The Basics of Faith

Sometimes people see contemporary debates within the church, and they think that Christians have very little in common. The real truth is quite the opposite. Over and above the divergent opinions about secondary issues is a powerful unity of doctrine that welds Christianity together and distinguishes it from every other religion. Learn the things that the entire church agrees upon in Father Keith's Christian Essentials (See Teaching #2).

Although we rightly focus on the things that unite Christians worldwide, we want everyone who's interested in joining our church to have straight answers to what we think about any and every issue. So if you're interested in learning more about who we are and what we believe on a wide range of topics, take a look at the other teachings in our Exploring Membership course.

For a more in-depth primer on the Christian faith, we would wholeheartedly encourage you to read a copy of C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. During his time as a professor of medieval literature at Oxford, God slowly drew Lewis from atheism and towards himself. He had long thought Christianity a much happier position that atheism, but he just couldn't get past the fact that he thought it false. Mere Christianity recounts in ordinary language the arguments that changed his mind, and it is filled with the joy of a man who found that the things he always wanted most had finally turned out to be true.

If you have any questions about Christianity, feel free to contact our Spiritual Formation Pastor, Danny Linton, at dlinton@greenhousemovement.com.

 

Basics of Anglicanism

The Book of Common Prayer is the one stop shop for all things Anglican. It provides an organized Bible reading plan to make sure we are receiving "the full counsel of God" instead of restricting ourselves to our favorite books.  It records the ancient prayer patterns of our spiritual fathers and mothers that are just as insightful and rejuvenating as when they were written, and continue to "teach us to pray" even now.  It contains the liturgy that the church has theologically drawn from Scripture and artistically crafted into something beautiful and engaging for use in our worship services.Also, it includes a brief summary of the basic doctrine of the Anglican Church, which is grounded in the authority of Scripture and guided by the church's interpretation of it over the centuries. So the BCP is not a second Bible. It's more a worship service book, and one that we find brings us closer to God as we use it day by day. You can find a copy online.

About Scripture
The Bible reading plan in the BCP is called "the lectionary." The lectionary has daily readings from the Psalms and the Gospels, which Christians have always specially treasured, as well as one daily reading each from elsewhere in the Old and New Testaments. The daily readings are coordinated so they highlight similar themes across the passages, and they are organized on a larger scale to ensure that the entire Bible is covered every 3 years.

About Prayer
The prayers within the BCP are organized in two ways. The major collection of prayers is called the "daily office." The daily office is divided into morning, midday, evening, and nighttime prayers. Each section is specifically designed to address the needs we face in that part of the day, but they also work as a whole to help us tune in to God throughout our day, so we create a spiritual pattern to reinforce the truth that time is ultimately God's rather than ours. The BCP also contains some topically arranged prayers.  

About Liturgy
Our worship services have two important characteristics: The first is that they are very participatory, following an ancient pattern of call and response that is called "liturgy" (a Greek word that means "of the people"). The liturgy is shaped to give us the full variety we need in our spiritual diet — including creeds, confessions, thanksgivings, Scripture readings, songs, intercessions, and more — in every worship service. The second is that They are very tangible, using visible symbols to draw us in to an encounter with God. These culminate in the celebration of holy communion, the body and blood of Christ, broken and poured out for us. Learn what everything in our services means in Father Stephen's Anglican Worship (See Teaching #3).

About Doctrine
Anglicanism celebrates the unity of God's people. One of the things this means is that we tend to trust the interpretations of Scripture which Christians universally agreed upon in the first several centuries AD, and we strongly affirm the summarizing of those beliefs in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. For a brief question and answer style catalogue of these basic teachings, take a look at our Outline of the Faith. For a bit longer one, see To Be a Christian.

Exploring More About Anglicanism
Want to go deeper into the Anglican way of living out the Christian life? Learn more of the history, theology, and spirituality of the Anglican way with our Exploring Anglicanism course.

If you have any questions about Anglicanism, feel free to contact our Spiritual Formation Pastor, Danny Linton, at dlinton@greenhousemovement.com.

 

Faith and Culture

  • Word and Table, a weekly podcast, managed by Alex Wilgus, speaking about liturgy, sacrament, and the great tradition of Christian worship and why it is vital in our world today.
  • The Common Vision, an online journal, also managed by the Logan Square Anglican catechist, Alex Wilgus, addressing contemporary issues of art, faith, and politics with the hopes of creating edifying conversation.
  • Still Point of the Turning World, a blog by Katherine Ruch, affectionately known as Mama Bishop, sharing thoughts on spiritual life, family and culture.