Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: The Accidental Anglican

The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church by Todd D. Hunter has been on my "book reviews in progress" list on the sidebar for some time. I took it off today because I decided that I wasn't going to finish it and decided to post this review to explain why, since I seldom fail to finish a book I start.

I was interested in reading it because the book is about the author's change from being a pastor in a contemporary evangelical church (The Vineyard) to becoming an Anglican priest and now Bishop in the Anglican Mission in America. That's the reverse process that you often read about, and that is what intrigued me as a Presbyterian who prefers a more formal, liturgical service to the trendy "happy clappy"  service that one finds in most of our churches today. 

I assumed the book would present an apologetic from an unusual viewpoint for traditional Anglican liturgy and practice.

However I found the book focused on the personal experience of the author and not, as the subtitle seemed to promise, on the differences in faith and practice between The Vineyard and the Anglican communion. I bogged down about halfway through the book as I grew weary of reading the fulsome praise of his mentors and the self-congratulatory recounting of his journey.

If any of my Gentle Readers finished the book and have a different perspective, please let me know in the comments. I can't recommend The Accidental Anglican to my readers.


Ruby said...

I haven't read the book, but it seems that although he changed worship styles, he kept a similarly rigid theology and worldview. My experience with the clergy who broke off from the Episcopal Church is similar to how you describe this author; they have an overwhelming sense of self-importance and self-regard. My guess is that the Anglican Mission will soon float away, buoyed by it's own hot air.

Ruby said...

grammar correction "its own hot air."
Hope you are well, QG. I think of you every time I drink champagne :)

Quotidian Grace said...

What a wonderful way to be remembered, Ruby! Thank you!

And thanks for your insightful comment. I have to say that I thought making such a new convert a bishop was really sketchy.

ceemac said...

Of course this is not really a new story.

There was a book by a prof at Wheaton back in the 80's called "Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail."

In the 70's there was a group of Campus Crusade folk who were attracted to the the Orthodox tradition. They formed the Evangelical Orthodox Church with a number of congregations across the US. I think that group eventually merged with one of the Older Orthodox groups.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks, ceemac. There never is something new under sun, is there?