We are overwhelmed.
Since posting the Manifesto a couple of weeks ago, we have had 13,000 views.
It seems that we have hit a nerve.
We are grateful – very grateful – for how many have expressed a resonance with what we have felt in our hearts as we wrote together.
We are grateful that so many of you are interested in recovering the beautiful jewels of our specific tradition as Christ-followers who are Anglicans.
We recognize that there are many Christian tribes and traditions out there – and that common prayer, confessions, creeds and shared doctrines are not marks of all of them. We aren’t wishing to stand against anyone’s freedom of choice – we’re simply seeking to polish these ancient jewels within our specific communion as we seek a strong prayerful and theological foundation for doing so.
We aren’t trying to start a movement per se, but only seek to re-align ourselves with a movement founded some two-thousand years ago. As Christendom fades, we’re grateful that this is an exciting time to follow Jesus.
We also recognize that there are traditionalisms within Anglicanism that are not life-giving, and we’re grateful to have this blog to continue praying and dialoguing through what living traditions should be lifted up, and which traditions should be cast aside. We recognize that we won’t always agree on the finer points and encourage that dialogue rooted in prayer and the realization that the Holy Spirit is still moving in our communities.
We don’t wish to denigrate specific people or theologians but we do wish to remain theological in the best sense of that word: the study of God or of ‘faith seeking understanding’. We do lean upon a theology which affirms the radical notion of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ and that has the audacity to believe in miracles over metaphors. We risk a theological posture that proclaims that the “…message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.” (Wright).
We’re grateful to see the ecumenical response from our sisters and brothers in Christ from Lutheran, United/Methodist (and other) Christian traditions – and hope that we can pray and seek the common jewels alongside each other. We sense that there is a movement and hunger amongst many people in the mainline to recover some of the amazing adventure that our forbears discovered and lived in their faith. How is it that we’re called to walk together in our common faith? Let’s keep exploring this.
We love our sisters and brothers, even when we disagree. However, we don’t desire to become a turf war for the various factions of Anglicanism, nor is this a space for Rome and Constantinople to do recruiting drives. We are not ignorant of our options. We have “flittered” with “higher” and “lower” churches, and, yes, on a bad day the grass does look greener, but, as The Manifesto said: we are going nowhere. .
In any manifesto, there is a certain amount of hyperbole – and in ours, that begins right in the first line: “We are a generation of Anglican Christians”. Manifestos are designed to rile us up. We recognize that we don’t speak for everyone under the age of 45, nor do we exclude Baby Boomers in sharing our hopes and concerns. Sure, there does seem to be a general generational divide – but as the comments have shown there are people who agree and disagree on either side of the Boomer/Post-Boomer divide – and we’re grateful for people of all ages who seek to claim/recover the jewels of our specific tradition.
Some have expressed some angst or discomfort around our anonymity. We’re flattered that something we’ve prayed through and written has spoken to so many – but we’re not seeking to be heroes or targets here. If you’re interested – we are a small group of collaborators who wrote this. We’re between 30 and 45 and in both lay and ordained positions within the mainstream Anglican church. The later point is important because some of our writing will be in response to the dominant ethos of our denomination – for which, we should note, we are grateful.
The name ‘Tract 91’ is ‘riffing’ off of the idea of the 19th-century ‘Tracts For The Times’ – which published 90 tracts. Most of the early tracts were published anonymously or under pseudonyms. We’ve talked about ‘coming out’ – and we likely will at some point in the future – – but, for now, in these early days we would like the ideas to simply speak for themselves and spark dialogue and be refined – rather than be linked to personalities, communities, or geography.
We are certainly happy to correspond as we are able – and to accept submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perhaps this goes without saying, but submissions should apply to the general tone and hopes of The Manifesto. If a submission is accepted it will be published anonymously.
We remain yours – in Christ
The Tract 91 Manifesto Writers