Review: Finding The Holy Spirit in The Stained Glass Window: The Charismata in The Anglican Tradition by Dr James Guthrie

Dr Guthrie’s book, which was his Doctor of Ministry Thesis, is desperately needed in the Anglican Church in North America and for Anglican’s in general in the West. As he states at the beginning of the book, “The Anglican Church in North America needs a renewed sense of the charisms (or gifts) of the Holy Spirit, especially those listed in 1 Corinthians 12, to be at work in ministry contexts and congregations.” Notice the words ‘renewed sense.’ This book is not about trying to introduce the gifts of the Holy Spirit into an Anglican context but about re-discovering the work of the Holy Spirit within Anglicanism. Many would not associate the charismatic gifts with a liturgical church. And this why Dr Guthrie’s book is so important. It is a theological, historical survey of why Anglicans SHOULD expect the gifts of the Spirit to be not simply operating in a liturgical context – but that it should be normative because the gifts of the Spirit have been evident throughout it’s history. The tragedy is that many Anglican’s have ceased to expect the gifts to be present in the Church.

If you an Anglican I highly recommend you read this book – it is thorough, easy to read and fascinating. If you are not an anglican this is a valuable source of historical theology to help you understand the Anglican Church – it’s roots and it’s spiritual heritage.