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. 124, No. 8, April 17

Book Culls from Decade of Spiritual Thinking on PBS Program
A new book based on interviews from the PBS program Religion & Ethics News Weekly finds a spiritual hunger beneath the secular veneer of modern culture, with many searching for something beyond the material world. The Life of Meaning (Seven...
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Courage in Zimbabwe: Church Leaders in Zimbabwe Are in the Forefront of the Opposition to Mugabe's Brutal Rule
THE ACTIVITIES of courageous Christians in Zimbabwe could be chapters in a new, politicized version of the book of Acts. Christians have long been in the forefront of challenging the brutal autocratic rule of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, and in...
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Disagreement on Same-Sex Relations Riles Lutheran Body
Blessings for people living in same-sex relationships triggered heated debate at a meeting last month of the main governing body of the Lutheran World Federation in the southern Swedish city of Lund. Divisions that have torn apart the Anglican Communion...
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Episcopal Bishops Nix Foreign Oversight
Episcopal bishops have brushed off all attempt to give overseas Anglicans a role in governing the Episcopal Church, saying such a move would be "injurious" and could lead to a permanent division of the U.S. church. At their annual spring retreat...
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Hypothetical Fraud: Behind the Firing of David Iglesias: Despite Public Complaints about Voter Fraud, Investigators Found Nothing to Prosecute
THE JUSTICE Department has made stamping out fraud by individual voters a priority. Since the 2002 launch of its Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative, 86 individuals had been convicted of ballot fraud, the department boasted in a press release...
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Income Gap in Russia Endangers Stability, Church Forum Says
Russia has climbed to No. 3 in the world in its number of billionaires, but a Moscow meeting of religious leaders, academics and public officials said the gap between rich and poor threatens the unity of the world's biggest country. The yearly forum,...
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Living by the Word: Dreaming in Joppa
Sunday, May 6 Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148 MANY CHRISTIANS can name the hour and the place of their salvation. For me it was answering not one but two altar calls at Billy Graham crusades in the 1960s. For Reinhold Niebuhr, who was asked if he could...
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Living by the Word: What about Dorcas?
Sunday, April 29 Acts 9:36-43 I WAS LOOKING through a high school yearbook recently, a dangerous thing to do when 40 years have passed. I got lost staring at the silly hairstyles, the photos of teachers who are long since gone, the friend in...
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Methodist Merger Not in View
BISHOPS FROM six U.S. Methodist denominations have pledged to work together on common social-justice goals. But they quashed the notion that a merger or union is likely. Representing the United Methodist Church and the historically black African...
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Newsworthy: Bill Moyers on Journalism and Democracy
THROUGHOUT his career in print and broadcast journalism, Bill Moyers has blended a passionate interest in the workings of politics with a strong interest in religion. He is perhaps best known for the many interviews and reports he has produced and...
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Pitching Dreams
WHEN I WAS nine years old I dreamed of being Bobby Feller. I forget about that dream for long stretches, but then something comes back to remind me of it. Recently it was a profile of Feller by Tyler Kepner in the March 7 New York Times. I learned...
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Protestant Groups Ask African Union to Step into Zimbabwe Crisis
Two global groupings of Protestant churches have urged the African Union to intervene in the crisis in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe's government has cracked down on opposition protests as the country faces economic collapse. Acting separately...
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Punch Lines
LAUGHTER WAS a hallmark of my family's life as I grew up. Our family dinner table was so often marked by jokes and storytelling that we were the embodiment of those old canards about communities that know the jokes so well that all you have to do is...
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Repeat Performance
TOM LONG, one of the preachers I'm tempted to steal from, points out (p. 18) that stealing sermons is an old phenomenon but easier to do today given the thousands of sermons on the Internet. Probably every pastor has a good story to tell about plagiarism....
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Rice's Mission: Secretary Rice Is Seeking Help from Moderate Arab Nations to Revive Peace Talks
WHEN SECRETARY of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to the Middle East in late March, she took along a plan to provide both Israeli and Palestinian leaders with "a political horizon." The plan, says Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler, depends on...
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Stolen Goods: Tempted to Plagiarize: Preaching Depends on Trust. When We Deceive Listeners We Undermine the Basis of Our Witness
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, a student in one of my preaching courses was struggling terribly. The sermons he preached in class were plodding, disorganized and weakly supported exegetically and theologically. He was aware that he was not meeting expectations,...
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Three in One: Believing in the Triune God
TO UNDERSTAND something complicated, we often begin with something similar yet simpler. The analogous ease gives us a start in the process of understanding, although, to be sure, later on we have to do some deconstructing, discovering how the two eases...
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U.S. Bishops Condemn Maguire's Stance on Abortion, Gay Marriage
The U.S. Catholic bishops have denounced as "irresponsible" and "false teaching" a Catholic theologian's claim that Catholics are able to dissent from the hierarchy's opposition to contraceptives, same-sex marriage and abortion. Daniel C. Maguire,...
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