Some talk about the Anglican Covenant focuses on homosexuality as in 'Your high-minded talk about the Covenant is just a cover for wanting to exclude homosexuals from the Anglican Communion' or 'The proposed Covenant is useless, it will never deal with progressive Anglicans who wish to ditch Scripture and tradition on homosexuality.' Although sometimes feeling like I have failed to achieve anything, on this blog I have attempted to argue that the Covenant is timely because within the recent history of the Anglican Communion in crisis over homosexuality we have recognised that we are a Communion so theologically diverse that we strain credibility that we have enough in common to warrant being described as a 'Communion'. That the Covenant is primarily a theological document restating what Anglicans believe is timely for the larger, theological crisis the Communion faces.
Every so often someone comes to my rescue and provides evidence that we do have theological diversity which strains credibility that all Anglicans belonging to the Communion share a common core theology.
Here is a report on something +Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire said recently,
"“I know Jesus to be the son of God,” he told a group of about 50 people, “but what a small, limited God we would have if that was the only manifestation."
Now this is a media reported statement not a theological essay or paper, so I am not going to declare this to be evidence of heresy. But, on the face of it, here is an Anglican bishop making a christological statement which, putting it diplomatically, falls below the Nicene and Chalcedonian par.
The least we could expect of Anglican bishops around the world is that, different and diverse though they may wish to be on human sexuality, whether Hooker meant this or that re Scripture, reason and tradition, and what robes should be worn on which occasion, they all subscribe to the common ecumenical creeds.
The statement above is not unique as a sign that not all Anglican bishops are completely convinced of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of the Father in whom the fullness of God dwells.
One reason for agreeing to the Covenant is that we recognise all the way around the Anglican globe that some common belief is needed for our communion as a Communion to have concrete meaning.
The Covenant may or may not have implications for +Gene in other respects (as some fervantly wish the Covenant to do or not to do). But I hope the Covenant, when established, would lead over the course of time to a weeding out from the life of our Communion, bishops who fall short of theological faithfulness to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. (For clarity: church law is way too complicated to try to weed out current bishops on doctrinal grounds;, by 'weeding out' I mean that in the fullness of time Anglican dioceses guided and inspired by Covenanted Anglicanism will elect bishops adhering fully to orthodox, creedal Christianity).
Hint to commenters here: if you are tempted to use words such as 'totalitarian', 'dictatorial' or 'inquisition' in your comment, please also tell us how you understand the basis for Anglicans who believe that Jesus Christ is unique and those who do not are to break bread together. Thanks in anticipation!