Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Accidental Anglican

Last week I read a neat little book called The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church by Todd D. Hunter. Hunter is Bishop of the Anglican Mission in the Americas, is the founding pastor of Holy Trinity Church, an Anglican church in Costa Mesa, California, and an adjunct professor of evangelism and postmodern ministry at George Fox University, Fuller Seminary, Western Seminary and Wheaton College. Earlier in his career Todd was President of Alpha USA, Church Planting coach for Allelon Ministries and the National Director for the Association of Vineyard Churches. I was also intrigued to discover that, like me, he holds an M.A. from Regent University.

Hunter's subtitle: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church is what really caught my attention. I have many friends who were raised either Catholic or in liturgical protestant churches and are quite happy to have moved away from such a style of worship, opting for more modern forms. I, however, was raised in typical evangelical churches my entire life, and in the last few years have had the opportunity to discover a bit of liturgy, finding much of it to be very rich. As my friends who came out of liturgical backgrounds to discover the richness of more modern forms of worship, so has been my experience in the other direction.

I believe that this should not be an "either/or" scenario, pitting one style against the other, but a "both/and" one in which the best of both worlds can be experienced and celebrated. The phrase "ancient future" comes to mind - finding roots in the ancient biblical roots and connecting it with our present day practices for a fuller experience. Richard Foster's book Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith does a great job of exploring the best of the various traditions of the Christian faith.

The book is autobiographical and was comprised of Hunt's journey out of evangelicalism per se and into Anglicanism. If you're interested to reading books of people's spiritual pilgrimages, it's a quick and easy read.

No comments: