Periodically, we like to take stock of our work and mission. How can Covenant best serve the Anglican Communion and wider Christian family? And how do we think about the breadth of our writing? For the next few days, we present perspectives that we hope you enjoy. —Eds.
By David Goodhew
I’ve written for Covenant for almost five years. I do so for three reasons.
- Orthodox Anglicanism
Covenant seeks an Anglicanism that is theologically orthodox. In an age when church leaders and institutional church life continually speak as if they were a regurgitated version of the New York Times, it is a relief to read a publication which has a heart for Scripture, tradition and the Church. In an age where the past is the subject of enormous condescension (to use E.P. Thompson’s phrase), it is such a relief to enter a space in which the past is seen as something that can sometimes be learnt from, not something endlessly to condemn.
Covenant has something of the “ecumenism of time” of which C.S. Lewis spoke, in which, as we look across the ideological landscape, we see how Augustine, Aquinas, Cranmer, and Wesley have something to say to each other and to us.
- An American and Communion-Wide Perspective
I value Covenant for its perspective on North America and its Communion-wide concern. As a Brit writing for Covenant, I am deeply grateful for the forbearance of editors, fellow-contributors, and readers for occasions when I lay bare my considerable ignorance of the U.S.A. and Canada.
Conversely, I have learned a lot from Covenant editors, contributors and readers over the years. Notably, I see the vigor of much of the Episcopal Church, notwithstanding the travails orthodox Anglicanism faces while remaining within TEC. North American Anglicanism has taught me much.
At the same time, I greatly value Covenant’s connectivity with the wider Communion. The Anglican Communion, lest we forget, is expanding overall, not contracting — notwithstanding the shrinkage of much Anglicanism in the West. And it is expanding into fascinating new areas. My personal favorite is the Alexandria School of Theology, possibly the best-named Anglican theological institution on the planet.
- A Voice in the Anglosphere
Lastly, I value Covenant as a building block toward an “anglosphere.” The “anglosphere” is a concept used by political and cultural thinkers to describe the way the English language functions as an informal network, connecting people across the globe. I think it has the capacity to transmit not only culture and political ideas, but faith too. I wonder whether part of the vocation of Covenant is to link up and missionally leaven the (largely) English-speaking churches that form Anglicanism. Greek was a vehicle for the first-century Church. Good writing in English (and we endlessly need to work at making the writing good, or we are sunk from the start!) is a means to bless the Church and share the good news.
I thank God for Covenant and count it a privilege to be one of its contributors.