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The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church Paperback – December 17, 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Todd Hunter's passion for church growth―and his many insights into how it can be achieved―has had a profound influence on many church leaders around the world. His story is a fascinating one." (Nicky Gumbel, vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton Church and developer of The Alpha Course)

"Todd is a missionary and knows the attraction of 'ancient future' in today's culture. This remarkable book tells a remarkable story. A story of how Todd became an Anglican bishop. I was gripped as he uncovers the treasures of this ancient spiritual pipeline. So gripped, it reminded me why I'm an Anglican! This is a deeply personal story, written by an amazing man. It will challenge and inspire." (Mark Russell, CEO, Church Army, and member of the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England)

"You hold in your hand a thoughtful and candid explanation of the many events and people that God used to draw a veteran evangelical church planter like Todd Hunter into the world and the witness of the Anglican church. One part autobiography and one part apologia, this book provides an 'outsider's' perspective on the richness of authentic Anglicanism, and the treasures of this particular branch of the Christian church that have captured his heart and made him, in his own words, an 'accidental Anglican.' In telling this story, Todd challenges us all to begin to connect the dots in our own lives and discover the powerful, if seemingly accidental, calling that God has for each of us." (The Right Reverend Chuck Murphy, chairman, The Anglican Mission)

"Todd's story is a fascinating, moving, honest and often very funny account of what God can do with one of his servants committed to growing his kingdom today . . . very inspiring." (Right Reverend Prebendary J. A. K. Millar, vicar, Tollington Park, and assistant bishop, London)

"Todd Hunter's journey―unlike that of the 1980s 'evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail'―is a missional merging of Anglican resources and church-planting passion. Free of romanticized illusions, he offers a clear-eyed appreciation of the Anglican potential for mission after modernity." (David Neff, editor in chief and vice president, Christianity Today Media Group)

"Hail to you, Bishop Mole! Ratty salutes you! Accidental Anglican you may be, but it is real, rich Anglicanism that you perceive and pursue. May your ministry among us be gloriously blessed." (From the foreword by J. I. Packer)

About the Author

Bishop Todd D. Hunter (DMin, George Fox University) leads Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO), a church-planting initiative of the Anglican Mission in the Americas. He is the founding pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Costa Mesa, California and is the author of several books, such as Christianity Beyond Belief, Giving Church A Second Chance, The Accidental Anglican and Our Favorite Sins. He is also a teacher, writer and consultant for his ministry, Society for Kingdom Living, which helps pastors and lay leaders reach a generation that has been disenfranchised from the church. Formerly national director at Vineyard Churches USA and then at Alpha USA, Hunter serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Alpha as well as on a number of other ministry boards, including Renovaré and Soul Survivor. He is an adjunct professor of evangelism and contemporary culture at George Fox University, Fuller Seminary, Western Seminary, Vanguard University and Wheaton College, and has two adult children with his wife, Debbie.

J.I. Packer is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He has preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as General Editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and Theological Editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and has written numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation & Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (December 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830838392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830838394
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Todd Hunter is a name well known in the evangelical world. He has opened himself to the "whispers" of God over the years allowing himself to be led into paths less taken. Now God has continued His leading and Todd has faithfully followed into the Anglican Church. This journey is being shared by many clergy in spite of the current Episcopal Church troubles. Welcome home, Bishop.

If you are looking for a theological discussion, this isn't it. This reads like a very personal journey of a man who found himself where he least expected, being consecrated a Bishop in the "One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church."
A most interesting read that moves very quickly and in an open and forthright manner.

WARNING: This could change your life!
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When I came across this book, "The Accidental Anglican," by Todd Hunter on Amazon, I was at first delighted. I wrote my Ph.D. thesis on the identity of orthodox Anglicanism, and I knew that Todd Hunter was an orthodox Anglican. With the subtitle: "The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church," I was expecting a fresh apologetic for why Anglicanism as a liturgical church is an ancient Christian tradition that has begun to appeal to so many.

When I read the book, however, I was sadly disappointed. What I discovered the book to be is a very breezy, episodic biography of Todd Hunter and his journey to Anglicanism. The book, ultimately, appears self-serving. Although I'm interested in the narratives of individuals, especially about how they became Anglicans, this book seemed too much about Todd Hunter and the Anglican Mission in America, and too little about Anglicanism or the liturgy.

The truth is that the subtitle is very misleading: there is only one chapter that deals with liturgy, and this chapter explains aspects of the liturgy in a very elementary way. I suppose this is to be expected from a new convert to Anglicanism, but it does seem odd to have an Anglican bishop who hasn't been in the tradition that long and whose background is in a church (Vineyard) that has many significant differences from what Anglicanism has always taught and how it has worshiped.

Ultimately, I found very little of substance in this book and doubt it will be of great interest to many, except those in the Anglican Mission in America who are interested in the personal journey of one of their newest bishops. For Anglicans as a whole, and those trying to understand Anglicanism, there is very little meat here, indeed.
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Format: Paperback
Todd Hunter has been on an unlikely journey. From being an apprentice of John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement to heading up USA Alpha, it would appear somewhat strange that Todd is now an Anglican Bishop. This book is how that journey happened. I resonated with Todd Hunter's journey into Anglicanism and ordained ministry. While I am not a bishop, I come from a free evangelical charismatic church background and now I am an ordained Anglican Priest in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Todd shares how he began to move into a more liturgical setting and the process by which he came to be `ordained' within the anglican episcopacy. He writes in an easy, relaxed, humorous and honest manner. He shares about those anglicans who have impacted and shaped him such as J I Packer, John Stott and Tom Wright as well as sharing what he likes about anglicanism .

At a 140 pages this is a short book, and to be honest I pondered what purpose it might have other than being a very short biographical snap shot of Todd's life. However, as I thought about it I came to realize that this book serves as a valuable introduction to Anglicanism for those from strong `non' liturgical backgrounds. Todd has not become `Anglican' or left behind his roots, or repudiated his past - he is who God has matured him to be and as a servant of God, God has led him into a place of ministry with anglicanism and this has grown in him an appreciation of the anglican tradition.

This will give many who are unfamiliar with the anglican church a wonderful and accessible introduction.
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Format: Paperback
The title of this book intrigued me because I have a feeling it's a handle we might borrow to describe ourselves someday. I'd hoped for a little bit deeper unpacking of the title's tagline "the surprising appeal of the liturgical church." Still, I was reading the book at the same time my husband was interviewing for a pastoral position in an Anglican church. The timing was kind of perfect.

Hunter, now an Anglican bishop, started his years of ministry leadership in the Vineyard movement, a fresh-faced member of the Jesus movement. It's not a turn you'd normally expect, but I'm discovering that the Vineyard movement and the Anglican tradition to be connected in some key ways. Among other distinctives, both groups have a profound appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit and both celebrate the mysteries of God.

Hunter wrote in a simple, very accessible manner his experience of ministry and movement toward the Anglican Mission. My disappointment with the substance of the book was soon lifted when I realized that his story was comforting because he was addressing many of my unspoken fears. With every story he told of embarrassing moments trying to figure out some of the more formal traditions of the church (i.e., going to the bathroom before putting on his vestments, being mistaken as a costumed priest when he wore his collar in public on Halloween) I felt more relieved. We were moving from 40 years of non-denominational, low-church liturgies and had no experience worshiping in, let alone working in, an Anglican liturgy. (next time you see him, ask my son Andrew to tell you his funny story of sipping the communion wine our first Sunday at Christ Church!
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