Thinking Anglicans

latest on the CCE "covenant"

Updated Saturday

The Church Times has this news report by Pat Ashworth ‘Covenant’ is a cynical stab in the side, says Wright. (A further report there is only available to subscribers. It deals with mounting anger this week over claims by the authors of the covenant document to be speaking for the whole of their networks.)

The Church of England Newspaper has two detailed analyses which can be read in full at Religious Intelligence.
The first is by Andrew Carey Analysis: The new Anglican ‘covenant’ proposal and the second is by Andrew Goddard of Fulcrum Analysis: Anglican ‘covenant’ needs prudence.
I understand the CEN also has a news article on this matter, by Andrew Carey, but it is not available on the web at present except to CEN subscribers. I also understand a further article, written specifically from the Anglican Mainstream perspective, will appear next week.
The Andrew Goddard article now also appears on the Fulcrum website.

Update
A further explanatory note has been published by CEEC:

Statement for CEEC members
I have consulted with the President, Wallace Benn, and would like to note the following in respect of the on-going debate regarding the recent ‘covenant’.
1 I have written to the Evangelical Bishops with my comments and observations
2 I have also written to the Bishop of Durham and asked him to meet with me to discuss the implications of his comments and also to address and take part in a discussion at CEEC
I have done this privately so as not to continue debate by email.
CEEC will continue to work hard at Evangelical identity and unity. My own book on this matter, Anglican and Evangelical?, will be published by Continuum in April 2007. I hope that the Bishop of Durham and other Bishops will be part of this debate.
CEEC remains committed also to representing the authentic voice of the constituency, parishes, colleges, societies and other networks and groups in ensuring a biblical and Anglican Evangelical voice in current debates. The recent ‘Covenant for the Church of England’ is simply one aspect of that witness from a range of networks and groups. The CEEC consented in October to the signatures of the President and Chairman being appended to this ‘covenant.’

Richard Turnbull
Chairman
December 21, 2006

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laurenceChristopher Shellmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Simon SarmientoRobert Ian Williams Recent comment authors
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laurence
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laurence

Andrew Carey’s condemnation of Evangelicalism in the Church of England is devastating.

Time to begin to listen to others and to learn from the breadth of theology, arts, thinking, writing, science ?

Change is possible akin to a new birth of spirit….

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Rather suave, perhaps insidious, comment from Andrew Carey, reserving its shaft for the end: “Such is the bitterness over the covenant with some evangelicals even likening the so-called ‘Covenant evangelicals’ to Hizbollah that I fear there’s no way back. Bishop Wright will find it hard to take his words back and provide unifying leadership.” Words of truth and theological common sense must be taken back for strategic reasons? “Fulcrum and Bishop Wright ask, why now? I’m surprised that the answer eludes them. The liberal theologies of the 1960s and 1970s did not become the official teaching of the Church of… Read more »

Thomas Renz
Guest
Thomas Renz

Simon – the Andrew Goddard link at present leads to the Andrew Carey essay (it should be NewsID=535). Both are well worth reading.

Colin Coward
Guest

Andrew Carey writes that the evangelical movement in the Church of England is now probably split irrevocably … evangelicals can’t agree on the issues … the number of evangelical parishes in dispute with their bishops is likely to increase. Conservative evangelicals have driven the issue of LGBT people in the Church of England to the top of the Communion agenda. They have been and are obsessing about it to the exlcusion of almost everything else. Why are the comments on TA so obsessed with gay sexuality? Who’s obsession is this? Is the obession now returning to destroy the attackers? It’s… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Both articles illustrate that this Covenant by Reform and friends has been a disaster. It has indeed divided the evangelical camp, and the inclusiveness of liberals will be more inviting to some than the Puritanism of other evanglicals. However, there might be a price to pay in future: that the findings of Essays and Reviews, Soundings, Honest to God, the Myth of God Incarnate, and so on in theological works, do get a more clearly recognised place in the Anglican Church accepting liberals, open evangelicals, moderate catholics. It is less a case of why now and more what is the… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

A. Carey is so sweetly eccentric, so fuss-budgety, in his UK rightwing way: committed gay/lesbian couples pledging themselves to care across multiple life domains – in public – oh gee, lions & tigers & bears! – is read as a sign of doom. Okay then. Now we get two rightwing dooms. One is the old bugaboo of gay promiscuity (but the more people come out, the more it turns into regular old dating and seems less than screaming headlines material) – the other is the newish bugaboo of gay/lesbian couples who wish to visit one another in hospital and provide… Read more »

Simon Morden
Guest
Simon Morden

The more I think and read about the CCE, the more I think about that other covenant – marriage. It seems to me that the CCE signatories see their beloved as having been wayward up to the point of unfaithfulness – or been engaged in unreasonable conduct of other sorts. So they have issued an ultimatum to their own bride: “Do things my way or I’ll divorce you.” The problem is, the bride has not only changed, but has never been what the husband wanted. They married her hoping she would change, and change she certainly has, but not to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Andrew Carey quotes the Bishop of Durham: “On the specific question of oversight, he notes the irony of the evangelical tradition for much of its history ignoring Bishops, and now demanding only ‘Godly’ ones. “Yes there is a crisis over the fundamentals of revealed truth. Yes, there is a crisis over some pressing moral issues of our day. But the new mood of intolerance, and of crying ‘victim’ just because someone disagrees with you (welcome to postmodern culture, refracted through would-be evangelical pietism!), means that now some ‘justifiably consider that their communion with their bishop is impaired’.” Who ever on… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Colin Coward sees the key issue as ‘Who can be most unifying, eirenic?’. Though this is an important priority, it can also potentially be one that flies in the face of integrity. That is why I advocate taking the academic model of everyone saying outright what they believe, and where they think the evidence points. It is only then that we can be in a position to refine viewpoints, compare and contrast them, jettison the self-contradictory, and (incidentally, if less importantly) discover what actually is ‘mainstream’.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

O, but I thought Academia was the place where nobody ever said what they believe, and where they never ever say where the evidence points, but points at their own way only…

🙁

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

What it will show, Christopher, is that there is no logical reason why these diverse views should remain (dis)united in one organisation

You won’t manage to gain agreement on what is regarded as self-contradictory, though – there is no common starting point to do so.

