Bishop of Durham Tom Wright has employed his considerable intellect and skill as a rhetorician in a passionate (almost vitiriolic?) critique of the covenant mentioned in a previous post (see here). Wright's comments can be found HERE.
He makes some valid points in many respects, comments which must sting coming from a self-confessed evangelical. He may well be right about the political inadequacy and bad-timing of the covenant, I'm not sure. He also exposes the fact that the model of ecclesiology assumed in the covenant is not exactly in line with traditional Anglican thought as he sees it. IMHO these valid points he makes probably demonstrate the ultimate untenability of evangelicals remaining within the CofE as it currently stands, rather than strengthening the case for Wright's methodology for achieving reform.
More worryingly, the Bishop seems to 'buy' the popular representation of the type of evangelicals he is criticising. At the same time he seems to sincerely believe that the majority of the bishops in this country are orthodox and that things are in a generally decent condition in the CofE. From my limited experience, I certainly do not recognise the CofE Wright seems to be living in.
This more positive picture relies partly on a dogged belief that whilst the paper definitions of the denomination remain orthodox all is relatively well. This, I would contend, is position hard to maintain in the face of long-term ignorance of and deviation from these paper definitions.
Thus, one of the major differences between Tom Wright's approach and those of his opponents seems to be Wright's faith in the structures to produce reform and renewal. Of course this is no surprise since he is a Bishop and who'd want to be a Bishop unless you believed that inhabiting the structures of the CofE would effect change? I do wonder however if Wright could ever conceive of a situation where revolt against and within the structures of the CofE would be valid, when it would be right to seek alternative oversight, when it would be ok to disobey central authorities for the sake of the gospel.