From Fr. Michael Flowers of St. Aidan's Church.
I just completed reading a very accessible introduction to Anglicanism, The Anglican Way: a Guidebook by Fr. Thomas McKenzie. I own loads of books on Anglicanism that are too laborious, academic and dated to recommend to a wide audience. Finally, we now have a current guidebook that covers the core questions most folks have coming into the Anglican Church from other Christian traditions.
Most newer Anglicans can relate to the first time they experienced Anglican worship. The liturgy, for many, seemed clunky and stiff. What’s up with all the standing, sitting, kneeling, crossing oneself, responsive liturgical phrases and so forth? Why do Anglicans give so much attention to an annual calendar of major and lesser feast days? How about the periods of prolonged fasting, crafted prayers and liturgically driven services? What do the Vestments, icons, incense and various symbols represent? When and where did the Anglican Church begin? Why are so concerned about historical theology? What’s going on in the new emerging Anglican frontier? These and many other questions Fr. Thomas seeks to offer non-biased answers which guide individuals to explore the diversity and broad boundaries of the Anglican Way.
Here’s my Amazon review:
Hats off to Fr. McKenzie for providing a timely, practical, highly readable and thorough introduction to the Anglican Way. As an Anglican priest, I will recommend this work to my church family as well as new folks inquiring about Anglican worship, history and theology. To date, this is the most current introduction on the Anglican communion and the Anglican options emerging within North America. I love the fact that it’s written by a practitioner, one who’s hammered out the many questions raised by those coming into the Anglican Church from other traditions.
I am also happy about Fr. Thomas’ choice to present theologically divergent and potentially divisive issues and practices in a generous and balanced tension. This alone makes the book a great tool for priests who hold vastly different positions. Thanks Fr. McKenzie for giving us all a great resource!