Don't be fooled, ever, by titles such as "bishop" or "professor" or "doctor" let alone "reverend" when it comes to doing good theology. What counts is substance in argument and facility in logic. The No Covenant Coalition has attracted a few titled people to its ranks as patrons and other titled people are putting their names to arguments against the Covenant. So what? They need some good arguments. The No Covenant movement - both the Coalition and others - needs some substantive arguments. Are there any actually out there. Thinking Anglicans currently has a few links to people lining up to take a potshot against the Covenant. Vacuous stuff. No, really it is. Read all these kinds of pieces and ask these simple questions:
(1) Does it foster the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ (the greatest theologian) who prayed that his followers might be one?
(2a) What is the substantial difference between the Anglican Covenant for the Communion and the combination of constitution and canons (including disciplinary canons) for each member church?
(2b) If you cannot find a substantive difference, then ask what is unAnglican, unprecedented, or unbecoming to Anglican life about the Covenant?
(2c) Special question for ACANZP objectors to the Covenant on grounds of a Covenant being unAnglican etc: what is the substantial difference between the Covenant as a covenant between peoples and the Treaty of Waitangi as a covenant between peoples?
(3) Does the argument amount to a preference on the part of the author, as in "I would prefer not to have the Anglican Covenant because it appears to cut against my preference to permit [name preference to be indulged such as preferring not to be told what to do, not to be accountable, ...]"?
(4) Do the fine words amount to an unwillingness to be accountable for decisions made which cut against the grain of the Scriptures and received tradition of the church?
(5) Does the piece you are reading include special pleading about hypothetical circumstances? (This is fairly easily spotted with lines such as "If we had had the Covenant then we would be still waiting to ordain women?")
(6a) Is there a presumption to special knowledge not given to all Anglicans such as "I and/or my member church has received a word from the Holy Spirit about X, Y or Z"?
(6b) On what basis do we know that the claimed word in 6a is true?
If what you read passes these test questions then, fair enough, we might be on our way to a substantive case against the Covenant.
There are intellectually vacuous arguments for the Covenant. The other day here I mentioned one: we must be loyal to the Archbishop of Canterbury. That is nuts. The Covenant is an idea which rests on the importance of gospel truth, shared commitment to that truth, recognition of the seriousness of teaching falsely, and the importance of deepening our love for one another with real content because we understand true Christian love to involve (not exclude) mutual accountability. Loyalty to the truth, to Jesus Christ and to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ is the only loyalty the Covenant involves.
When are we going to see some real intellectual stature in the arguments against the Covenant instead of the vacuity served up in the guise of eloquent statements of personal preference?
Mind you my request here might be somewhat vacuous itself: if the CofE synods do not reach the number required (22) to send the Covenant legislation back to its GS then the Covenant is dead in the water, substantive arguments or not.