In 1942, C.S. Lewis began a series of radio addresses that would eventually become his wildly successful defense of the Christian faith, Mere Christianity. Though Lewis was writing and speaking primarily for non-Christians, his wit, thoughtfulness, and dedicated Christian orthodoxy gave generations of Christians new ways of thinking through the Christian faith. Of the many contributions to Christian discourse that Lewis made in Mere Christianity, for our present purposes I shall only point out one. Lewis compared the Christian faith, and the Christian church to a large house with a tremendous hallway and many rooms. Lewis compared “mere” Christianity, or “common ground” Christianity to a great hallway. Along the hallway were a variety of different rooms, each with its own distinctive furniture, food, and fellowship. These are the various Christian traditions, each its own separate room, yet related to the whole by the “mere” Christianity that Lewis wrote of.
To stay in the hallway of a “mere” Christianity is a tempting thing. We are first and foremost Christians are we not? Perhaps it is best after all, to stay in the hallway and do our best to get along. Lewis doesn’t find this argument so persuasive. Rather than encouraging his listeners/ readers to stay in the hallway, he encourages them to take a turn into one of the rooms. He wrote that Mere Christianity,” that broadest of understandings of Christian theology is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms….But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall (mere Christianity) is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in.  (C.S. Lewis. Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillian Publishing 1977) pg 12)
Lewis’s point is that within the great hallway of Christianity each of us must inevitably make decisions that place us firmly within a room. That is, each Christian must eventually place himself firmly within a particular Christian tradition. This does not mean for us, as it does for some, that we believe our room is the only valid one. Nor does it even mean that we believe it to be the best one. For many of us, it simply means that it is our room. It is a place where we have found love, joy, pain, fellowship and many other such treasures. Most of all we pray it is a room where we have found Christ.
The room off of the main hallway that I’m keen to invite you into is what my friends and I call Reformation Anglicanism. Perhaps the easiest way to describe this particular room is simply by defining the words. By “reformation,” we mean that expression of the Christian faith that arose in the 16th century, commonly called the Protestant Reformation, which sought to reform the church according to the teaching of the Bible and the practice of the early church. By “Anglican,” we mean those Christian reforms that took place in England during the Protestant Reformation.
You might consider this blog something of an online room where the curious can explore Reformation Anglicanism and the committed can be resourced and encouraged. You’ll find that this is a historic, ecumenical, and global conversation. It is historic in the sense that this blog will from time to time draw your attention to the original writings of the English Reformers. It is ecumenical in the sense that brothers and sisters from other churches of the Reformation will write and contribute to this blog. Finally, it is global. At Ridley we’re blessed to have guest lecturers and partners from England, Germany, Belgium, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Brazil, and Australia. These partners from all over the world are committed to recovering and reviving the Biblically serious, Gospel centered faith of Reformation Anglicanism. You’ll be able to meet them here, as they join the online conversation in the coming weeks and months.
In the mean time, welcome to the Ridley Blog and to the conversation!
This post was written by Rob Sturdy