i saw a little video the other day in which gabe lyons was interviewing phyllis tickle. i knew nothing about her (except for the fact that she has a cool name) so i googled her. a brilliant lady and prolific author, tickle is retired from publisher’s weekly where she was founding editor of the religion department. she maintains a busy speaking schedule and is described on her website as “an authority on religion in America and a much sought after lecturer on the subject.”
tickle says some interesting things in the video interview i saw. let me share a few…
About every five-hundred years the church has a giant rummage sale, and we’re currently having one.
Of course, five-hundred years ago was the Great Reformation when everything went “whoosh” with the church all encrusted with indulgences and corruption that it had to go. A thousand years ago it was the Great Schism. Fifteen hundred years ago with was the Great Decline and Fall. Two-thousand years ago it was the Great Transformation, the change of the era.
For some reason, and systems theories will tell you why, about every five-hundred years we go through one of these things.
Whenever we’ve seen it, the prevalent form of Christianity didn’t cease to exist. It did have to clean up its act, and some new form of Christianity also came into place. The result is that the faith has grown demographically and geographically every single time.
And it’s doing that now.
i ask you, prescient readers, does it feel like we’re in the midst of a “giant rummage sale,” and what do you think she means? do you think fifty years from now we will look back to this time and say, “there’s the hinge…that’s where the change happened”?