The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church by Todd D. Hunter
(IVP Books, 2010, 188 pages)
Todd Hunter spent many years as an evangelical minister and church planter. The Accidental Anglican tells the story of his transition to Anglicanism, the liturgical tradition, and his new role as a bishop. There were many embarrassing moments as he adapted from low church evangelicalism to the high church worship and rituals of the Anglican Church. Hunter tells these stories with humor and humility.
A large part of Hunter’s story consists of recounting the various Anglican figures that have influenced him over the years, including J. I. Packer, John Stott, and N. T. Wright. Hunter finds in these and other Anglicans a commitment to classical orthodoxy, spiritual formation, humility, and generosity. He lauds the tradition’s liturgical resources and emphasis on the overarching narrative of Scripture as important spiritual resources. The book makes the case these resources speak to the particular needs of many twenty-first century spiritual seekers.
This is an interesting, and at times humorous book. While I enjoyed it, it should not be mistaken for a substantive introduction to the Anglican tradition. Hunter talks about the particular Anglican resources he has found helpful, but he does so in a very cursory and unsystematic way. It is an interesting memoir of one person’s experience of one stream of the worldwide and quite diverse Anglican Communion. Its casual and personal tone make this a good book for getting a very general sense of the ethos of evangelical Anglicanism.