frgavin on November 3rd, 2009

Author: William Murchison;
Format: Hardcover
Delivery: Usually within 10 working days.
Was R 284.95 Now R 227.96 (eB 2280)

FOR ALL ITS IGNORANCE ABOUT (not to mention contempt toward) Christianity in America, even Hollywood sometimes gets it right. The 1996 movie Mighty Aphrodite includes a scene in which the somewhat ditsy character Linda Ash (Mira Sorvino) asks the lead figure, Lenny (Woody Allen), if he works out at a gym. “Not religiously,” Lenny replies. “Oh,” says Ash, “I’m not religious either…my folks were Episcopalians.”

Of course, it is “not that the dignified and rarefied old Episcopal Church (TEC) quit believing in God,” says the book jacket of the recently-published Mortal Follies: Episcopalians and the Crisis of Mainline Christianity, penned by William Murchison, a nationally syndicated columnist and longtime commentator on Episcopal affairs. “It’s that the God you increasingly hear spoken of in Episcopal circles is infinitely tolerant and given to sudden changes of mind – not quite the divinity you thought you were reading about in the scriptures.” In th e last 40 years, God seems to have changed His mind about several important matters in TEC, while not always doing the same in other Anglican provinces.

The question is – as distressed believers not infrequently asked me during my two decades of covering Anglican/Episcopal news – how and why did The Episcopal Church come to this pass? What happened to loose it from its historic theological moorings, and transform it within a few decades from a prominent and noble (if imperfect) branch of U.S. mainline Christianity to a shrunken distortion of its former self?

The continued timeliness of these questions was underscored in July by the Episcopal General Convention’s clear and decisive support for homosexual practice. And it is these same questions that my friend and colleague, Mr. Murchison, a longtime Episcopal layman and former editor of Foundations, attempts to ans wer in a comprehensive way in Mortal Follies.

…………  The 1928 Book of Common Prayer draws positive mentions throughout the book, and Murchison devotes a full chapter to the historic liturgy and the far-reaching effects of TEC’s process of prayer book revision.

What in the world has happened to The Episcopal Church? Mortal Follies is an extremely valuable book for anyone interested in better understanding the answer to that question.


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