"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
The Anglican Communion is said to be coming apart at the seams. But is that really true? Backpacking Through the Anglican Communion is the exciting new book that challenges the tired narrative of Anglican disunity.
Jesse Zink has traveled tens of thousands of miles around the world, visiting and worshiping with Anglicans in some of the Communion’s most diverse provinces—Nigeria, the largest province ministering in an unstable political environment; South Sudan, at one point the fastest-growing church in the world, now rebuilding after devastating civil wars; England, the mother church of Anglicans, struggling to adjust to a new, secular age; South Africa, a church dealing with the legacy of entrenched discrimination and rapid social change.
The story Zink learns at the grassroots level of the church is far different from the one that dominates its highest levels. He shows that when conversations about power, history, and sexuality are undertaken in a spirit of mutuality and trust, they can strengthen, not weaken, the Anglican Communion. The result is a book that presents vivid slices of Anglican life around the world, argues convincingly that unity is central to the Communion’s mission, and presents a credible path to achieving that unity in a global church. It is a book that will be sure to shape coming debates about the future of the Anglican Communion.