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. 125, No. 11, June 3

AAR Wants Return to Joint Meetings with Biblical Scholars
The annual pre-Thanksgiving joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature had a record registration in 2006 of over 11,000, and last year's meeting in San Diego drew about 10,200 scholars, students and publishers....
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Being Constructive: An Interview with John Webster
ONE OF THE WORLD'S leading Reformed theologians, John Webster, has focused his study on the works o[ Eberhard Jungel and Karl Barth (he edited the Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth) and on the theological interpretation of" scripture (a commentary...
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Cheerful News about Hell
I CAN'T REMEMBER the last time I read much about hell--the topic of a symposium in this issue (p. 22)--but those of us who recite the creed weekly do include "he descended into hell" as part of what we believe about Jesus Christ. One of the problems...
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Evangelicals Lament Politicization of Faith
Evangelical Christians should be defined by their theology--and not their politics--to avoid becoming "useful idiots" of a political party, a group of prominent leaders said May 7 in a joint statement. Released in Washington, the document, "An Evangelical...
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Exhibit Revisits Issues of 1936 Olympics
The protests over China's human rights record and its treatment of Tibet as Beijing prepares to host the 2008 Olympics underline a key fact: sports and politics are supposed to remain separate, but rarely do. An exhibit now at the U.S. Holocaust...
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Imperial Shrines: How Presidential Libraries Distort History
WHEN I WAS in college I took a course on Roman architecture and learned that temples were built throughout the Roman Empire to celebrate the emperors as gods. Sometimes these emperor-gods would have engraved on stone or bronze tablets a Res Gestae--a...
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Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, June 8 Romans 4:13-25; Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 YOU MAY SHARE an experience I often have: I enter a room where friends are engaged in a spirited conversation about someone and try to guess who it is that they are describing. If I succeed, it's...
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Longing for Home: The Acholi People of Northern Uganda
[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED] After years of brutal war and displacement, a woman returned to Amuca, her ancestral village, and started building the framework for the roof of a new family hut. Two million people have been displaced as a result of Uganda's...
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Methodists Retain Policies on Homosexuality
In what is almost an every-four-years ritual, the United Methodist Church has upheld traditional rules on homosexuality, refusing to support or celebrate same-sex unions and maintaining language that calls homosexual activity "incompatible with Christian...
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Obama Sharply Criticizes Ex-Pastor as Divisive
Using some of his strongest language yet about his former pastor, Senator Barack Obama said that Jeremiah Wright's comments capping the clergyman's provocative return to the public stage were "destructive" and contradict "everything that I'm about...
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Old Refrain
ALL TOGETHER now, with heart and soul and voices, let's sing number 1786. Why don't I read the lyrics first, and then let the guitar and drums pick it up: ... together all the eminent [] of God ... Let it/them be silent. Let the luminous stars not...
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Presbyterian High Court Clears Pastor of Censure for Same-Sex Weddings
Because the blessings of two lesbian couples were called "unions" or "weddings," not "marriages," the highest court in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has reversed a lower court's censure of lesbian clergywoman Jane Spahr, who performed the rites...
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Prime-Time Torture: Jack Bauer as a Hero of Our Time
IN AN EPISODE of the Fox television drama 24, the hero Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) desperately needs information to protect national security. To get it, Jack knocks a man unconscious and ties him to a chair. Ripping the electrical cord...
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Rome
Rome. Directed by Allen Courter and others. Starring Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Potty Walker and Ciaran Hinds. Rome is over. Not just the republic, but the TV show. Despite solid ratings and Golden Globe nominations, the popular cable series ended...
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The Thing with Feathers
1 PETER 3:15 SAYS that we should always be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within. Always ready? Always a reason? It's a tall order. Recently I had a chance to make the attempt, as part of a panel on the theme of hope. I started off...
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The Visitor
The Visitor. Written and directed by Tom McCarthy. Starring Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira and Hiam Abbass. The protagonist of The Visitor is Walter Vale, an academic who has retired from life after his wife's death. A political economist...
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What to Say about Hell: A Symposium
Hell is talked about cautiously, if at all, in mainline churches. Yet the notion of a divinely ordained place of punishment for the wicked after death is deeply embedded in the Christian imagination. How should we think and talk about hell? Why don't...
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Where Do Sermons Go? Sunday-Night Reflection
I PREACHED a sermon this morning--one in a long line of sermons stretching back to 1992. I've preached so many sermons by now that I find it almost impossible to remember any particular one. Right now, on a Sunday night, I don't want to remember any...
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Wright Misfires
Prophets do not always have a balanced view of reality. They are not people who have made a pragmatic adjustment to the status quo. Rather, prophets are people seized by a vision of God's justice. They speak poetically and act dramatically, trying...
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