"While no observer is willing to say emphatically just how many North American Christians are definitely emergent at the moment, it is not unreasonable to assume that by the time the Great Emergence has reached maturity, about 60 percent of practising American Christians will be emergent or some clear variant thereof."
Phyllis Tickle, manuscript for The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why, by Phyllis Tickle. Comes out October 2008 so don't take that quote as gospel . . just yet.
This blurb of mine is a little premature . . . but i cant wait.The manuscript arrived last week and I dropped everything to read it. It didnt take long to read - its not a long book - but its a GREAT book and perhaps book of the year, If N.T Wright's Surprised by Hope doesnt beat it. I was asked for a quote for the book (I'm not worthy!) and so . . .
I cannot speak highly enough of this new book by Phyllis Tickle. Astonishing, in its panoramic scope, cultural insight and lucid brevity, 'The Great Emergence' pinpoints the global emerging church movement within the greater drama of Christianity in a new world. Finding her bearings from previous revolutions and locating our present upheaval within the rhythms of human history, Tickle shows us why The Great Emergence will not die away but will instead inaugurate and define the next epoch of Christianity. This book will raise eyebrows and expectations.
Right. Enough with the official blurb. Its a damn good book. Buy it! It will be on my Top 10 Emerging Church book list.
I should also say that Phyllis's book made me uncomfortable in a few sections with some of her future scenarios but I took these as predictive rather than prescriptive. And her link between the charismatic movement and the emerging church movement made me squirm a little but its a fair observation and one that history will no doubt shed more light.
The book is an amazing work of both artful prose and scholarly accomplishment and I would recommend, as I do with all of Phyllis's books, to buy the hard cover version and show it some respect.
Read on for two more juicy quotes. (Hope the publishers wont mind -Hi Chad! Just these two and I promise i wont spill any more beans . . .)
"In the hands of emergents, Christianity has grown exponentially, not only in geographic base and numbers, but also in passion and in an effecting belief in the Christian call to the brotherhood of all peoples."
"More to the point, emergence in the UK was clearly active, discernible and describable at least twenty years before it was nearly so visible and coherent in this country, making observation of what is happening in Britain, Ireland and Wales a very useful and sometimes predictive exercise for North American observers."