speak to this?
    Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
    The Different Drum – Scot Peck
    The Relational Pastor – Andrew Root

  • Amanda B.

    I quite like Mike Bickle’s “Seven Longings of the Human Heart”; he acknowledges that people desire intimacy, beauty, and to be enjoyed. He regards the desires as God-given, but also holds that they cannot ever be fully fulfilled in anything short of Him.

    While this is not specifically geared at singles, it assumes its readers may be either married or single. It regards those emotional aches as real and in need of a real answer.

    The book is available in print but can also be legally downloaded as a free PDF, which is pretty nice, too.

  • JoeyS

    The best book I read on the subject, whilst single was this:

    What Women Wish You Knew about Dating: A Single Guy’s Guide to Romantic Relationships
    Stephen W. PH. D. Simpson

  • Jennifer

    The McMinn is the only one on that list I’d strongly recommend to address being single.

    Books that were paradigm shifting for me include:

    -Singles at the Crossroads, by Albert Hsu
    -The Cloister Walk (particularly the chapter on Celibate Passion), by Kathleen Norris
    -Sex for Christians, by Lewis Smedes
    -Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions, by Dan Brennan
    -Loves Me, Loves Me Not: The Ethics of Unrequited Love, by Laura Smit (though I have a problem with the way she spiritualizes and privileges singleness. Nonetheless, this is an utterly neglected topic that is absolutely critical for singles.)


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