Dancing with GodPosted: August 13, 2015
Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope
Jay Emerson Johnson
Morehouse Publishing (February 1, 2005), 177 pages
Kindle Edition $17.10, Amazon Paperback $18.00
This book is a clear, straightforward introduction to Anglican theology. I didn’t relate to the dancing metaphor Johnson used throughout the book, but I still found much of the book useful.
Johnson discusses how Anglican theology is not clear-cut and definitive:
Anglican theologies don’t easily lend themselves to intricate systems of thought. That’s one of the strengths of Anglican styles of Christian faith—they create a bit more room on the edges of traditional theology for creativity and even playfulness.
He also discusses the three-legged stool of Anglicanism: scripture, tradition, and reason: “Many Episcopalians know these touchstones well enough to admire them: the via media, or middle way between Protestantism and Catholicism; the “three-legged stool” of scripture, tradition, and reason; and the unifying symbol of the Book of Common Prayer.”
The primary reason I read this book, at the suggestion of my spiritual director, was to gain a better grasp of the Trinity. Johnson really didn’t help me here a whole lot. He suggests: “Anglican theologies create a healthy amount of space for experimenting with various ways to speak about God, each of which reflects the dynamic character of Divine Reality.” Yes, true. But at the same time we say the Nicene Creed every Sunday, and that has some pretty clear-cut doctrine about the Trinity.
Still, Johnson says: “While some members find traditional language about the Trinity comfortable and inspiring, others trip over it as outdated at best, or worse, a roadblock in their encounters with God.” That was reassuring.
Better yet, he goes on to say:
In my experience, I’ve known Episcopalians who are virtually unitarian in their theology but attend church faithfully…
Well, yes. That’s me. Thanks!
That was worth the price of the book.