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The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Many are longing for historical connectedness and for theology that is not tied to the whims of contemporary culture, but to apostolic-era understandings of Christian faith and practice. They also yearn for rhythms and routines that build spiritual health. Still others are responding to a call to participate in worship rather than merely sitting back and looking at a stage ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published November 17th 2010 by IVP Books
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Andrew Himes
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
In his new book, Todd Hunter, recounts the unexpected trail that took him from the Jesus People movement of the 1970s through the Vineyard community of churches to his recent appointment as an Anglican Bishop charged with the mission of planting two hundred new Episcopalian churches in the western United States in the next 20 years. Is that a wild and crazy ambition, or what?

My own notions of high church Episcopalianism were set by my family's outlook. I grew up as the product of several generat
Adam Ross
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, biography
I got this book on a whim because I have read Hunter's other book (Christianity Beyond Belief) and hated it. That might seem like an odd reason to get another of the guy's books, but this one wouldn't let me go. The question in my mind was, "How does the former president of the Vineyard go Anglican?" I like Anglicans, and so the question pressed me into a corner. The essential answer is that he did really just sort of wind up in the Anglican church through a series of strange steps. He didn't go ...more
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Does virtually nothing to annotate the appeal of Anglicanism beyond the author's right-time-right-place testimony. Hardly any historical context, very little said of the Book of Common Prayer, and virtually no argument as to why Hunter would have chosen his new ministry in the Anglican church over say, the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. had the same opportunities from those faiths presented themselves in a similar manner. ...more
Shawn Paterson
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Narrative felt choppy and shallow, as if he wrote it all in an hour. At times felt more like simply an autobiography with lots of thank you's to influential Anglicans than anything else. Was hoping for more insight into Anglicanism. I bet Hunter is an awesome guy, just didn't get much from this book. ...more
Steve Comstock
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm a person who made the journey from broad evangelicalism to the Anglican faith. I was hoping to find meditations on the complex factors that draw one from consumer-Christianity to the kind of ancient-future faith that Anglicanism has to offer, but this felt less than that. Honestly, a lot of the time it just felt like I was reading the author's extended resume.

Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was simply unimpressed with this book.
1) The story is told as a step-by-step book, except out of order and you aren’t sure what time of the author’s story you just jumped to. Years are rarely mentioned.
2) The editing is poor.
3) A lot of the book was about other people, the books they wrote, what church they oversee, and how Todd knew them. Two whole (short) chapters are basically each a man’s biography.
4) I didn’t learn anything about Anglicanism until part 2, and even then learned very littl
Kevin Greenlee
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I have some bias in reading this book. Todd is my pastor and my bishop, and I love and admire him in both roles, so am inclined to appreciate what he brings to the table. Still, his other books, while very good, have not stood out to me. This one, however, as an account of Todd's journey into the Anglican communion stands above the rest. Todd's story is a unique and beautiful one, going from Cavalry Chapel roots, through the Vineyard and the emerging church, Todd has accumulated a lot of church ...more
I expected this book to be part biography, part argument for liturgical service, and it was a bit of both, but not enough of either to satisfy my curiosity. In the end, Bishop Hunter basically said that a) He'd made the switch from free-spirited Evangelical to Liturgical and that b)He was happy with the switch.

I want to know more, which in a way is a good thing, but I feel like he had a lot more interesting things to say. A book about three times as long could have been really fascinating, and w
David Svihel
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
While the story of how a former Vineyard pastor came to be an Anglican Bishop is intriguing, this book is written in a rather sloppy and simplistic manner, which caused me to be underwhelmed. That being said, it is a quick little read about a man's spiritual journey that can be easily read in an afternoon. If your looking for something out of the ordinary or are curious about the Anglican tradition get it from the library and give it a shot. ...more
Andy Hickman
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it

Church is like Mark Twain’s description of the Mississippi River.

Anglicanism is resolutely Christ-centred, focusing always on his death and resurrection.

“Sit up, be alert, participate.” Liturgy is the work or participation of the people. Anglicanism offers an “ancient-future”experience.

Eucharist is like a kiss. It's more than just a kiss. Eucharist is like this. It conveys the love and purpose of God for his people. Consecrated and consumed bread are never j
David F. Stout
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting Story

I found Hunter’s story quite interesting, especially since he is a contemporary of mine whose journey has been in the opposite direction. I went from liturgical to a low key Pentecostalism. We do, however, have a common set of authors and church leaders we grew up such as Stott, Newbigin, and David Watson. I just found David Wilkerson a tad more to my liking. (I also find set liturgy pretty dull, though Evangelicals trying praise and worship music is not my cup of tea either.)

Ryan Geer
Well, this book was not really what I was expecting... Chapters 4 and 5, where the author talks about his interactions with Packer and Stott are really pretty good. The final couple chapters were ok as well. But the rest of the book was just not what I thought it would be. It seems as if the author's journey into the Anglican church was much more one of circumstances directing than a realization that this tradition best embodied what Scripture teaches that the church should be. It's not a bad re ...more
Ricky Balas
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
The book is divided into two parts, so I will rate it in two parts. Part I--2 stars. Part II--4 stars.
Other reviewers have summed this work up rather well and I agree with many of them. The writing is choppy and right when you think Hunter is about to add something substantial, he abruptly ends the section/chapter. At times there is this stream of consciousness thing happening where it seems he is almost just transcribing a phone conversation he had. The first part, while he certainly did pick o
Chrisse Reynolds
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
At least it was short? He probably has a really interesting story, and some great things to say, but his books is so all over the place and hard to follow. He makes a lot of assumptions that the reader already knows a good chunk of his background (which I didn’t), a lot about what it means to be Anglican (which I’m just learning), and about what his previous churches were like (again, I don’t). Overall, it’s just very disjointed.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a modest book, in tone and ambition. This is a friendly account of a Bishop’s move from various evangelical churches to the Anglican Church. He tells a self-deprecating story. For anyone curious about the move many are making toward liturgical churches, this is helpful and not demanding.
Helpful little book about an evangelical leaders move to the Anglican church. First half is a biographical experience and the second half a nice summary of key Anglican "gifts". ...more
Dan Doebler
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Personal memoir with very little background on Anglican worship. A bit of an apologetic for those in the know rather than an enlightening peek for those of us on the outside.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
2 stars for literary flow (metaphors may tend to feel a bit awkward, although I did appreciate the narrative honesty and humor!); 3 stars for resonance with my life right now.

