The “Great Emergence”

Christianity is now conducting a rummage sale of sorts, as it does every 500 years (the last one being the Reformation)—according to the late Phyllis Tickle in her book, “The Great Emergence.” Things no longer working are being disposed of, one of those not-working things being sola scriptura—the proposition that the Bible is the sole authority upon which to base one’s life.

Assuming this is correct, that sola scriptura is on its way out, what is emerging to fill the void left behind?

A Christianity that is less dogmatic, less rigid, one that is more accepting of paradox, one that is more Spirit-filled and mystical?

Karl Rahner, SJ, the renowned 20th century Catholic theologian, opined that the Christian of the future will either be a mystic, or will be nothing at all.

So, what exactly does “mystical” mean?

What/Who is the authority upon which one ought to base one’s life?


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