As It Is in Heaven: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Introduction to the Traditional Church and Her Worship. By Fr. Paul A.F. Castellano. Tucson, AZ: Wheatmark, 2021. 300 pp. $19.95 (paper).
The author Paul A. F. Castellano (MAR, MA, ThM, PhD) is an Anglican priest who lives with his family in Southern California. His years in parish ministry led him to write this explanation of why Anglicans worship the way they do, and to provide Scriptural and historical evidence for traditional liturgical worship.
Anglican clergy will find this an excellent book to use in catechism, especially with Protestants and Evangelicals coming from non-liturgical and non-sacramental churches. The author addresses questions about ritual, sacraments, and common misconceptions about formal prayer. The book also considers Anglican polity in a non-polemical and balanced way.
This book opens with a moving dedication that includes mention of the author’s three deceased sons and R.C. Sproul, John Frame, and Michael Horton.
The author traces the pattern of church worship back to the synagogue. He presents a coherent picture of how the sacraments relate to the Covenantal theology of Judaism. At the same time, he clarifies the uniqueness of Christian theology and worship as patterned after the Kingdom of Heaven.
There are interesting chapters on church architecture, sacred space, sacred time, and the transmission of Apostolic authority. The tone is one of humility and speaks of holiness. The liturgy is to be beautiful since it portrays the beauty and glory of Heaven. The photographs of each stage of the Eucharist make the book a handy resource for priests doing instructed Eucharists.
This book is well-researched, but not academic. It is accessible to a general audience. The Appendices look at the trifold ministry, the Book of Common Prayer (1928), and the nature of catholicity. The Appendices alone would stimulate good discussion for adults preparing for Confirmation.
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