The Great Emergence

I have been rediscovering the writings of Phyllis Tickle. I  heard her speak once about feminism and the Bible some years ago and I was really impressed. I got a lot out of it.
I remember at the end of the lecture as we got out of our seats to go – I turned to a woman next to me, who I thought in all likelihood was a minister. Sharing my enthusiasm for the new insights I had been given, I said, ‘ Wow! That should give you plenty to talk about in church next Sunday’. As quick as a flash she replied, “Oh, I could never talk to my congregation about that. They are a small elderly congregation and I wouldn’t want to upset them.’
Such are the funeral directors of today’s church – uninspiring comforters delivering bland but reassuring spiritual aspirin week by week.

It is very clear that the western world is going through profound change. And it is clear, to me at least, that the mass exodus from the churches that has been going on over my lifetime is intimately connected to the emergence of a new paradigm of being – new ways of thinking, new ways of communicating, new ways of organising and working, and a shake up of values and understandings.

‘The Great Emergence’ is not just a book for Christians; because religion, rightly understood, is, and always has been, intimately connected with culture. Ultimately, it is all about how we live and survive as civilisations.

For the church, Phyllis Tickle offers understandings to approach the changes of the emerging epoch not as a threat, but as an opportunity for growth. I commend her book.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

Exit mobile version