"The Accidental Anglican" - A Book Review
Todd D. Hunter
P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
ISBN: 978-0-8308-3839-4; $15.00
3 1/2 stars
Wayfaring through the Ecclesiastical wilderness is becoming a hot past-time for many wanderers in North America. Todd Hunter’s small, 138 page paperback, “The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church” is another story of such a journey. This book is written to tell his tale in a way that may resonate with others who are floundering in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
“The Accidental Anglican” breaks down into two sections. The first portion recounts the author’s pilgrimage through the Jesus People of the early 1970s, then Calvary Chapel, later the presidency of Vineyard Churches USA, afterward into a non-churchly church plant, and most recently into the episcopacy of The Anglican Missions in the Americas (TheAM). In the second segment, Hunter relays several of the salient reasons he likes Anglicanism, touring through a few of his heroes, and then briefly admiring the colorful variety of flora and fauna of the Anglican garden. The writer’s account and admiration is an easy read, told from his low-church perspective, striving to address the concerns and questions “seekers” might have as they gaze on the scene with him.
Though the book is nicely written, it becomes obvious quite quickly that Hunter has been on a experiential journey for a while, looking for something that will firmly grip his spiritual ADHD. One of the questions that kept niggling at the back of my mind while I read the book is, “Where will he go next?” There seems to be an unsettledness, or fickle searching that has driven the author from one ecclesiastical shop to another, out of each he staggers exhausted, but eager to grope after another consumer experience, singing with Bono, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
A second troubling question cropped up repeatedly, “How could TheAM’s leadership promote him so quickly?” By the author’s own account, he went from non-Anglican, to deacon, then priest and finally bishop within roughly 2 years. And underneath this, the fast and furious movement began with the offer to plant a Church for that denomination before he was even a card-carrying Anglican. I must confess my perplexity! This reviewer can’t help but wonder if the leadership has been kidnapped by the American quasi-divinity “Pragmatism”.
“The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church” is a comfortable piece to read. Many readers will find that Hunter’s questions on his journey are theirs, and his findings will likely catch their attention. I mildly recommend the book, and hope the author has found his permanent home.
Michael Philliber is pastor of Providence Presbyterian Church (PCA), Midland Texas. He earned his Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in 2007.
[Permission to reprint & re-post is hereby given as long as credit is given to the author of this book review and notification is sent to the reviewer-MWP]