With so many discovering Anglicanism today, especially younger people yearning for a connection with the Early Church, there is need of this delightful book telling Anglicanism’s story from its early roots to today’s relevance. Chuck Collins gives just the facts, letting the power of Anglican spirituality draw his readers to this authentic and gracious way to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Even Billy Graham said if he were “starting all over again, I would be an evangelical Anglican.” (America’s Pastor by Grant Wacker Harvard, University Press, November 2014) As winner of 1st place prizes in national short story and poetry contests, the author renders the Christian faith just as reachable and understandable as it really is. He captures the winsome beauty of God’s character that is so deeply embedded in Anglican worship and prayers, and shows us that what sets Anglicanism apart is that it is generously orthodox, completely biblical, and liturgically beautiful. For example, Anglicanism believes the Bible is God’s inspired revelation without saying it speaks to every earthly thing, that grace is given in Holy Communion without insisting God is bodily present in the bread and wine, and that our nature is affected by sin without saying we are worthless. Anglicanism explains the reality of heaven and hell by saying what the Bible teaches: that God destines Christians to life.
Collins’ ever lucid writing is a joy. Readers will find this lighthearted, scholarly explanation of Anglicanism as practiced in the tradition of the 16th century Reformers to be a very pleasing read. The Foreword by theologian Ashley Null is itself informative and a delightful read.
Chuck Collins shows us that 16th century English reformers didn’t want to start something new at all; they simply wanted to return the Church to the ancient Christianity from which the Medieval Church had departed—such that, at its core, Anglicanism is just a container for Christian truth to pass along from generation to generation. Its compassionate and gracious view of doctrine and morals is what sets the Anglican church apart—but generosity doesn’t mean anything goes. Collins makes it clear that while Anglicanism is defined, informed and guided by the Bible, a church that stands for nothing will fall for anything.
This work is heartily endorsed by Anglican luminaries, including eminent theologians John Ashley Null and J.I. Packer, and by Archbishop and Primate Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America.
The available Study Guide by Bud Davis, PhD is appropriate for self-study, small groups, house churches, classes on Anglicanism and a parish-wide study. Even those who have been Anglicans for a long time will develop a renewed love of their Church and even the desire to share their apostolic Christian faith with others.