It would be easy this week to have second thoughts about the Anglican Covenant. Thinking Anglicans take us to GilesFraserian blasting against it and the announcement that Marilyn McCord Adams is the new patron of the No Covenant Coalition (see also here for NCC announcement). Cranmer has a thoughtful piece on the Covenant which cleverly offers an insight about Tory and Whiggish forces operating in the to-ing and fro-ing over the Covenant. The thoughtfulness leads to a conclusion that the Covenant is unnecessary (many in the NCC will agree) and the 39 Articles are sufficient 'covenant' for us (many in the NCC will not agree, neither about the sufficiency nor about any place for the 39A to define or determine 21st century Anglicanism). John Richardson highlights the breakdown of episcopal collegiality in the C of E (over precisely the issues interconnected with the journey of the Covenant). For counter-balance of a refreshing kind for those wondering if the Anglican church remains a place from which to engage in gospel ministry, Cranmer's Curate offers good thoughts.
Why, then, obtusely maintain an apologetic for the Covenant?
First, a simple point about understanding Anglicanism: there is more than one version around, more than the liberal, diversity, freedom of doctrinal and ethical conscience version, and it is a good Anglican thing to do to argue for Anglicanism with doctrine and discipline at its centre (the Anglicanism, incidentally, we must never tire of reminding ourselves, which is enshrined in the constitution and canons of every member church of the Communion - the Covenant's novelty only consists in raising to the Communion level what each member church enjoys already).
Secondly, a serious point about the future of global Anglicanism and the Anglican Communion: the anti-Covenant argument about the future of global Anglicanism expressed through a Communion with the Covenant is this, "It will be bad." By implication, the prognosis of a Covenant-less Communion is, "It will be good." I suggest there is a different prognosis to contemplate: without the Covenant there will not be a Communion: neither a good, bad nor indifferent Communion, no Communion. By contrast the argument for the Covenant and global Anglicanism represented through the Communion is not, "It will be good" but, "It might just survive."
So, Cranmer, Fraser and the NCC: do your darndest to rid the Communion of the Covenant. But be careful what you wish for!