To be honest, not much by way of profound insight has come my way this summer. I have been enjoying the heat of the sun more than its light!
But one series of occasional flickers of brain activity connected with the blog has been about the key word in the blog title, 'Anglican.'
What, in the end, does it mean to be 'Anglican'? Obviously it is a distinctive form of being Christian, so let's assume basic Christianity and lordship of Christ in what follows.
Is 'Anglican' - picking up on some observable traits around the Christmas season - something driven and shaped by choral music?
Noting a Twitter exchange I had with one of our bishops yesterday, to say nothing of the brouhaha in England over which hands are being laid on which gender of prospective bishop, is 'Anglican' all about having bishops?
A colleague the other day rightly challenged me over a remark about obsession with robes, saying that if we start arguing about robes then we have really lost our way. True. But is the converse also true, that if we do not soon have an argument over robes (who should wear them, how many should be worn) then 'Anglican' means a church defined by its costumes?
But through all such musings I remain very concerned, at least in Kiwiland (but anecdotally, for all Western countries) about the state of church life which is marked generally by lack of young people, by scarcity of people aged under 60 years.
Do you ever wonder, as I wonder, whether the wave of secularization of the Western world is becoming a tidal wave?
The challenge, in this perspective, is to re-find the gospel as God's universal message to all people in all generations.
Understanding what 'Anglican' means is a nice-to-have luxury. A far more urgent question needs asking.
What does the gospel mean for today?
If the answer is that we need to worry less about Anglican distinctives and be more anxious for gospel living, will we Anglicans rise to overcome our obsessions?