John Buchan’s The Thirty-nine Steps is one of the finest and most highly admired thrillers ever written as it traces the story of Richard Hannay getting caught up in a sensational plot to precipitate a pan-European war. In Buchan’s ripping yarn, the reader is carried along with the mystery of trying to work out what the significance of the 39 steps is as written in Scuddeer’s book. As someone newly exploring the Anglican faith, I came across the 39 articles of religion or faith established in 1563 as the historic defining statements of Anglican doctrine. Although not exactly a mystery in the genre of John Buchan, I started to read this with interest; after all I had attended many an Anglican church and no one had mentioned these 39 steps to faith to me. It turns out that they are still very much an active part of Anglican doctrine and, in theory at least, people sign up to these when they join the Anglican church. I wonder how many Anglicans know of them or sign up to them and why more isn’t done to promote them. Is it because they are rather quaint and outdated? Is it because for too many people in our post-modern society they are too hard to believe? is it because they are too anti-Roman Catholic? Or, rather like Richard Hannay in Buchan’s novel, is it because we are a little wary of where following these 39 steps may lead?
Follow this link to read the 39 articles of faith see http://www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/acis/docs/thirty_nine_articles.cfm