Five for Friday: Changing God? Single Missionaries, Face Transplant

CHICAGO, IL (November 17, 2017) — 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.

Does God Change?

This is a nuanced thought piece on whether and how God changes. Roger Olson is an influential theologian who is well worth reading—whether or not you support his point of view.

From the article: “How does God change? Not in his character but only in his experience. This is called God’s ‘di-polar nature’ in process theology, but I reject process theology’s idea that God’s ‘primordial pole’ (character) is only potential and not always already actual. I prefer 19th century German theologian Dorner’s idea of God’s ethical immutability but ability to take into his own life the world’s history and make it his history, too. Does this make God dependent on the world? Only in his experiential life and only voluntarily.”

Widow Meets Man Who Received Face Transplant

Although Calen Ross took his own life, in death he gave new life to others.

From the article: “‘I was skeptical at first,’ said Mrs. Ross. ‘I didn’t want to walk around and all of a sudden see Calen.’ But she was reassured the donor had his own eyes and forehead, and would not be recognisable as her husband. After consulting with her husband’s best friend, she gave her consent, and the 56-hour operation was carried out in late June 2016.”

A video released by the Mayo Clinic shows the meeting.

Love’s Road Home

Ashley Volk fell for Sam Siatta when she was 10 years old, and the couple dated off and on through high school. Then he went to war. He became a decorated Marine, but she had to fight for his life—and theirs—when he returned.

From the article: “The next phase of his rescue fell to Ms. Volk. Her contribution can be summarized in three words. She carried him. Ashley Volk took an unyielding position—that Sam Siatta was a good man, better than his record and stronger than his troubles, and he would succeed.”

The Single Missionary: What the Church Should Know

A missionary (who is married) pointed me to this article, saying that it’s accurate and important and added that anyone interested in issues related to missions should read this writer’s blog.

From the article: “So listen to us. Trust us when we say we can and we can’t. Help us build a team of other volunteers/missionaries who can stand alongside us. Encourage us to use some of the money you give us for R&R, holiday trips, and refilling so we don’t burn out. And have patience for our internet that constantly goes out meaning we might forget about your email.”

It’s Time to Reform the Juvenile Justice System for Good

We need to reconsider how we treat teenagers in our criminal justice system. Jailing young people is often counter-productive and dehumanizing. Bipartisan efforts to effect legal change so far have stalled.

From the article: “Moreover, being incarcerated leaves many young people scarred for life. ‘Jail can kill the spirit of many young people. It could be argued that it’s designed to do that,’ says Messiah Ramkissoon, director of programming for the Youth Reentry Network at Friends of Island Academy, a group that supports young New Yorkers in the justice system.”

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About the Author

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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  1. Regarding the justice system: there are few among us who do not know that the criminal justice system in America is unbelievably horrible. Yet how many churches, or individual church members have any real program for visiting, alleviating, speaking out for change, or in any way paying attention to the horrors of our system? Does our own beloved Covenant Church have ANY program or, as the current jargon has it, “missional” response to these well-known and deeply imbedded horrors? This column speaks to one aspect of the system – juveniles – but the entire system works against everybody but those who are white and middle-class and above. So I guess that our church-wide attitude is that those caught in the system are not “ours” and we don’t have to care.

  2. The article regarding single missionaries is another side of the current national discussion taking place about sexual harassment. I believe the women who are coming forth now to tell of their experiences, because 1) we have always known it was “a man’s world,” with the implicit idea that men could do as they want – touching, grabbing, kissing, and worse, as well as work-place hassles over role, place, and pay, and women did little about it because they knew they wouldn’t be believed, even by other women. 2) Many of those speaking out are women well-known in their profession, responsible women not being paid to speak, but finally being heard. And 3) My own wife’s experience (she is now deceased); she told me privately of her own experiences, knowing she would not be believed by others. I’m happy that this national discussion is now taking place, with the hope that we may have reached a tipping point and that honest, sincere change is coming. The Christian church, and especially the evangelical church, has a very long way to go, as is made very clear in this very insightful and honest column.

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