Brief, autobiographical journey of Bishop Todd Hunter, as he journeys from the Jesus Movement to Calvary Chapel, Vineyard Churches, and Alpha USA to the Anglican mission.


"That is, the kingdom of God creates the church. Thus the church is derivative and secondary. Therefore the kingdom--the rule and reign, or the
As someone who has been increasingly drawn from the hand-raising, contemporary music Baptist culture of her birth to the silent rhythms of Anglican liturgy, I was attracted to this book. However, if you're looking for an analysis and compilation of why people are flocking back to liturgy, this is not that book. While I appreciate Todd Hunter's honesty with his spiritual journey, the book seemed to lack depth. It felt very surface-level, as if he had written it as an essay in a day. Hunter freque ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was written about 5 years ago and gives the author's outline of his journey into the Anglican Church, eventually becoming a bishop, after serving many years as a pastor in the Vineyard Fellowship. The book is not a theological handbook, a polemic against anything, and does not attempt to persuade you into anything. Rather it is him saying in effect, this is what led me to where I am today in my spiritual journey. As one who is fascinated by reading such stories (especially - full discl ...more
Julia Powers
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Like the author of this book, I come from an evangelical background and have stumbled upon the Anglican tradition. So, I was fascinated by the idea of the "Accidental Anglican." But, the book's content didn't live up to my expectations. It was a fairly interesting, occasionally humorous chronicle of the author's personal story -- but for the most part that personal story didn't teach me anything new about the "appeal of the liturgical church."

If you really want to learn about the "appeal of the
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, anglicanism
This wasn't a particularly challenging or ground-breaking book. I didn't learn a lot of new things about Anglicanism or theology. I don't think that Hunter's point and overall, I thought it was worth a read. It was nice to hear his heart for ministry and people. As someone who is in seminary and studies religion, it's easy to get so focused on some the nuanced theological debates that keep us divided from the other denominations of the Church. Overall, I would recommend it, especially to an Evan ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: casual-reading
This is a very light book describing one man's journey from the evangelical world to the Episcopal Church. His journey was not a journey away from his past, but towards what he perceived to be God's leading in a new direction.

You can tell that everything is still fairly fresh and exciting for Hunter as he was writing this book. Yet, Hunter does not paint the Anglican tradition as the only denomination of substance. His warm, kind, and thoughtful description of his new tradition is more about how
Adam Balshan
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ecclesiology, memoir
2.5 stars [Ecclesiology]
W: 2.5, U: 2.25, T: 2.75.

A decent memoir/intro to Anglican trappings. There wasn't *quite* the boatload of omne ignotum I was expecting from a work like this. And in Part II he attempts to extol Anglicanism, but scarcely demonstrates how it is peculiar from other forms of Christianity; his prose is often too vague even when he is on-point.

It is worth a single read to Christians interested in ecclesiology, especially for its introductions to Packer, Stott, and Wright.
Justin DeVantier
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was most likely my first real step to becoming an Anglican. Bishop Hunter recounts his journey from vineyard church to the A.M.i.A.. Though not a book on theology or a comprehensive particularist spiritual memoir, Accidental Anglican has and serves a purpose for those who feel a new calling to a new tradition. If nothing else this book shows that one is not alone in the journey of liturgical discovery.
Jacob Davis
Better in parts than the whole, Accidental Anglican follows Todd Hunter's journey from evangelical church planter to Anglican Bishop and the people who influenced the journey. Unfortunately, the book is disjointed and his pauses to tell about people or side stories interrupt the flow of the book tremendously. The problem is not of content, but style. Still, the book is very informative and will give the reader a starting point to explore the current Anglican movement in North America more. ...more
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christianity
This book will appeal more to devotees of N.T. Wright and less to those who are interested in a rationale for liturgical worship or Anglican beliefs. Hunter's switch to Anglicanism seems--at least according to the book--to have taken place with surprisingly little consideration of either. As a result, I would not recommend this book to anyone investigating the liturgical church. Hunter does offer a look at the less commonly seen "missional" side of Anglicanism, however. ...more
Jacob Bielenberg
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book provides wonderful insight into the mind of bishop hunter. Worth reading for sure.
Pamela Olson
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this book with the anticipation of learning more about Anglicanism and quickly realized that was not the author's goal. On the plus side it was a very quick read. ...more
Ben Edmiston
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, quite a few connections and familiar names from my previous church home, Christ Church in Austin, TX.
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Bishop Todd Hunter of the Anglican Mission in the Americas, is the founding pastor of Holy Trinity Church, an Anglican church in Costa Mesa, California and author of Christianity Beyond Belief (IVP 2009), Giving Church Another Chance (IVP Spring, 2010) and The Outsider Interviews (Baker Books, Summer 2010). Todd is also the founding director of Churches for the Sake of Others, the West Coast churc ...more

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