Ancient-Future Practices For Contemporary Times

Anglicanism has the reputation of being rigid and bound by the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nice Articles. But Anglicanism has also, among its most gifted and courageous leaders, not been afraid to pursue fresh expressions of evangelism and church. The Anglican Church has a way of staying anchored to the ancient tradition while being in tune with the ever-changing times.

Anglicans don’t do this merely for the sake of institutional survival, but as a first principle. In face the preface to the Book of Common Prayer calls for the church, in terms of its mission, to be continually led by the Holy Spirit. Within the framework of keeping the faith whole, the Book of Common Prayer encourages new practices for the sake of “the edification of the people.” It allows innovation “according to the various exigency of times and occasions.”

The Book of Common Prayer, being the central rule of faith after the Bible, guides and encourages Anglicanism as it adjusts and thrives as a faithful witness to the gospel of the kingdom. The men I have highlighted in this chapter missed complete orthodoxy and Spirit-led creativity. As I have come to see and know this mix of Spirit and evangelistic entrepreneurialism, I have found a home.

Moreover, I have found a model of leadership. Adjusting and thriving are not accidents. They come from leaders who humbly discern the voice and movement of the Holy Spirit and, having done so, lead with humble confidence. (The Accidental Anglican, p. 102-103, Todd Hunter)