For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:6-9, NASB)

Evangelicalism Opening The Same Door Of No Return As Did Mainline Denominations 

As Apprising Ministries showed you in Tony Jones And His Pastor Doug Pagitt With JoPa Productions And Christianity 21 through their JoPa Productions this dubious pair within Emergence Christianity are the ones behind the Christianity 21 gathering coming up in October of this year:

Christianity21 is less a conference and more a happening, an event—a gathering of voices and ideas that will shape the future of our faith.

We live in a time of epochal change. Many find this change exciting; for others, it’s a challenge. Call it globalization, pluralization, or postmodernism, this change affects our economy, politics, government, and education—all of society. And, of course, our faith and our churches are not immune to change.

So we have gathered 21 of the most important voices for the future of Christianity—21 voices for the 21st century—to speak into our future as people of faith in this age. They represent a diverse array of backgrounds, interests, and passions, and they will provide a wide range of innovative and challenging presentations. (Online source)

 One of these “most important voices for the future of Christianity” who’ll “speak into our future” in order to “shape the future of our faith” is Phyllis Tickle, who is essentially the Empress of Emergence. Tickle scratched the itching ears of the Emerging Church recently with her latest book The Great Emergence (TGE). In “The Great Emergence: A Reformation Every 500 Years” Roger Oakland of Understanding the Times tells us:

Phyllis Tickle is a best-selling author and the founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly. She is also a friend of the emerging church. (Online source)

These days who isn’t, eh. In addition From the Lighthouse… blog also points out:

Emergent church leader, Phyllis Tickle, likens Brian McLaren to Luther who helped to bring about a reformation. Tickle says McLaren might be instrumental in bringing about a “new reformation” through the emerging church. The comments were made at the “joint annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR),” in which Tickle and McLaren were speakers. (Online source

You know, as fast as mainstream evangelicalism is apostatizing before our eyes Tickle just might be right after all about the awful impact of Emergent Church Guru Brian McLaren; though what McLaren’s more likely to bring about would be better stated in emergentese as a de-formation of the visible church. We note also that Emerging Church Pastor Doug Pagitt also lavishes his high praise for Tickle and her book  :

“Phyllis Tickle is the best friend the emergent movement could ever have,” said Doug Pagitt, series editor for ēmersion. “She’s a keen observer of the American church scene. She’s also gracious and wise. Her books, from The Divine Hours to her memoirs, are essential reading. We look forward to the release of The Great Emergence with much anticipation.” (ibid.)

Concerning Tickle’s TGE at her website we read the following endorsement from an apostate Episcopal “Bishop and Primate”:

“Phyllis Tickle offers a creative and provocative overview of multiple social and cultural changes in our era, their relation to previous major paradigm shifts, and their particular impact on North American Christianity. This is an immensely important contribution to the current conversation about new and emerging forms of Christianity in a post-modern environment—and a delight to read!”
—The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Presiding Bishop and Primate,
The Episcopal Church (Online source)

Scratching The Surface Of Tickle’s Quite Questionable Spiritual Associations

 Then in Tickle’s “About” section we’re informed that Phyllis Tickle is:

founding editor of the Religion Department of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, the international journal of the book industry, is frequently quoted in sources like USA TODAY, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NY TIMES, as well as in electronic media like PBS, NPR, THE HALLMARK CHANNEL, etc., Tickle is an authority on religion in America and a much sought after lecturer on the subject… Tickle is currently a Senior Fellow of Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral. A founding member of The Canterbury Roundtable, she serves now, as she has in the past, on a number of advisory and corporate boards. A lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church,… (Online source)

We note first that Tickle’s “currently a Senior Fellow of Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral” (WNC). The WNC website gives us some background concerning its “interfaith” message:

Washington National Cathedral is a church for national purposes called to embody God’s love and to welcome people of all faiths and perspectives. A unique blend of the spiritual and the civic, this Episcopal Cathedral is a voice for generous-spirited Christianity and a catalyst for reconciliation and interfaith dialogue to promote respect and understanding. We invite all people to share in our commitment to create a more hopeful and just world. (Online source)

Following the link to the Cathedral College (CC) we see that CC is indeed an extention of that spiritual blackhole of postliberal theology aka “Progressive Christianity” known as WNC:

For almost 80 years, the Cathedral College has served as the pre-eminent center of continuing education dedicated to strengthening and sustaining those called to ministries of proclamation. (Online source)

The what of this “proclamation” is our concern. The WNC website also gives us the lowdown on their sacred circles, labyrinth, and Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage; where, but of course, we can learn more about “Prayer and Contemplation,” which is referring to Contemplative/Centering Prayer:

The Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage invites you to explore its diverse offerings of spiritual growth through communities gathered in prayer, devotional practices, and reflection. Except as noted, gatherings meet in the center, located on the crypt level of the Cathedral and accessible through the Visitor’s Center or Resurrection Chapel.

