Anglicans I’ve Loved (Platonically)

This morning I was privileged to worship at All Saints Church, a traditional Anglican parish in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. The church was celebrating its 100th anniversary; a milestone made even more conspicuous by the fact that it continues in the faithful proclamation of the gospel by word and sacrament. Having enjoyed their lavish hospitality, I began to think of all the Anglicans who have contributed to my theological and spiritual development over the years.

Alister McGrath – He is one of the great pillars of Christianity in contemporary England. He is likely also one of it’s most prolific authors, with top-notch publications spanning historical, systematic, scientific, and philosophical theology. With works ranging from winsomely popular to dauntingly academic, every Christian can and should find something in McGrath to enjoy.

Leon Morris – The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross is a tour de force on the theology of the atonement. His powerful commentaries on New Testament books and his New Testament Theology lodge him squarely in the center of conservative biblical scholarship.

J. Alec Motyer – Here is a man who simply loves the word of God. Indeed, most of his career was devoted to helping Christians understand the Old Testament. In college, I wound my way through the prophets under Motyer’s guidance. His The Prophecy of Isaiah (not any of the abridged versions) is a fantastic and illuminating piece of conservative scholarship. You don’t even have to be a scholar to read it.

John Newton – Who can forget the slave trader that later converted and penned “Amazing Grace”? He also worked for abolition, penned several other hymns, and mentored fellow hymnist William Cowper. I came upon his sermon (letter?) “More than a ‘Calvinist'” right when I needed it most.

J. I. Packer – If Knowing God were all Packer had given to the world, I would have loved him for that. But there is much more. He is an ardent student of the Puritans (search for History and Theology of the Puritans on iTunes), an articulate defender of orthodox Christianity, and an all around good-tempered gentleman.

J. C. Ryle – Ryle was a pastor’s pastor. Much of what I know of holiness, I know from his book by that title. Ryle did not believe in tolerating sin, and he took every opportunity to instruct his congregation how to get rid of it. His sermons transcend their time. I cannot offer greater spiritual advice than to pick up something by Ryle and read it until your heart burns.

John Stott – An entire generation of British evangelicalism was shaped by John Stott. Works such as Basic Christianity and The Cross of Christ proclaimed afresh the old, old story. Stott influenced me not only in his books, but also through the many other pastors and authors who quoted and reinforced his teaching.

Rowan Williams – I’m not going to lie; his face scares me. Beyond that, though, the Archbishop of Canterbury is one of the world’s finest historical scholars. By perusing his works, I’ve grown as both a historian and theologian. For all his historical acumen, the archbishop is a firmly contemporary figure, speaking out on behalf of the disadvantaged and voiceless around the world.

N. T. Wright – Wright is to young evangelical what Edward Cullen is to young girls. Except, we like him for his warm manner and active mind, not any creepy undead stuff. Controversial and at times maddening, Wright nevertheless proves that rigorous historical criticism, painstaking biblical exegesis, and an ear for intertextual echoes can make one a peerless scholar. Skip his popular books; they’re good, but the academic ones are so much better.


Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. No Gerald Bray? Shocking!

  2. Excellent list, couldn’t help agreeing. Would love to see the clear minded Dick Lucas on there as well and second Gerald Bray (understanding that it is your list and not ours!)

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