Is there any other part of the current life of the Communion which publishes essays of consistently high quality than the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI)? Derided as four guys and a laptop, the ACI actually has more brains per letter of its abbreviation than any equivalent I am aware of. (Certainly lots more than ADU has!?).
Thier latest publication, "The Covenant: What is It All About?", an essay by Philip Turner, is a superb apologetic for the whole Covenant, even Section 4, which neatly pushes hard against both groups of Covenant opponents, the progressives emphasizing member church autonomy and conservatives pushing for confessionalism. Here is the money quote in my view:
"The Anglican Communion is not simply a federation of churches joined (voluntarily) in a common task. It is a communion of belief and worship as well as mission. Conversely, the Anglican Communion is not a confessional body that can be identified by common subscription to a series of assertions. It is a body bound in the communion of Christ by mutual “recognition”–recognition by each in the other of fidelity to the witness of Holy Scripture as mediated through the traditions of the church. Recognition arises out of honest exchange between partners committed to sustaining communion and arriving at a common mind. It involves not only determination of truth but also forms of relationship and the presence of graces through which truth can be discerned. According to this view communion involves both mutual adherence to the truth of God in Christ and mutual subjection in love."
There is lots more. Essentially Turner is expounding the excellence of the Covenant's internal vision of Communion for Anglicans. Read it there, comment here!
Philip Turner nails down a key question which is a threaded theme in my own reflections on the Communion: what does it mean to be a Communion? Consequential questions then are, Do we want to be a Communion or not? Will avoidance of the Covenant make us something other than a Communion? (I note the alternative of a 'federation' mentioned above). Turner's own church, TEC, is in the gun in his essay. But my own church could just as easily be in the gun: we are quite keen on our own autonomy, on forging our own pioneering/prophetic path. The more we do so the less Communion means to us. Rhetorically we say we belong, practically we are unwilling to submit to others. God will be the judge of our reality.