Covenant Draft Cops Out on Authority of Scripture
The co-called St. Andrew’s Draft of the Anglican Covenant is out. And it is even worse than I expected, which is saying something.
The following paragraphs stand out:
(1.1.2) that, reliant on the Holy Spirit, it professes the faith which is uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as containing all things necessary for salvation and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith, and which is set forth in the catholic creeds, and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear significant witness, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation;
1.2 In living out this inheritance of faith together in varying contexts, each Church of the Communion commits itself:
(1.2.1) to uphold and act in continuity and consonance with Scripture and the catholic and apostolic faith, order and tradition;
(1.2.4) to ensure that biblical texts are handled faithfully, respectfully, comprehensively and coherently, primarily through the teaching and initiative of bishops and synods, and building on habits and disciplines of Bible study across the Church and on rigorous scholarship, believing that scriptural revelation continues to illuminate and transform individuals, cultures and societies;
Did you notice it? The Covenant goes into contortions to say lots of nice things about scripture while at the same time not actually affirming its authority. There’s no question about it – the draft Covenant clearly avoids affirming the authority of scripture.
Really, it’s almost comical. 1.2.4 takes the cake. It calls on scripture to be “handled faithfully, respectfully, comprehensively and coherently . . . building on habits and disciplines of Bible study across the Church and on rigorous scholarship, believing that scriptural revelation continues to illuminate and transform individuals, cultures and societies” – just about everything imaginable except holding to the authority of scripture.
This sort of mealy-mouthed double speak is why many of us fled mainline denominations. And this tripe is supposed to hold orthodox Anglicans together?