What is ‘mainstream’ in one country is ‘fringe’ in another.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

“That is why I advocate taking the academic model of everyone saying outright what they believe, and where they think the evidence points. “ Nice idea, Dr S, but one big hole — that someone will choose to play the ‘God told me/God says’ trump card, after which point the whole edifice collapses. In a situation where there are plenty of influential Christians who still believe in a 4004 creation date (meaning that the city of Jericho existed before the rest of the universe, an intriguing idea), the ground rules of such a discussion are not in place, not as… Read more »

laurence
Guest
laurence

Both articles illustrate that this Covenant by Reform and friends has been a disaster. It has indeed divided the evangelical camp, and the inclusiveness of liberals will be more inviting to some than the Puritanism of other evanglicals. However, there might be a price to pay in future: that the findings of Essays and Reviews, Soundings, Honest to God, the Myth of God Incarnate, and so on in theological works, do get a more clearly recognised place in the Anglican Church accepting liberals, open evangelicals, moderate catholics. It is less a case of why now and more what is the… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Doctrine Commission Report

commissioned 1922, published 1938 and should be compulsory reading for all members of the CofE. pp31-33 would bring forth a storm from the ConsEvs these days…..

Colin Coward
Guest

Christopher, the key issue as I see it is, how are we being called to behave as Christians who are formed by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ? I find the most inescapable Gospel message is the personal call to me to behave differently in relationships from my habitual patterns, not to walk away, not to revert to the jealous infant, not to seek revenge. I am finding it very difficult not to react as I am tempted – I am very tempted to write far more intemperate responses! The academic model you propose won’t change what needs to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

It’s a good approach Colin Coward and I would prefer a loose federation as the best wasy to ease tensions and have some conversation over fences – but others might not want to talk. This might be something understood: we are all members of the same Anglican family: we just are in different places and no longer talk to one another. What’s new?

laurence
Guest
laurence

Doctrine Commission Report
commissioned 1922, published 1938 and should be compulsory reading for all members of the CofE. pp31-33 would bring forth a storm from the ConsEvs these days…..

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 6:16pm GMT

Many thanks for this reference. I agree with you completely. It is first rate…now I must see where mine lies waiting !

What I wonder do pages 31 –4 contain ?!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !
NADOLIG LLAWEN I GYD !

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

May I point out that the signatories of the “Covenant” state that they are not prepared to have fellowship with those who teach false doctrine and morals ( marriage is specifically stated). like the specific Covenant of Reform ( see their web site) they carefully leave out the issue of divorce. Yet within that list of names there are those who teach that marriage after divorce is adultery ( we shall call group A )and others who accept it ( group B). Yet group a and B are in fellowship with each other!!! The fact is ( as with female… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Further to RIW’s comments, I recall that Keith Ward maintains that fundamentalist evangelicals (as opposed to evangelicals in general) do not have much of a coherent theology of anything, including Scripture. A recent TA contributor who offered a laudatory defence of Goldman Sachs megabucks earners must have an interesting hermeneutic to be able to dismiss biblical unease about the wealthy while arguing so persuasively from a handful of passages for God’s eternal opposition to the gays….

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

We have often lamented on this site this misuse of the word mainstream. Yesterday The Times (p41) provided a classic example. Of American Christians, we are informed that 34% are evangelical protestant, and 22% mainstream protestant.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2519752.html
is an interesting article, thank you for that.

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Colin Coward writes: ‘change only happens in the context of changed relationships as well as beter understanding’. I so agree. And that is precisely the problem. We will agree with people who are nice to us. Even if (and this is the crux) even if those people are actually wrong. (Remember, love bombers are very ‘nice’ too.) That is why most of us end up saying the same as our friends are saying, as opposed to being more objective and concentrating on the evidence. That is why theology is often nothing but autobiography and psychology. That is why one can… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

theology is often nothing but autobiography and psychology. That is why one can to some extent predict beliefs & denominational allegiance based on sociological circumstances. An interesting observation (akin to spirituality types derived from astrology for the middle classes, aka Myers-Briggs— but it applies equally (I would have thought) to all Church groupings and traditions, and that it’s a long way from being a knock-down argument in favour of ANY Christian perspective. Unless, of course, in some theologies God is so free to be at work that the human no longer applies: some observers have suggested that some ConsEv Chrisians… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Monochrome congregations are an exceptionally bad thing. They are one unacceptable pole; ‘anything goes’ is the other.

Each monochrome congregation would remain in its own infantile blissful semi-ignorance, without the continuous discovery facilitated by interaction with other perspectives.

That is why I advocate the round-table ‘federation of regiments’ academic model.

The monochrome option is a real danger in today’s tribal age. Everyone can achieve significance, and their ideas be viewed as important, within their own little world. But oh, how little those worlds could potentially be.

laurence
Guest
laurence

‘…Yet within that list of names there are those who teach that marriage after divorce is adultery ( we shall call group A )and others who accept it ( group B). Yet group a and B are in fellowship with each other!!! The fact is ( as with female ordination) they are divided and have no coherent theology of heterosexual marriage. They look for inspiration to African provinces, which were given a dispensation from disallowing polygamy for converts, and the Church of england i Furthermore contraception is not even an issue with them. Condemned by Lambeth 1908 and 1920 and… Read more »