Marcus Throup’s All Things Anglican offers anyone who seeks to know more about this particular tradition within the Christian faith an excellent overview and place to start.
What is unique about Anglicanism is the different nuances and beliefs that many who adhere to such a title hold, and as such, when trying to figure out where you may fall into the plethora of Christian traditions, it can be easy to get lost when looking at this particular path.
Yet, Throup—in good ole Anglican fashion—presents the reader with a middle way when approaching all the different distinctions found within such a tradition. Beginning at the grassroots level, he briefly maps out where Anglicanism came from and what such a term means, as many can interpret the word and live out their Anglican faith in different ways. Furthermore, Throup realizes the predominantly dualistic society and culture many in the West find themselves living in—especially those within Christianity—and notes how such a mindset can be problematic when it comes to Anglicanism, as one church can do something completely different from another church right across the street.
To combat against any blatant divisiveness, Throup dives into the Anglican’s grounds for openness toward different flavors within the tradition. As such, the reader gains a clearer picture as to why there is a large Anglican “yard to play in”—for lack of a better term. But to continue with the yard analogy, like any good yard, there is a fence to play in, and as such, there are a few essentials when it comes to the distinctiveness of Anglicanism. By diving into the meaning and reasoning as to why Anglicans hold fast to the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the 39 Articles of Religion, and the Book of Common Prayer, one begins to gain a better understanding of what it means to be Anglican in the midst of a time where there are disagreements and rifts within the tradition itself.
Throup does not steer clear of making known the splits and tiffs that have been occurring within Anglicanism’s more recent history. Yet, he holds fast to how the tradition has historically dealt with conflict and is hopefully to its future as one continues to be open and led by the Spirit of God. There is so much more that could be said about this book—how different Anglicans engage the Spirit, the purpose and meaning behind the liturgical practice, vocation and calling, missions, etc.—but I leave such topics as teasers for you to get the book and read it for yourself.
As I stated initially, this is a fantastic starting point for anyone interested in learning more about the Anglican tradition. It is also an excellent read for those who have been Anglican for many years. It is always good to get back to the basics of what you believe and be reminded of where you have come from, to know where you are going.\
Zach Camp is currently working on his Master’s in Theology at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. With an undergraduate degree in cinematic studies, he seeks to bridge the gap between both creative and theological spheres through the practice of storytelling. Connect with him on social media @ZachCCamp or ZachCamp.com.