"The model of the Covenant is drawn from family ties and kinship and bounded by mutually agreed norms of behaviour which benefit everyone. It is not a document of doctrinal specifications, like the conservative Jerusalem Declaration, drawn up mostly by those who boycotted the Lambeth Conference. Nor is it a contract, as feared by its liberal critics. It is truly a covenant.
In his address to the Lambeth Conference 2008, the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, was pithily penetrative and perceptive in drawing out contrasts:
'A contract is a transaction. A covenant is a relationship. Or to put it slightly differently: a contract is about interests. A covenant is about identity. It is about you and me coming together to form an 'us'. That is why contracts benefit, but covenants transform.'
The four sections of the Covenant cover the themes of belief, mission, church and relational consequences. They provide for a delicate balance of communion with autonomy and accountability. It seems to me that the ‘unbounded’ is soon the ‘empty’ and we do not want the life of the body to drip out, dissipate and disappear."
As I continue to read across the internet I find it curious that some of the greatest vehemence against the Covenant is associated with the notion that being Anglican is being free to explore theology in an open-ended manner, and thus with the fear that the Covenant will end this freedom - +Kings 'unbounded' in the citation above.
Apart from the fact that it is very doubtful that the Covenant will precipitate the end of Anglican theological freedom, it is offensive to some Anglicans such as myself that, on these arguments, 'Anglican' is a synonym for 'liberal', and that the vehemence works from the certainty that this liberal way is the only way to be Anglican. (As an aside, it is curious that the liberal arguments against the Covenant are not at all 'open' to the benefits of the Covenant!)
There are, of course, many liberal Anglicans, including some who comment here, who are comfortable with a range of theological views intermingling in the Anglican Communion. But I am disturbed by those liberals who make comment on the Covenant as though to be Anglican is to be liberal and that is that!