The Great Emergence | Phyllis Tickle

History will decide whether Tickle is a prophet or not.

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 priority. Every time this happens, the gospel is proclaimed to more people than ever before.

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.

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