Benedictine Life and Prayer
Mondays, 6 pm in the CCPP

Explore the principles of living a balanced life, and learn more about the ecumenical cathedral-based Community of Reconciliation. Each gathering concludes with Centering Prayer.

Centering Prayer
Tuesdays, 6–7 pm; Wednesdays, 8–8:30 am

Open your entire being to God’s presence during this time of silent prayer as you move beyond thoughts, words and emotions into a quiet communion with the Divine. The Tuesday sessions include a time for teaching and discussion.

Christian Meditation: Silence, Stillness, Simplicity
Fourth Saturdays, 10–11 am

Experience a rhythm of contemplative prayer that includes a reading from one of the great contemplatives, a period of silent meditation, and time for sharing and reflection.
(Online source)

Frankly, there’s just too much spiritual chicanery going on in the Cathedral of Compromise for me to even share here. Returning more specifically to Phyllis Tickle we find even more questionable associations under the “RELATED ACTIVITIES/CURRENT” of her resume. Not the least of which was her being part of “Board of Advisors, The Mary Baker Eddy Library, emerita”. For those who may not know Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of the non-Christian cult of Christian Science, which was neither Christian nor science striking out on both accounts.

As one trained in counter-cult evangelism I would have to say that this is certainly a rather odd association for a Christian and one which is certainly not in line with 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. So being charitable my guess is Tickle also, at least, adheres to the postliberal/progressive theology spewed at WNC. This would also seem to be further confirmed from one other thing found in the RELATED ACTIVITIES/CURRENT section of Tickle’s resume. Without a doubt her involvement on the “Editorial Board” at Explore Faith (EF) is a smoking gun of spurious spirituality.

From the “About Us” section website of EF we meet the rest of this Editorial Board and among them we see a champion of the aforementioned postliberal progressive Christianity, Marcus Borg. In the AM post Marcus Borg Vs. Jesus you’ll clearly see by his own words that he has about as much affinity with the genuine Christian faith as I do with Buddhism. And as we check out who’s listed among their “Saints, Prophets and Spiritual Guides” we have very serious reason to question just what kind of “faith” it is that we’re exploring here: 

On the following pages, offers a subjective look at some of the spiritual teachers who have shaped our lives. These essays are by no means comprehensive. Numerous Web Sites catalogue different saints and spiritual guides in great detail (and we will provide links to a few of the best).

Our coverage is intended to show what these people can mean to us now, how they can help us envision new realties in which a relationship with God is the core from which all thoughts and actions spread. Here our explorefaith writers have mused about the spiritual teachers in their lives who continue to give them guidance and help them discover new avenues of devotion deep within. It is our hope that their essays may kindle thoughts of those spiritual teachers who have molded your life, and perhaps spur you to explore a few you might not have known. (Online source)

Men and women, the “spiritual teachers” listed there who supposedly “can help us envision new realities” literally reads like a who’s who of unregenerate pagans such as Guru Ram Dass, Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Sufi Muslim Rumi, and heretical so-called “Christian” mystics like Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila and Thomas Merton. This is in line with the stupid statement from another darling of Emergence—Rob Bell—which we covered in Through Rob Bell “The Great Enlightened Ones” Tell Us Man Has Divine Greatness:

It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time.

Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way. (I will say it again, and again, and again, 5:41-6:23)

So as we now think back to where we began with this article, we remember Doug Pagitt telling us that “Phyllis Tickle is the best friend the emergent movement could ever have”; and also, Tony Jones and his pastor Pagitt telling us Tickle is among those “most important voices for the future” that will supposedly “shape the future of our faith.” Well, I find myself wondering: Just what kind of faith is it that Phyllis Tickle has these folks and their Emergent Church so excited about; because it most certainly isn’t the historic orthodox Christian faith.

See also: