Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Great Emergence

"Every five hundred years, the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale".

Soome time ago, I found a copy of Phyllis Tickle's "The Great Emergence" (2008) at a book sale and picked up a copy. This is a book I have wanted to read for some time for a few reasons. First, it has caused something of a stir in theological circles, and second, this is an important book to understand  emergent churches and groups. Even though "The Emergent Church" was published five years ago, it is an easy and enoyable read which sheds light on the church today.

In "The Great Emergence", Tickel proposes that Christianity undergoes drastic changes every 500 years. The timeframe is obvious important to us as we are now living in one of those phases-and this fact underlies the importance of the book. We are fortunate to be living during one of these pivotal times. As TIckel reviews the history of the Christian Church,  she points out the important benchmarks which ocurr every 500 years. These 500 year stepping stones have included Chalcedon (451), the Great Scism (1054), the Reformation (1517) and the present age. And going backwards, these 500 years periods have included the Old Testament World as well, such as the Babylonain Captivity, and in 1000 BC, the Davidic Dynasty. I wish I had known these "benchmarks" when I was studying church history, as it certainly would have made things easier to understand.
Interesting stuff.