"Emergence Christianity" is a term used to describe, somewhat loosely, the revolutionary changes that have been going on in the nature and practice of the Christian faith in the past century or so and will continue to reshape the Christian religion for some time. Ms. Tickle believes, along with many others, that every 500 years or so, since the beginning of Christianity, there has been an upheaval of some kind that reshaped the religion: in about 600 A.D., it was the decline and fall of the Roman Empire; in about the mid-eleventh century it was the "Great Schism," which separated Eastern and Western Christianty; in the 16th century it was the Protestant Reformation, and now we are in another upheaval, termed "The Great Emergence." One can quibble was various aspects of this thesis, but one can hardly deny that "the times they are a-changin'" and that the effect on main-stream Christianity is profound. I agree with most of what she says, and if there is a basic "take-away" from her message it is - "welcome change and enter into it creatively," and to pastors: "be compassionate toward those who are inevitably hurt and bewildered by change."
|Phyllis Tickle in center with Nathan Hoffer, left and Chip Calllahan, right, at podium|