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Phyllis Tickle and the Upheaval of Christianity as we know it

December 29, 2010

Here’s a good video from Phyllis Tickle. She makes the case that we’re in the middle of a “Great Emergence” in Christianity where Protestantism, as we know it at least, is changing forever. It’s very insightful and she offers great historical background to strengthen her case.

For me, it speaks to where I see faith and religion heading and where I want to help guide it in my role as a minister. There are options for smaller segments or you can watch the whole thing. Enjoy!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2010 11:10 am

    I’ve seen this before and I never know how to respond to it. I don’t know whether this is 99% crap or just partly crap. Some of this sounds good to me, but it contains so many generalizations which (I think) wouldn’t hold up on close examination that I wonder if any of it is either wise or predictive. I cringe through parts of this. And: two previous “Emergences” is not enough to establish a repeating cycle. I guess, as Phyllis says, I need to go read a book. Hmm. But, that’s part of my problem. I have read some.

    • bgosden permalink*
      December 29, 2010 11:58 am

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! I agree that much of what she talks about can be foreign and almost “too good to be true” generalizations. I would submit that maybe our wider culture has arrived at a place to hear the challenges of the Great Emergence to institutional religion, whereas they could not before. I also think the grassroots efforts of such a movement outside of the institutional barriers of denominationalism help.

      But I suppose only time will tell. Right now, the sheer message that something MUST change for Christianity to be faithful to the Gospel is enough to keep me on board.

      Thanks for stopping by-I stopped by your blog as well. I look forward to following you more.

      • December 29, 2010 12:26 pm

        Thanks, Ben. I hope I was clear that I’m not at all opposed to the idea of emergent Christianity. In fact, I feel quite drawn to it. I just find listening to Phyllis Tickle to be a frustrating experience. (Listening to Karen Armstrong would be even worse.) I don’t know what to make of it. I was a United Methodist pastor for 35 years (well, 38 really because I was also “appointed to attend school” for 3 years). the UMC is hierarchical, authoritarian, defensive, secretive and corrupt. It grinds down churches and pastors and families. Fortunately, not everyone, not every church — but far too many. Any is too many. We cannot afford something like “Bishops” any more. We cannot afford these corrupt hierarchical institutions. They must die so that the church can live. But, of course, the death of the mainline will be painful — as death always is.

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