Where have I seen this before?

Okay.  One of the good things about living in Vancouver is that it has a great library downtown.  Not a great theological library, but a library that’s beautiful, huge, and fun to visit.  My wife and I went there the other day for a short stint and sorted through two sections:  pregnancy/childbirth and theology/bible.  She found 4 good books and I found 1 (Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses)…and another book that’s, well, definitely a book.  I like to read a fair amount and I definitely tend to read more things I don’t like than things that I do, mostly to keep abreast of what’s out there and what people are talking about.  I have a heresy shelf that rotates fairly regularly (I love thrift stores) that right now has a library copy of The Great Emergence on it.  I’m currently on page 52 and am very confident that it’s on the right shelf.   It’s one of 3 books to ever get my highly feared C.A.R. award (Clear Across the Room), which means I actually tossed it in frustration.  When I’m done, I’ll write a review for Amazon and post it here too.  It’s going to be a hard one to write though.

I haven’t read Phyllis Tickle until now, and I admittedly didn’t know a thing about her.  I looked at the book and saw that it was published by Baker Books, which brought my hopes up…and Emergent Village.

My hopes were smashed like a parked car when the Canucks lose in game 7.

I opened the front flap to check the endorsements.

Brian McLaren?

Tony Jones?

Doug Pagitt?

What?  Well, I just apparently discovered who the fourth member is of the emergent church A-Team (though the real question is can this be a real A-Team with 4 Murdocks?)…

So, as I’m reading this book, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ve encountered something about Tickle somewhere before.  I know I’ve encountered the name dozens of times, and I know I’ve heard passing allusions to her, but I can’t shake the idea that I’ve read an interview with her, or a book review, or something.

So I do what Batman always does: check the internet/batcave.

I soon found what I was remembering, which was an interview in, of all places, the MB Herald.  It’s from July 2009, and it’s here.

People are free to read whatever they want and believe whatever they desire.  Nobody answers to me; we all answer to God.

But I am curious as to how any sane Christian who is part of Evangelicalism could ever think that someone like Phyllis Tickle was on our side?

I’ve read around 1/3 of the book and already she has denied objective reality, declared that all religion is the consensual illusion of whichever people group espouses it (i.e. socially constructed), lumped Christianity, Catholicism and Islam all together under one big theological umbrella as the three faiths of Abraham (she thinks we all basically believe the same thing), and has basically shown that she completely misunderstands the Reformation.

I know that Christians can disagree on issues, including some fairly touchy ones (i.e. charismatic issues, worship, paedobaptism, etc.), but if you think that people who have completely opposite views regarding every single aspect of core belief are part of one common religious movement, you’re either a cultural zombie of liberalism, or are selling something, or are simply an imbecile.  For the record, Tickle is no imbecile.  She’s definitely in the first category

Like Night of the Living Dead in the first category.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how a book that is this utterly illogical and filled with gibberish metaphors can be popular.  Then again, it’s my experience that most people don’t pay close attention to the words they read.  Many people read emotionally these days (i.e. they know how a book makes them feel more than anything) and, if Facebook is any indicator, generally could not track a logical argument if their life depended upon it.

I’ll post the final review when it’s done.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Time for Bed AGAIN?” Unger


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