Tim Parker

Saturday, December 16, 2006

That's not a Covenant!

I have not been sure what to make of the “Covenant for the Church of England”

From the way it has been described by its supporters, it should be the sort of thing that I as an Anglican Evangelical would welcome. It has been signed by all the ‘right’ names and is accredited by all the ‘right’ Church pressure groups.

When I saw The Revd Dr Richard Turnbull’s remarks about the covenant, I couldn’t wait to read a copy:

We welcome the responsible and thoughtful initiative represented by this Covenant. It recognizes the depth of concern across the traditions of the Church of England of hose who seek to teach and live by the Scriptures as their ultimate authority, and makes a serious effort to address the current issues within a challenging but workable framework. We believe the process of consultation with all parties concerned has been thorough and transparent. We applaud the Covenant’s overriding commitment to mission and biblical and theological orthodoxy. We pray that where arrangements suggested by the Covenant should prove necessary, the good news of Jesus Christ may flourish.

Fantastic! Committed Anglican evangelical’s coming to the rescue with “a challenging but workable framework” and “overriding commitment to mission and biblical and theological orthodoxy.”

Just what the doctor ordered!

Unfortunately my optimism was short lived.

A full text of the covenant be found here.

It is considerable less impressive than I had at first hoped and with each reading I get more concerned. A very good initial response to the covenant has been made by Tom Write and can be found here. It echoes many of my own feelings, though I think I am a little more generous than he is regarding the motives behind the covenant.


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