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. 127, No. 14, July 13

Anglican Breakaway Church Faces Budget, Unity Tests
When the Anglican Church in North America was launched last year, its founders were clear on what they didn't want to be: the Episcopal Church that they had left. But as the ACNA marked its first anniversary in early June with a meeting in Amesbury,...
Before Computers
OVER THE PAST YEAR have been speaking with different groups about biblical narrative in the age of Twitter. As more and more people find Facebook updates, text messages and 140-character tweets adequate for their communication needs, who will retain...
Called but Not Ordained: The Need for Lay Pastors
FOR THE SAKE OF discretion, call him Hank--just don't tell him that he's not a real pastor. He has been serving churches for 30 years and has never been busier than he is today. A calendar posted in the foyer of the church he serves bears him out:...
Film Looks at Mormon Role in Boosting Prop 8 Defeat of Same-Sex Marriage
Is it a love letter from liberal Mormons to their church, or a Michael Moore-style hit piece aimed at Mormon leaders? The film 8: The Mormon Proposition explores the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in repealing same-sex marriage...
F Is for Forgetting: A Theological Dictionary
A HALF PHRASE from Augustine has challenged and inspired me for a half century: "God is like the nature he made." It appears as a virtual throwaway line, quoted in Jose Ortega y Gasset's History as a System (1941), in which Ortega adds a flourish connecting...
'I Don't Need Another Tax Break': Mike Lapham and Responsible Wealth
UNITED FOR a Fair Economy was started 15 years ago in response to the growing gap between rich and poor in the US. Mike Lapham joined the organization in 1997 to head its Responsible Wealth program, which mobilizes the voices of people who want to...
Living in a Material World: God's Good Stuff
NEW YORK CITY is popularly designated the global capital of Mammon, the most crassly material economic zone in a crassly materialistic world. Though I am naturally defensive about the city I call home, I can understand why people think this way. When...
Lourdes
Lourdes Directed Jessica Hausner Starring Sylvie Testud and Lea Seydoux When Pandora opens the box that contains all the world's evils, they immediately fly away, destined to plague humankind for eternity. She is able to replace the top just...
Pastor Slated to Be Religious Freedom Envoy
President Obama has named Suzan Johnson Cook, a well-connected but politically inexperienced pastor from New York, as his nominee to be ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. "Johnson Cook is an experienced religious leader with...
Pope Begs Forgiveness for Clergy Sex Abuse
POPE BENEDICT XVI begged forgiveness for sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests at a Vatican gathering on June 11 of nearly 15,000 clergy, concluding the celebration of the "Year for Priests." The pontiff pledged on that final day to do "everything...
RCA Adopts Apartheid-Era Confession
For some 400 years, the small Reformed Church in America has relied on only three confessional statements of belief, all of them forged in the crucible of the Reformation. Now they have added a fourth, and its unlikely origins--apartheid-era South...
Ready to Lead? the Problems with Lay Pastors
MY HOME CONGREGATION is in some ways emblematic of the dilemmas facing mainline Protestants. Bethel Peniel Presbyterian Church is located in a small town in upstate New York where Presbyterians were dominant in the 18th century and numerous in the...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, July 18 Amos 8:1-12 WHEN A CHILD is ignoring basic responsibilities, parents rely on a well-known parenting technique to make a point. Mom looks her ten-year-old in the eye while holding a toothpaste tube in one hand and the cap in the...
Reformed Networks Merge despite Visa Denials
Visa problems, an ongoing concern for ecumenical gatherings in the Northern Hemisphere, put a damper on the June celebration of the new World Communion of Reformed Churches, a group created by the merger of the two largest networks of churches in the...
Religion by the Numbers
Demography drives religious change. That bald comment is too obvious to be worth making, but it's surprising how little attention demographic factors receive in most histories of religion, particularly of Christianity. That neglect means we miss a...
Sacrifices
AFTER READING Walter Brueggemann's review of Terry Eagleton's Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (March 23), I ordered a copy. Eagleton teaches at the University of Lancaster, England, at the National University of Ireland...
Southern Baptists Debate Ways to Revive Growth
SOUTHERN BAPTIST Convention president Johnny Hunt has urged members of the nation's largest Protestant denomination to move beyond their comfort zones as they seek new ways to evangelize and combat declining baptism rates. "I'm tired of having my...
Tea Party's Strange Brew
Major crises in recent years have been fostered by an unregulated private sector. Wall Street's recklessness unraveled the economy and put millions out of work. BP oil company cut corners on safety and ravaged the environment in pursuit of profits....