Eugene Cho

video interview with phyllis tickle

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I had the joy of  having a great chat with Phyllis Tickle recently and she was gracious enough to shoot this video interview with me. Phyllis’ recent book, The Great Emergence, is making the waves amongst many people and it’s also on my ‘To Read’ list for 2009.  She is one sharp amazing lady and I don’t want to spread rumors but I’m pretty sure she’s on steroids too…just like Scot McKnight.  🙂

Whether you agree with her premise of ‘The Great Emergence,’ I think it’s pretty obvious that one thing is inevitable:  CHANGE.  

Change happens and and will always happen and according to many, we’re in the midst of a historic change.  But lest we get think too much of ourselves in the ‘Church,’ this historic change isn’t just within christendom but one that encompasses the larger world. 

Here’s the interview with Phyllis and her bio from her website:

PHYLLIS TICKLE, 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.

In addition to lectures and numerous essays, articles, and interviews, Tickle is the author of over two dozen books in religion and spirituality, most notably the Divine Hours series of manuals for observing fixed-hour prayer: The Divine Hours – Prayers for Summertime, The Divine Hours – Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime, The Divine Hours – Prayers for Springtime, Eastertide – Prayers for Lent Through Easter from The Divine Hours, and Christmastide – Prayers for Advent through Epiphany from The Divine Hours (Doubleday); The Night Offices from The Divine Hours, and The Pocket Edition of The Divine Hours (Oxford University Press); and This is What I Pray Today- The Divine Hours- Prayers for Children (Dutton).

Tickle, who was with PUBLISHERS WEEKLY until her retirement in 2004, began her career as a college teacher and, for almost ten years, served as academic dean to the Memphis College of Art before entering full time into writing and publishing. In September 1996 she received the Mays Award, one of the book industry’s most prestigious awards for lifetime achievement in writing and publishing, and specifically in recognition of her work in gaining mainstream media coverage of religion publishing. In 2004, she received the honorary degreee of Doctor of Humane Letters from the Berkeley School of Divinity at Yale University, also in recognition of her work. In 2007, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Christy Awards “In gratitude for a lifetime as an advocate for fiction written to the glory of God.”

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, she is the mother of seven children and, with her physician-husband, makes her home on a small farm in Lucy, Tennessee.

Filed under: christianity, church, culture, emerging church, Jesus, ministry, pastors, religion, ,

12 Responses

  1. chad m says:

    dude, how do you score these interviews?! you the man. glad you were able to have this chat and post this interview. i think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “whether you agree with the Great Emergence or not, one thing is certain, CHANGE.”

    without getting you into trouble, what do you think of the ideas Tickle was sharing at midwinter about the red letter bible and conflation of the gospels into one representing the words of Christ? [that’s obviously my paraphrase] i know there were lots of folks who either misunderstood Tickle, or were angry about what she said that night…i was just a bit confused myself! the message i heard and agreed with was: change is coming, how will we respond? is that fair?

  2. Charles Lee says:

    Love her work and thoughts…some of my friends call her tickle me phyllis 🙂 so appreciate her perspective. I heard her speak in Sacramento last year…loved it.

  3. Randall says:

    I love the bit about “the beloved community.” And I’m surprised and encouraged by the part where Tickle talked about Lutherans and Anglicans and other denominations merging.

    We really do need to recognize that all churches who call Jesus lord are a part of the Body of Christ. The church down the road is not our competition, they are a part of our family.

  4. Ric Wild says:

    Phyllis is great. I got to meet her at an east coast conference gathering back in November.

  5. Mark Powell says:

    thanks for sharing this. what an important word she is sharing with the church.

  6. eugenecho says:

    @chad m: honestly, i didn’t think her presentation was as sharp as it could be. she seemed a little scattered and to her defense, maybe it’s because she was trying to cover 2000 years of history in 1 hour.

    jason and leah were w/ us and we had a great 90 minute conversation and brought up some of those questions. i think what was lost in her large group chat was that she believes authority resides and remains in the Scriptures. but nevertheless, it begs the question of how we read, interpret, and apply the scriptures.

  7. chad m says:

    thanks for the response Eugene. i wish i could have had more open conversation with folks after her message. i was a bit overwhelmed/confused afterwards. i have heard nothing but good things about Tickle from those who have read her works and interacted with her, so that’s where my confusion lies. thanks for your response!

  8. […] As my readers know, I’m working through my list of books I want to read this year and his new book, The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership in a Third Culture Church,is on that list.  I had a chance to sit down with him and ask about leadership, his understanding of social entrepreneurship, ministry and of course, the idea of “Third Culture’ and The Monkey and the Fish.’  You may also be interested in checking out my recent video interviews with Scot McKnight and Phyllis Tickle. […]

  9. I missed this when you posted it, but have just watched the interview. Thanks! I finished “The Great Emergence” a couple of days ago so I really enjoyed hearing her thoughts. (Most of which I recognize from the book, but it was still cool to hear them straight from her.)

  10. d says:

    this book sounds like a must read. but i’m confused as to why this Great Emergence would be “completely neutral”, void of “like and dislike”. how are we then to interpret the actions of Luther?

  11. Scott M. says:

    Phyllis Tickle is anything but amazing. She is (quite simply) a heretic. She preached at Rob Bell’s church (Mars Hill) and claims the Holy Spirit has “feminine qualities”.

    She also reads from a Bible with a very strange translation.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 5 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago