Yes! Anglican Inspiration
A new book by CMS member Maurice Sinclair helps us reflect on our own place in God’s missional plans
Book review: Yes! Anglican Inspiration: The Anglican story and thoughts on the mission of this Church today by Maurice Sinclair
by Daniel Kirk
This small book traces the history of Anglicanism in a simple and engaging way. Written by the missionary Maurice Sinclair, also bishop of Argentina and primate of the Southern Cone of South America in his time, his love for God, his Word, his Anglican church and his missionaries shines throughout the book.
Although perhaps for the serious student of church history and rather the Anglican expression of it, there is not much new here, it is a useful summary that highlights important figures of the faith, especially forgotten women of history. It has a particular focus on the church in the Americas and the Middle East where Sinclair worked, although he does not leave Africa and Asia out of his historical account.
What he accomplishes very competently is to inspire us with the divine drama in the midst of the Anglican church. He does not hesitate to mention the weak moments of the Anglican church, for example in the 17th century or the mistakes of some leaders, but he highlights his passion for God’s global mission and the most inspiring parts are precisely when he speaks in the fourth chapter of the brave missionaries who left England. He does so without falling into hagiography, rescuing characters from other countries who have an important role in the expansion of the gospel.
Sinclair ends his inspiring book with some reflections for the Anglican church today. Just as Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11 were very important texts for the 16th century Reformation, he proposes that Genesis 1:27-28 and Matthew 28:19 may be crucial passages for the church today. The Genesis passage for the challenge today of taking care of the environment and also for the importance of being happy with how God has created us, man and woman, assuming the identity that he has sovereignly given us. The passage from Matthew to emphasise once again the vitality of intentional discipleship within the church to go and make disciples of all nations.
This is a valuable history of the church, especially useful for Christians outside the UK who want to know the history of Anglicanism and how it managed to establish itself around the world. If you read it you cannot finish without reflecting on your place in God’s missional plans and being motivated to say to God, echoing the prophet Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
This and other of Maurice’s books are available from his web page Materials for Intentional Discipleship.