Restoring the Anglican Mind by Arthur Middleton, Herefordshire, UK, Gracewing, 2008, 122pp; finished 3/22/9; rated 6
Fr. Arthur Middleton here presents a passionate plea for the Anglican Church to recover its memory and be healed of amnesia. Because she has forgotten her past – forgotten who she was – she doesn’t now know who she is, and the only hope of restoration is to return to her roots.
And those roots, argues the author, are threefold: the Scriptures, the Early Church Fathers, and the Anglican Divines (of the 17th century) who wrote their books and lived out their faith in the context of an English application of the Scriptures and the Fathers. “In these Anglican divines, what is being made present in England is the spirit and substance of that Catholic vision of the mystery of Christ which characterizes those early centuries of the Church in East and West…Their aim and purpose was to be representative of the Christian tradition in all its fullness, organic wholeness and unbroken unity” (p. 34). Anglicanism is, in other words, not some kind of bridge between Protestantism and Rome. It is a full expression of what it means to be truly Catholic.
This short book is a good read, with good prescriptions for the healing of the Church. But of course, Fr. Middleton is preaching to the choir.