We just published Simply Anglican by Winfield Bevins. Winfield graciously agreed to answer some questions about the book’s backstory and what he hopes it will accomplish!
What prompted you to write this book? Why do you think it’s important that this book exists?
This is a good question. Writing a book is deeply personal. There is always a backstory to every book.
At first glance, the Anglican tradition can seem quite complex and inaccessible to those coming from other traditions.
When I was exploring the Anglican tradition, I found it difficult to wrap my head around what it actually meant to be an Anglican because there are so many competing visions. To be honest, I read dozens of books and never really found a helpful introduction.
Over the years, I have encountered so many people, who like me were exploring Anglicanism and I struggled with being able to point them to a resource that I really liked. In an effort to answer questions newcomers often have, I have written a short introduction to the Anglican tradition.
So, Simply Anglican was born! Simply Anglican is my attempt to offer an introduction as well as an invitation to a rich and beautiful tradition, that at times can be very complex and hard to understand.
One of the greatest challenges people face when exploring Anglicanism is that the tradition has become so deeply divided in the past few decades. I have told people that this is my attempt to write a “non-angry introduction to Anglicanism.”
Rather than focusing on all of the problems and divisions (others have already done this), Simply Anglican is my attempt to paint a vision of Anglicanism that is neither fundamentalist nor progressive—one that is historically rooted and modern; orthodox and gracious; unified and diverse; liturgical and open to the spontaneity of the Spirit; catholic and evangelical; and, finally, sacramental and missional.
What do you hope readers will tell their family and friends after they finish reading Simply Anglican?
After finishing Simply Anglican, I hope that readers will have a greater appreciation for the Anglican tradition.
Don’t be fooled by the title “Simply Anglican.” While the book is simple and accessible, it is also winsome, well-researched with footnotes, and full of recommended reading suggestions so the reader can go deeper in their study of the Anglican tradition.
I hope readers will share with others that they have found a helpful and gracious introduction to the Anglican tradition for the 21stcentury.
Another thing I think readers will like is the narrative and testimonial nature of the book. Throughout the book, there are quotes from others who have recently embraced Anglicanism. I think these help ground the book in the personal and spiritual reality of the Anglican tradition. I hope they will see themselves in the stories in the book.
How do you hope that Simply Anglican will change the daily life of a reader? How will it impact their walk with Christ?
My hope for readers is that they will discover the riches of Anglicanism in a way that will change their life. It has changed my life!
Rather than a dead faith of the past, I believe that newcomers will find a vibrant expression of the Christian faith that is scriptural and deeply rooted in historic Christianity. The Anglican tradition has enriched the faith of millions of Christians around the world for hundreds of years and still has the power to offer a vibrant, healthy, life-giving faith for our generation and generations to come.
If you are exploring the Anglican tradition, I invite you to come and see what millions of Christians around the world have found in Anglicanism. The Anglican way shows us how the past, present, and future can come together through common prayer and worship. In Anglicanism, the church of the past can speak to the present, while the church of the present can reach into the future with a faith that is rooted and grounded in Christ in a dynamic way.
Winfield Bevins is the Director of Church Planting at Asbury Theological Seminary. He frequently speaks at conferences on a variety of topics and is a regular adjunct professor at several seminaries. As an author, one of his passions is to help others connect to the roots of the Christian faith for spiritual formation and mission. His latest book, Ever Ancient Ever New: The Allure of Liturgy for a New Generation examines young adults who have embraced Christian liturgy and how it has impacted their lives. He and his wife Kay have three beautiful girls Elizabeth, Anna Belle, and Caroline and live in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. You can find out more about him at his website, www.winfieldbevins.com.