Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters

Phyllis Tickle. Baker, $19.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8010-1355-3
As Western culture and Christianity go through a period of upheaval, what historical forces and participants are shaping the birth of “emergence Christianity?” Building upon the foundation she created in her previous volume The Great Emergence, longtime religion observer and scholar Tickle, founding religion editor at PW, argues that the current semimillennial cultural and religious transformation (the last one being the Protestant Reformation) “is an across-the-board and still-accelerating shift in every single part and parcel of our lives as members in good standing of twenty-first-century Western or westernized civilization.” Tickle draws together strands as different as the Azusa Street revival, the Greenbelt music festival, the growth of house churches, and the birth of the Emergent Village Web site/community to chart the phenomena that have made the unseating of the old guard possible. In this complex and changeable context she includes groups like the “Hyphenateds” (those still affiliated with traditional Christian denominations), Emerging and Emergent communities, Neo-Monastics, and others. Not until near the book’s end does the reader realize how breathtakingly ambitious is Tickle’s attempt to describe the beliefs, disciplines, theology, and ecclesiology of this still-evolving movement. Readers who accept her thesis will appreciate and enjoy the book immensely. Even those who may not agree with her sweeping argument may find themselves fascinated by its audacity. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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