Reviewing the Third Draft of the Covenant, Section 2

This is part three of a continuing commentary on the Ridley Cambridge Draft Covenant (RCDC). Part one is HERE. Part two is HERE.

Anglican Vocation.

The affirmations: (2.1)

"Communion is a gift," the RCDC says, and indeed it is. There is nothing in the ordering of this section, however, that says anything about the ANGLICAN communion being that gift of communion. But we kind of know what the writers mean. They mean that being in the Anglican Communion the gift of communion is realized, in spite of our being miserable sinners, etc. They are right in that, although it is hard to tell just how or why from this section.

This section speaks of the "work of establishing God's reign." I think that is hokum. God's reign has been established, is established and will be established by God's own presence, not by our work. But again, I know what they mean: Knowing that God reigns and not Caesar, maybe we would do well to act like it.

Section 2.1 is a dud. The affirmations are, if valuable, deeper than these words. These words are not much of an affirmation one way or another. One flamingo.

2.2 the commitments:

The major commitments of this section are the "five marks of mission" which came from the Missio Report of 1999. (see footnote 9 in the text). These are reported out in 2.2.2.a-e.

The commitments section is fine. I note the continuing need to commit with our shortcomings always before us. 2.2.3 "openness to our own ongoing conversion in the face of our unfaithfulness and failures in witness." Even in the midst of commitments we just can't bear not mentioning our sins.

Eucharist again makes it, which is commendable. (2.2.5)

I give this a five, solid and worthy of commitment. It goes well with 1.2, the Lambeth Hexagonal.

The whole of section 2 is a bit of a mishmash, written in several voices. But on the whole OK. Section 2.1 could be struck with nothing lost, but then the rhythm would be broken. So the whole gets four flamingos.

Two more to go.


  1. Mark - I don't know why you're bothering to spend so much energy and waste so much time analysing this document - it will come to nothing anyway. Any document that is produced that all the provinces will be able to freely accept will not be worth the paper it's printed on, since there will be no mechanism to deal with bad faith and apostasy. Anything that is acceptable to the liberal provinces will not satisfy the conservatives, and anything the conservatives require the liberals will not abide - we now have two separate religions within the Anglican Communion - one which is genuinely based on Scripture, the creeds and the 39 Articles, and one which is not.

    If those 3 documentary elements are not sufficient to hold the Communion together, along with the institutional elements of the Archbishop of Cantebury, the Primates and the ACC, then what makes anyone think that a covenant is the magic pill that will do the trick. I'm tired of this delusion.

  2. The constant right wing spin is positively boring.

    Apparently they believe that repeating slanders over and over and over again is persuasive.

  3. I try to avoid arguing with sister or brothers who are absolutely sure that they are right, but today I will comment on Brian's comment. I will say little about the 39 articles, except to note that the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral makes no mention of them and to list them with Scripture and creeds is to misread their significance.
    I will say something about the differences between the two expressions of Anglicanism that we see in North America. I think that both of them take Scripture seriously - as the Word of God containing all things necessary for salvation. The difference is that in one expression there is only one possible way to interpret certain passages of Scripture, what Gray Temple calls "canonical interpretations." In the other there is an affirming of a diversity of interpretations with an awareness that all interpretations are imperfect.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.