Five for Friday: Emoji Bible, No Free Will, Felonies and Jobs

emoji bible
CHICAGO, IL (June 3, 2016) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

The Emoji Bible Has Arrived

You might think this was from a satirical publication such as The Onion, but you would be wrong.

From the article: “Described as a ‘great and fun way to share the gospel’, it interprets all 66 books of the King James Version with Unicode-approved emoji and commonly-used internet slang and contractions.”

That Awkward Eye-to-Eye Contact in Long Hallways

Who hasn’t tensed up at least a little in those moments when someone is walking toward you and it feels like an eternity before you actually cross paths? This probably doesn’t rank up there in the “major life decisions” category, so don’t worry about consulting a minister (especially when there’s a guy known as “The Attraction Doctor” available to dispense advice). The excerpt below is just the beginning of many steps to take as you take many steps toward that person coming your way.

From the article: “Before entering a long hallway, or walking on the street, take a moment to center yourself….Take a breath and be mindful of the world around you (not just the thoughts buzzing in your head or the gadgets in your pocket).”

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will

John_Calvin_by_HolbeinApparently scientists tend to be extreme secular Calvinists, yet they believe it’s best that members of society not be. Read this article if you want—but do you really have a choice?

From the article: “It seems that when people stop believing they are free agents, they stop seeing themselves as blameworthy for their actions. Consequently, they act less responsibly and give in to their baser instincts. (Researcher Kathleen) Vohs emphasized that this result is not limited to the contrived conditions of a lab experiment. ‘You see the same effects with people who naturally believe more or less in free will,’ she said.”

Family Directs Donations to Cincinnati Zoo

The incident of the child who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo raises a lot of questions.

On a good day a trip to the zoo can be depressing because the exhibit descriptions often include warnings about how society is threatening particular species. In this case, how might the outrage about one gorilla being killed be channeled to action to protect the vast numbers of wildlife who are endangered?

Regarding the criticism of the mother for failing to keep track of her child, as several people quoted in this article note, what parent hasn’t had a child get away from them for at least a brief moment?

From the article: “It’s easy to point fingers from behind a keyboard. It’s easy to attack because the mob mentality is that someone must pay and someone must be to blame.”

Paying (and Paying and Paying) a Debt to Society

Making it easier for convicted felons to find jobs makes economic sense and improves society in general according to liberals and conservatives. So why aren’t we working harder to change the system?

From the article: “A conviction makes it hard to get a job: The Justice Department estimates that 60 to 75 percent of former inmates fail to find work within the first year of being released. And yet employment is associated with much lower rates of recidivism. ‘Statewide rates of recidivism range from about 31 to 70 percent, while the rates for those placed in jobs shortly after their release ranged from 3.3 to eight percent,’ a study by the conservative Manhattan Institute found last year.”

One of the priorities of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) is to empower the church to engage the issue of criminal justice. More information, including the denomination’s resolution on criminal justice can be found here.

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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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