The Christian Century

Founded on January 4, 1900, The Christian Century is a biweekly magazine published by The Christian Century. Its subject is religion. The Rev. John M. Buchanan is Editor and Publisher and David Heim is Executive Editor.

Articles from Vol. 122, No. 24, November 29

Ankle-Deep in Danger
IN OCTOBER NBC's Today show covered the floods in New Jersey with a live shot of correspondent Michelle Kosinski, who was paddling a canoe. As she was paddling, "two men walked between her and the camera--making it appear the water where she was floating...
Archaeologists Find 'Earliest Church' in Holy Land
Israeli archaeologists excavating the grounds of Megiddo Prison have discovered what they believe are the remnants of the earliest church ever discovered in the Holy Land. Yotam Tepper, the dig's chief archaeologist, said at a news briefing November...
Baylor Selects Alum as New President
After fits and starts, Baylor University's search for a new president ended with the choice of Baylor alumnus John M. Lilley, 66, president of the University of Nevada, Reno, and previously president for 21 years at Penn State-Erie. Lilley was elected...
Catholic Majority on the High Court?
If Judge Samuel Alito is confirmed as the next member of the U.S. Supreme Court, he will usher in the court's first-ever Catholic majority. Alito would join fellow Catholics Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John...
Counterscript: Living with the Elusive God
I HAVE BEEN thinking about the ways in which the Bible is a critical alternative to the enmeshments in which we find ourselves in the church and in society. I have not, of course, escaped these enmeshments myself, but in any case I offer a series of...
Gay Bishop Causes Stir by Criticizing Pope
An openly gay Episcopal bishop has caused a stir among Catholics for criticizing Pope Benedict XVI and suggesting that frustrated Catholics could find a new home in the badly divided Episcopal Church. Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, whose...
Go Sox, Go Cubs
THIS IS NOT an easy time to be a Chicago Cubs fan. Chicago is still celebrating the stunning World Series sweep by the Chicago White Sox. Baseball championships may happen regularly in cities like New York or Los Angeles, but not here. The White Sox...
Intelligent Design on Trial
A 21-DAY Pennsylvania trial on the teaching of evolution in public schools which lasted 13 days longer than the 1925 Scopes trial--turned out to be an extended argument over the meaning of certain key words--theology, science, politics, education and...
IRS Warning Raises Church Leaders' Ire
A LARGE, progressive Episcopal church in southern California, warned by the Internal Revenue Service that its tax-exempt status may be at risk over a preelection antiwar sermon delivered last year, says it intends to fight what it calls "unsupported"...
Leaving Jesus Behind
A FEW MONTHS ago a friend told me about a conversation he'd had with an atheist in Colorado Springs. That Colorado city, the Mecca of American evangelical Christianity, may be the last place an atheist would feel at home. But there he was, right in...
Living by the Word: Mercy, Me
Sunday, December 4 Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8 MERCY" IS the one expletive my grandmother Norris allowed herself, the all-purpose exclamation for times when she was too awestruck, befuddled or exasperated to say anything else....
Living by the Word: Standing on Promises
Sunday, December 11 Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28 IT IS HARD to believe what we hear, that we are a blessed people, standing in God's favor. Hard to believe that God will bring righteousness to our...
Love Lost
IN THE MOVIES, romances fail for reasons of class, money, scandal, race, death, noble sacrifice or--more recently--fear of commitment. Shopgirl may be the first Hollywood love story in a long time to revolve around the inability to love. The shopgirl...
Mixed Ballot Results on 'Values' Issues
Religious conservatives lost electoral fights to pass an abortion law in California, overturn gay-rights legislation in Maine and defeat a bond issue in Ohio that critics said could fund embryonic stem cell research. However, the right claimed victory...
Psyched for Ministry
ONCE UPON a time, I was a gospel-inspired idealist who naively assumed that if you wanted to become a minister, your church would naturally be right there beside you, with the wisest, most effective guidance possible to help you reach your goal. Ha!...
Study Finds No Ill Effects of Peyote Use among Navajos
Native Americans who use peyote as part of a religious ritual show no long-term negative health effects and actually fare better than recovering alcoholics, according to Harvard researchers. A five-year study at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital...
Take a Memo
The Internal Revenue Service says that a sermon opposing the U.S. invasion of Iraq preached at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, just prior to the 2004 presidential election may have violated IBS rules. The IBS prohibits churches...
UMC Bishops Dispute Church Court Ruling on Gay Membership
The bishops of the United Methodist Church have unanimously proclaimed that homosexuality is "not a barrier" to church membership, despite a recent church court ruling that allowed a Virginia pastor to keep an openly gay man from joining his congregation....