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The Great Emergence

March 31, 2014

The advantage of not being addicted to only reading books as they are released is one has the perspective that only time provides to a book and its impact. THE GREAT EMERGENCE: How Christianity is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle (Baker, 2008) is a great example of this principle. The book was published to great fanfare and wide discussion because of the fresh voice and perspective delivered by the founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly. The core metaphoric idea is that every 500 years the Church has held a “rummage sale” of ideas and practices. In about 500 we had Constantine and the formal  articulation of Christianity orthodoxy, In about 1000 there was the “great schism” between the Eastern and Western church, in the 1500’s The Reformation and beginning in about 2000 The Emergent Church. Two additional valuable illustration are The cable of meaning” and the “quadrilateral” in all its manifestations. Also valuable though painted with a broad brush were chapters articulating the impact of Darwin, Freud, Joseph Campbell(The Power of Myth) Einstein and the automobile. Over all Phyllis suggests making a few jumps or assumes jumps already taken that I am Theologically uncomfortable with making. Having said that the book is a wonderful starting point and road map to learn the vocabulary, key idea leaders and metaphors to be able to engage in conversation  with the emergent church movement. The book continues to be important so agree or disagree a lot of the discussion passes through the quotes and conclusions of this book so give it a read and join the conversation! 

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One Comment
  1. I love Phyllis Tickle!

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