I was speaking to a woman, a bright, attractive marketing director for a fortune 500 company about the church. She visited a few times. We began to talk about what she was looking for in a parish.
She grew up in a rigidly Catholic family, and has a mild interest in Christianity. But she was at a point where she was considering all other faiths. It's unlikely she will move far from Jesus, but she recognizes that it is because of the accident of her birth and inculturation.
It seems to me that, although I think of the Episcopal Church as Christian, there is a group of seekers for which ECUSA's competitors are not other mainline protestants or evangelicals. The people who visit my church are just as likely to choose yoga, buddhism, unitarianism or quakerism. I'm not sure why they visit, but it might have to do with our reputation as being open and safe for the intellect. It's a "come as you are" philosophy regarding theological orientation.
If you come and visit my parish, there is nothing I say that would seem unorthodox in the very least. I don't, however, spend a lot of time on why other religions are wrong, or if they are wrong. My sermons stick to the scripture, as is; I do little historical "education" and rarely do I refer to great thinkers. I use metaphors that are ripped from contemporary culture. Regardless of my intellectual stance, I preach more like a Barthian who has interpreted Schleiermacher correctly.
Perhaps when reasserters critique reappraisers, maybe they are aware that a good portion of the people who seek the Episcopal Church do not compare themselves to other Christians. After all, if you think that Most Christians are just American versions of the Taliban, would you want to be one? If you think that conservative evangelicals are taking over the military and the government, would you want to be one? They think of the Catholic church as abusive and corrupt; and the evangelicals as corrupt and militant. With choices like these, I'm surprise people don't give up on Jesus altogether. Granted - these are incorrect perceptions. But they are perceptions.
I still think that I'm in the business of forming Christians. But the questions guests in my parish are asking aren't the same as the ones conservative evangelicals are. And perhaps, because they are asking different questions, they need a place that will offer better answers. And that place would be the Episcopal Church.