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The Anglican Way is exactly right type of book for me. Thomas McKenzie is a parish pastor in Nashville (and the exact same age as I am I assume since he graduated from high school the same year I did according to one of the stories). He grew up in an Episcopal church, but was not really active until he went to college and was introduced to a charismatic form of Anglicanism.
The first section of the book is about the balance within the Anglican Way (illustrated by the Compass Rose) between Charismatic and Orthodox, Conservative and Liberal, Activist and Contemplative, Evangelical and Catholic. Temperamentally, that type of focus of relationship within theological and practical tension appeals to me. I want to be around, and worshiping with Christians, that are different from me, while still broadly holding to the orthodox tenets of Christianity.
The second section of the book is about basic practice of Anglican Christianity, personal devotion, worship, etc. The third section is on the particulars of Anglican practice, leadership and tradition.
The fourth section is basically the stuff that didn’t naturally fit earlier. What was most interesting in the fourth section is the recent history of the Anglican church, both in the US and around the world. McKenzie is on the conservative wing of the Anglican church, which is where all of the growth in the US that I am aware of is happening. One of the things that I like about Anglican (and Catholic) historic practice is the concept of the parish. That has never really worked in the US because even those traditional parish ideas that worked in other places have been corrupted by US church shopping mentality.
However, the recent controversy in the Anglican world has resulted for the first time in non-geographical diocese with many churches, first falling underneath African bishops and then later non-geographical diocese have been set up to allow more conservative Anglican to either start new churches or switch their allegiance away from the Episcopal Church in the US. McKenzie is part of the Anglican Church in North America, so he is telling the story from the perspective.
Honestly, the ability of the Anglican church to not split in the face of some pretty major disagreement is one of the things that is attractive. Although I think I am probably not as conservative as some of the new Anglican groups and not as liberal as the older US Episcopal Church, the focus on unity in spite of difference is appealing.
Regardless, if you are interested in a theologically orthodox understanding of what the Anglican Way is all about, this is a good place to start. The book is only a few months old and has very good reviews from those that are Anglican themselves from what I can tell.
A note about format. I listened to this as an audiobook read by Thomas McKenzie. While I love audiobooks and McKenzie did a fine job reading, some of the parts of the fourth section are not audio friendly. Timelines and glossaries are really best read and not listened to. I listened to it all, however, and learned lots.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Having been raised in the Episcopal church I was very interested in how the Anglican Church differs in worship and theology. It was a very helpful explanation.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I have recently decided to return to Church after not attending since childhood, this book is a great guide and will probably listen to it more the once.
Fr McKenzie is superb and anointed as both author and narrator, it never flagged.