Addressing a historically pivotal moment in church history, a respected authority on religion in America combines history, causes of social upheaval, and current events to explain what the Great Emergence in church and culture is, how it came to be, and where it is headed.
So far so good. I like the way she puts it and agree with her analysis. Where the book leaves a little to be desired is her analysis of what the great Emergence will look like. Examining a number of current streams of Christianity she ponders the directions in which things are moving and the burning religious questions of our time, among which she correctly raises the nature of scriptural authority and Christian exclusivity. But she does not suggest answers to these questions or paint a very clear of what the 'ascendant' church of the Great Emergence will look like. I can't seriously fault her for this, as I don't think it's possible to accurately predict the outcome of a current period of turmoil. Could Luther have predicted where his 95 theses would lead?
Definitely worth a read by anyone with an interest in where the church has come from and where it might be going. No clear answers, but some great history and some very good questions.
Here’s her idea: Every 500 years the church undergoes major change. During that period of change, a new form of Christianity is born which becomes the dominant form of the age. The remaining forms of Christianity stick around but lose their
Around 500, Gregory the Great laid the foundation that saved the Church during the fall of the Roman Empire and into the dark ages. Around 1000, the Great Schism took place which separated the Eastern and Western church. Of course, around 1500, the Great Reformation took place which spawned Protestantism. Now, 500 years after the Great Reformation, Tickle places us on the cusp of The Great Emergence.
Her final chapters on how modern denominations are shifting towards a common center are very important. Tickle seems to know precisely how to interpret the multitude of changes that are taking place in our churches.
This is a book about hope. Even the forms of Christianity that do not get involved with the Great Emergence have an important role to play in the future of the Kingdom of God (albeit as ballast).
I think history will treat Phyllis Tickle very well.
The author seeks to understand the many great changes going on throughout Christianity over the past few generations in terms of a 500 year cycle in which Christianity
The narrative is the strongest in terms of the discussion of the past: the analysis of the Reformation and how it came about is excellent, and the discussion of the changes that have come to modern society over the past century and a half is excellent as well.
By necessity, the challenge of such a work involves trying to figure out where everything is going. Perhaps people in the future will find this work rather prophetic, but we cannot know that yet. The author's analysis of how current trends might play out in the near future is insightful, but time will tell about how it all turns out.
This book presents an interesting prism through which to see the history of Christianity and where it might lead, and is worth exploring.