Phyllis Tickle on the Great Emergence

A few issues of Inside Worship ago, I interviewed Phyllis Tickle on her work related to the Divine Hours. She is an incredibly gracious and warm person, and one of today’s leading voices on religion in America. She is also very creative, and an inspiration to artisan writers everywhere.

I’ve been primarily interested in her thoughts related to worship and creative leaders, but here is an “over” piece of work from her that I think could be interesting and challenging.

She is writing a new book on the changing shape of the institutional church for Baker, and here is the blurb courtesy of the Emergent/C newsletter. It sounds both provocative and interesting.

As regular readers of the blog know, I am a great advocate of Christians reading both material they agree with, and disagree with. We learn so much from those who challenge us, and also clarify our own positions.

At the Institute, we seek to pastor our students as they engage with materials both wholly in line with their present worldview, and as they engage with ideas in the culture and postmodernism that challenge our presuppositions. This book looks like a strong statement Tickle is making, so I’m interested in where she is going to land in the book.

“Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, will write a book on emerging Christianity for Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The book, whose current working title is The Great Emergence, will be the seventh in Baker’s ?mersion series, a partnership between Baker Books and Emergent Village, intended to provide a practical, positive vision of the church as it steps into the future.

Tickle says the book will discuss the development of the emerging church, what she calls the “Great Emergence,” placing it among the other great phenomena in the history of Christianity, including the Great Schism and the Great Reformation. “Every 500 years,” Tickle said, “the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, whatever they may be, become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered so that renewal and growth may occur. Now is such a time.”

Tickle is widely regarded as a leading authority on religion in North America. She has been quoted on the subject by a wide variety of media outlets, including USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, PBS, NPR, and the Hallmark Channel. She is author of numerous books, including The Divine Hours series, God-Talk in America and The Shaping of A Life.

“We are thrilled to partner with Phyllis on this important book. Phyllis will explore one of the most significant developments of American Christianity in recent history,” said Chad Allen, acquisitions editor for Baker Books. “Church leaders, laypeople, and observers alike will be able to locate themselves in this narrative of profound change and come away with ideas about how to live constructively in the days and years to come.”


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.