Five for Friday: Armed Preachers in America, Better Enneagram, Prayer Book Tinkering

CHICAGO, IL (July 13, 2018) – 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.

Gun-Toting Preachers Have Long Fascinated Americans

Fictional gun-toting preachers in songs, movies, and novels often are depicted as avengers for justice. Real-life ministers such as the “pistol-packing pastor” of today or J. Frank Norris, a popular preacher of the early 1900s, known as the “pistol-toting divine,” also have attracted supporters.

From the article: “With a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, the avenging preacher confirms the view that true justice cannot be enforced by institutions alone—and that God is on the side of those who would take the law into their own hands when necessary.”

Better Ways to Find Your Enneagram Type Than Online Quiz

When people talk to each other about the Enneagram, they almost immediately ask, “So what’s your number?” The Enneagram is a typology tool that shows the relationships among nine different types. The tool, which is used by the ECC in various ways with pastors, ordination candidates, and employees, can be helpful. Yet sometimes people reduce it to a shorthand for stereotyping the types. This article addresses some common misuses.

From the article: “There is no better way to both discern and engage your type than through community and story. The path of the gospel and the Enneagram is the restoration of your relationships with yourself, others and God. It is an invitation to live in the truest story of all—the redemption and reconciliation of all things by God through his people.”

What’s in a Name? Episcopalians Move to Change Their Words for God

During their triennial general convention this week, the Episcopal Church struggled with questions regarding the use of gendered language for God as well as other wording in their prayer book. Originally published in 1549, the Book of Common Prayer has undergone a number of revisions, the last one in 1979. Most of the issues discussed had theological underpinnings, but there also were prosaic considerations such as the estimated $8 million it would cost to reprint the prayer books.

From the article: “But perhaps because Episcopalians represent such a wide range of political and theological beliefs, they consider the prayer book the ‘primary symbol of our unity.’ Nothing riles them more, they often joke, than tinkering with it.”

At Any Point in Life, People Spend Their Time in 25 Places

A scientific study on human mobility found that at any given time in life people regularly visit a maximum of 25 places. The unexpected results could lead to better designs of public spaces and transportation systems as well as healthier urban environments, the researchers say.

From the article: “The study showed that people are constantly exploring new places. They move to a new home, find a new favorite restaurant, find a new bar, or start going to another gym, etc. However, the number of regularly visited places is constantly 25 in a given period. If a new place is added to the list, one of the places disappears.”

Why Does Every Soccer Player Do This?

Scoring opportunities don’t come often in soccer so each missed chance carries a heavier burden than in most other sports. If you’re among the billions of people on the planet who have watched a match, then you’ve seen that players almost instinctively react by placing their hands on their heads. According to people who study the behavior, it’s an important evolutionary protective gesture against being ostracized.

From the article: “The gesture signifies that ‘you know you messed up,’” said Jessica Tracy, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. “It’s going to tell others, ‘I get it and I’m sorry, therefore you don’t have to kick me out of the group, you don’t have to kill me.’”

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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. What is the difference between a Christian who is willing to do violence, and the adherents of any other of the many religions in the world who are willing to do violence?

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