31 August 2010

Pondering Anglican Chaplains

I know 4 Army chaplains who used to be affiliated with other evangelical denominations and are know Anglican. I know one other who is seriously considering the switch. While it may be providence that I know all of these, it seems interesting that there are so many.

I have conversed with many of them about the reasons behind their movement. I can't help but wonder if one of the contributing factors is Army culture. You see, there is a way prescribed on how to do almost everything in the Army. That is either a blessing or a curse, depending on your temperament.

Ceremonies, operations, how to wear your uniform and when to wear which uniform. They are all covered somewhere in an Army regulation. If you think about it, the Book of Common Prayer, used by Anglicans worldwide, is regulatory in nature as well. It prescribes services, readings, prayers and other elements in the life of the believer and the church.

Is part of the draw of this type of deliberate liturgy--to the military mind--the comfort of knowing their is a "manual" to appeal to? I don't know for certain. I do know, looking at the Anglican tradition, the freedom from the tyranny of having to be novel (while not changing anything, pastor) sounds very inviting.

29 August 2010

Positives of Evangelicalism

I just finished reading Evangelicals on the the Canterbury Trail by Robert Webber. Very good, easy read. It confirmed a lot of what I've been realizing about where I am at on my sojourn.

One thing that was good, at the end of the book, was his snapshot of the strengths of evangelicalism. He writes:

In sum, evangelicals bring to the liturgical tradition these strengths--the sense of personal conversion, a deep concern to be orthodox, an attachment and love for the Scripture, and a sense of mission. Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail, p. 170

I agree with, and confirm all four of these. It was refreshing, because I have been looking a lot lately at the weaknesses of evangelicalism. I have gained something for my time on this fork of the path. These are things that will continue with me, these are things that drive me, curiously, toward a more liturgical tradition.

I don't know if I will go all the way to Canterbury or not. But this section of the trail has had some interesting sections, some inspiring vistas and some challenging hills. Whatever may come, I can't help but feel that I am better for having traversed this way.

25 August 2010

Some Thoughts on Prayer

As I was laying in bed last night I was thinking about prayer. I was ruminating on what I have known for a while now, at least in my experience. That is that prayer is much more about me being reminded of God than of me bringing request to Him.

Yes, I ask for things in prayer all the time. But I find that more and more the things I ask for are things He promises or at least offers to us in the scriptures. In this manner, I think I am more being reminded that God will give me this day my daily bread.

Prayer is approaching God's throne. Just that "walk" helps recalibrate and refresh my spirit. I thought last night that in a sense, bringing request to God is like holding the thing desired up in front of myself in God's presence. It either casts a shadow on me, or His glory shines through it. If His glory shines through it, then I should hold onto it. If it casts a shadow, it should be set aside.

For these insights and the gift of prayer, I thank You, O Lord.

14 August 2010

Words Mean Things

Click the title to go to a very insightful and penetrating article that was shared with me today.

The phrase, "Words mean things," caught my eye and led me to read it. It has been a mantra of mine for several years, on various fronts, theological as well as other areas.