Latest posts by Joshua Steele (see all)
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- Week of the Sunday from July 10 to July 16: A Collect Reflection - July 13, 2018
Why am I an Anglican Christian? Here are 3 reasons.
1. Anglicanism as a Refuge from Fundamentalism
First, for me, Anglicanism has been a refuge from fundamentalism. Now, to be sure, we do have our own fundamentalists within the Anglican Communion! But, compared to some “ingrown enclaves” I’ve experienced in my Christian upbringing, Anglicanism has been a breath of fresh air. It has been an ecclesiological space for healing as I seek to “not throw the (gospel) baby out with the (fundamentalist) bathwater.”
2. Anglicanism has Theological Breadth…
This goes hand-in-hand with my previous reason. Anglicanism has been a refuge from fundamentalism thanks in no small part to its “theological wiggle room.” The greatest strength of Anglicanism – and also the source of much of its angst – is its theological breadth. As a Ph.D. student in theology, I appreciate the fact that it doesn’t feel like I’m walking along the edge of a knife, to the right or left of which my positions would quickly become verboten by the Anglican powers that be.
Instead, it feels like I’m operating on a field of acceptable Anglican theological convictions/positions.
3. …Within a Tradition
However, that “field” does have boundaries, for which I am grateful!
And, for Anglicanism at its best, those boundaries largely coincide with the overarching tradition of the Christian Church as she has been sustained and guided by the Holy Spirit throughout the centuries.
So, on the one hand, I’m grateful for some theological wiggle room, as it were. On the other hand, I’m grateful that it’s not “just me and my Bible” as if I had to try to figure everything out anew!
The same Spirit, whom I trust to illuminate my mind and heart as I read Scripture, has provided the Church with teachers and leaders throughout the ages. This doesn’t mean that the “tradition” should be adopted wholesale, unthinkingly, and uncritically – far from it! But, the traditions of the Church ought to be received humbly and prayerfully.
So, to sum up: I’m an Anglican Christian because, with its theological breadth within the overarching Christian tradition, Anglicanism has provided a salutary refuge for me from fundamentalism.
Why Are You an Anglican Christian?
I could mention other reasons why I’m an Anglican Christian – such as the emphasis on the habitual rhythms of the Christian life (e.g., the Daily Office, the liturgical calendar, etc.). However, I’m going to stick with these 3, because I want to hear your story!
If you’re an Anglican Christian – why?