Sunday, 21 November 2010

Covenant - Conservatives’ concerns critiqued

Updated

Andrew Goddard has now turned his attention to this article.

Read his Conservatives’ covenant concerns: A critique.

On reading Truth or Conviction: questions over the Anglican Communion Covenant by Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden I did not know whether to laugh or to cry. Part of me wanted to laugh, having just spent some time responding to IC & MCU. In part, that response sought to show that the covenant was not the punitive brainchild of neo-Puritans which ruled out dialogue and which if accepted automatically entailed the expulsion of North American church from the Communion. Here were two leading spokesmen often portrayed as those supporting the covenant because it is punitive and exclusionary making clear that they were far from happy with it because it did not do what IC & MCU claimed it did. But most of me wanted to cry. Here are two distinguished fellow evangelicals and friends not just taking a view with which I disagree but doing so in a manner which had so many of the hallmarks of those they are fighting – no reference to the text of the covenant, making unsubstantiated claims and even some clear falsehoods to raise doubts and fears in their constituency, and approaching the covenant seemingly driven by a wider agenda in pursuit of which the covenant could be distorted and dismissed but with no serious alternative on offer…

Update

Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel have responded to Andrew Goddard.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 11:34am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
Comments

Crikey. Judging by how much energy our friends over at Fulcrum are putting into fighting this, I'd say the defenders of the Covenant feel they're on the backfoot. I don't know if Andrew Goddard knows something we don't, and I certainly wouldn't place any money on the outcome of the General Synod, but he certainly seems far less insoucient than Bishop Wright was a few months ago when he loftily declared that "there is no alternative" to accepting the Covenant.

Posted by: rjb on Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 11:55am GMT

@rjb: Well, if the Anglo-Papalists depart for the Ordinariate and the conservative Evangelicals abstain from the Covenant vote, the hard-won Evangelical majority in Synod may well fail. And, since the nation and the governing Tories are both (for different reasons) completely out of sympathy with the Church of England Evangelical party, once Evangelicals lose Synod, they lose everything.

Likewise, as Andrew Goddard says, the Covenant is whatever a majority of those who have adopted it are willing to say it is. So if the GAFCON primates keep their provinces out of the Covenant, the hardliners will no longer be there to support "relational consequences" for TEC and the Covenant will fail its purpose.

It became evident, after the closed-door ACC meeting at Nottingham some years ago, that the votes were not there in the Communion at large to support expelling TEC. After the shambles at Dar Es Salaam, it became evident to all that the Primates' Meeting was not a fit instrument to lead the Communion. Everything that has happened since flows from those two events, which demonstrated that Evangelicals do not represent the "mind of the Communion," though at present they control it.

Should the tenuous coalitions between the hardline Evangelicals, the Evangelicals of Bishop Wright's party, and the Anglo-Papalists crack and fall apart, the natural tendency of the Anglican Communion will reassert itself and balance will be restored.

Hence the urgency of Andrew Goddard's appeals.

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 5:04pm GMT

Charlotte, you have put your finger on the pulse of this particular racing heartbeat.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 9:40pm GMT

I have to wonder about someone so hellbent to see the covenant made fact:

What does Goddard, et al., expect to get out of it? What does he believe he can manipulate it to do for him?

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 at 5:44am GMT
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