Top 3 Reasons Why I’m an Anglican Christian

By |2018-08-13T15:44:49+00:00July 25th, 2017|Categories: Anglican Life|Tags: , , , |21 Comments
Joshua Steele

Joshua Steele

Editor of Rookie Anglican at Anglican Pastor
Josh founded Rookie Anglican to help make Anglicanism more accessible to Anglicans and the Anglicurious. Read his blog at JOSHUAPSTEELE.COM and follow him on Twitter: @joshuapsteele.
Joshua Steele

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.”

Why/How?

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?

21 Comments

  1. KLS July 25, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

    I have been attending an evangelical church since my conversion 32 years ago. It often borders on fundamentalism. In the last ten years, I have been struggling with much of its anti-intellectualism. It has only increased since I began seminary. I’ve been looking at Anglicanism for much of the reason you mention, i.e. theological breadth, rhythms of liturgy. It has been very eye opening.

    • Joshua Steele July 25, 2017 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, KLS! I highly recommend Anglicanism, obviously. 🙂 Please let us know here at Rookie Anglican / Anglican Pastor if we can help answer any questions about the Anglican tradition!

      • KLS July 31, 2017 at 5:40 pm - Reply

        Thank you. I’m very thankful for your site. It has pointed me in good directions.

  2. Linkathon! – PhoenixPreacher July 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

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  3. Jack Given July 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I was a member of an evangelical church for a number of years. We attended a church named (township) Bible Church. I began to attend an Anglican Church with my father who was unable to drive and was dependent on me. I discovered the following:
    1 – the Anglican service had an OT reading, Psalm, NT reading and a gospel reading, every service. In my bible church we could go for weeks without scripture reading….and BIBLE was literally our middle name!
    2 – with Christians around the world we affirmed out basic core beliefs EVERY service. I’m afraid if I canvassed my evangelical friends,and their belief system, it would sound something like “I believe in Jesus.” Period.
    3 – I found the Eucharist to be a tangible, concrete relationship with the person of Jesus Christ, not just a “remember me” once a month thing.
    4 – Every service brought me to a point of confession of sins, doing those things which I ought not to have done and not doing those things which I ought to have done,
    5 – I realized that the focus of the worship space was the altar, not the drum set, or a praise band or a lectern with a speaker.. The visual focus of the worship experience was a relationship with God.

    Above list is comprehensive, but not exhaustive, in my transition to being an evangelical on the Canterbury Trail.

  4. Dan Alger July 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Don’t forget the heart of mission that lies at the core of Anglican identity.

  5. Chris Probert July 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Why am I am Anglican? I love the richness of meaning wrapped up in the claim that we are both Catholic AND Reformed.
    Somewhere way back I remember reading a quote that goes like this: ‘To those … who ask “where was your church before the Reformation?” we answer: “where was your garden before you weeded it?” ‘ That says it all (though I wish I could remember where I first read those words…..!). Fr Chris

  6. Kate July 25, 2017 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Because I am a cradle Anglican, and it would only very reluctantly leave it. I’m very grateful that for the ACNA.

  7. Iwuchukwu July 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    When I was a little child growing up in an Evangelical dominated Province, Nigeria, I was introduced and used to the rich liturgy of the Church especially the Mattins. We were very Orthodox and pragmatic with the Gospel of our Lord. In as much as it is evangelical, the liturgy cannot be toiled with prior to my days in the minor seminary.

    I am simply an Anglican with many reasons but let me summarise it.

    1. The rich Benedictine liturgy contained in the BCP.

    2. The catholic root from the Ecclesia Anglicana.

    3. The ever nourishing hymns, Canticles and chants.

    4. Our insistence on accompanying the rituals and liturgical actions with the breaking of the Word.

    However, I have contemplated swimming the Tiber as a result of the current fracture but how will I cope without number 3 in my life? Anglicanism may not be the best but it is the best.

  8. Doug July 30, 2017 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    It endured reforms that no other church has. And the wiser portions have taken the true reform to heart. The puritans showed reformation fidelity; the baptist showed conversion; the Methodists evangelism; and the tracterians beauty. Asuza street didn’t target Anglicans–but they knew what to do.

    • Brandon June 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      What do you mean by your last sentence?

      • Doug June 22, 2018 at 2:25 pm - Reply

        The Anglican charismatic revival looks back to (owes a debt to) the 1906 Azusa street revival. And Azusa, from my perspective, is a reform movement as much as it is anything else.

      • Doug June 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

        Also, when you’re attuned to being reformed, it’s an easier process. The humble receive grace, wisdom, and direction.

  9. Scott Volmer August 2, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Joshua, I found your article helpful and informative, and I’ve been reading Rookie Anglican for several months. I’ve been very interested in the Anglican tradition for about two years and have spent some time studying Anglican distinctives. What advice would you give to someone (myself, in this case) who is prayerfully considering making the transition from a Reformed background to the Anglican Church, and who is feeling the call to pastoral ministry? Thanks!

    • Joshua Steele August 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Hey Scott! Thanks for reaching out about this. First thing I’d say is that, if you continue to sense the Lord leading you in this direction, you should find an Anglican church and get involved with an actual, flesh-and-blood Anglican worshipping community, if you haven’t done so already! If you’d like to give me some more specifics on your situation, feel free to email me!

  10. Patrick Beard February 21, 2018 at 12:28 am - Reply

    I was raised Southern Baptist and served as a missionary through the denomination’s mission board. While serving in Ethiopia we joined an intra-mission prayer group that was led, in part, by a CofE priest and his wife. They ministered to us greatly. I admired his mission of ministering to people in the Ethiopia Orthodox Church rather than seeking to convert them to Anglicanism.

    After leaving the mission field because of a medical emergency we founded an independent mission to Ethiopia working with ministers from 13 evangelical denominations. Meanwhile our home church blew apart and congregationalism reared it’s ugly side. We wound up in a non-denominational church plant that moved toward high liturgical worship and weekly Eucharist. I used to say we went to a church with Reformed preaching, Baptist missions, Episcopal style, and an Irish pub band.

    Our sweet experiment was independent, non-denominational, and elder ruled. The rule of unanimity ended up being our demise. One of our pastors became an Anglican priest. Two years after the church split my family and I started attending the local Anglican church.

    Our first visit to All Saints felt like we were home. All Saints is on the Anglo-Catholic side and I tend to be more Evangelical Anglican, but the services were very familiar and the congregation was VERY welcoming and loving. (They were particularly welcoming of our severely disabled daughter that is vocal at inappropriate times).

    I did not want to be Anglican, but I was willing to go through the confirmation classes. In the classes I discovered that I was more Anglican than I thought I was. My wife and I were confirmed.

    I am a “black and white” kind of guy, and honestly sometimes Anglicanism can be a bit too “via media” for my taste. But, the essentials of Anglicanism are solid, and I appreciate the balance high view of the Eucharist.

    At our confirmation the Bishop instructed me to stop taking my daughter out of the service when she became vocal at inappropriate times. He said that her laughter during the Eucharist reminded him to be joyful at the table of the Lord.

    Why am I Anglican? I’d love to say something profound about the theology or the polity, which I do appreciate. But the truth is we are Anglican because the church LOVED on my family.

    • Joshua Steele February 21, 2018 at 7:01 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your story, Patrick! I’m glad that you and your family have found a loving home in the Anglican tradition!

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