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. 13, June 28

Air Force Academy Leader Admits Faith Bias Is Pervasive
Acknowledging that a religious bias favoring evangelical Christianity has been pervasive at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the school's superintendent told a Jewish audience this month that "it's going to take a while to fix," perhaps a half-dozen years,...
American Baptists Face Breakup Threats
IN AN APPEAL to American Baptists last November, the denomination's top official said he suffered "many sleepless nights" worrying whether controversies over homosexuality would shatter the fragile unity of the denomination. "I agonize over the fact...
Author Admits Flaws in Abortion Rate Study, but Challenges Critics
A controversial study suggesting that the abortion rate has increased since President Bush took office was off the mark, its author now admits. But he also says new figures vindicate some of his contentions. A recent study of the abortion rates...
Bellow and Jesus
STEPHEN MITCHELL sent his 1993 book The Gospel According to Jesus to Nobel Prize--winning novelist Saul Bellow, and to his surprise received a passionate response. Mitchell passed the correspondence on to me a dozen years ago, and I will forward it...
Clay Pots
Sunday, July 10 Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 MY WIFE AND I once toured the legendary Waterford crystal factory in Ireland, where furnaces roar 24 hours a day, powered by gas piped in from miles away. Sixteen hundred employees take...
Holy Intrusion: The Power of Dreams in the Bible
WE CHILDREN OF the Enlightenment do not regularly linger over such elusive experiences as dreams. We seek to "enlighten" what is before us and to overcome the inscrutable and the eerie in order to make the world a better, more manageable place. We...
Intrigue at the UN
INTELLIGENTLY DETAILED, impressively mounted, absorbingly told and undeniably gripping, Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter is a very satisfying movie--unless you're seeking something more than a thriller that only superficially engages its political...
Justice Department Backs Churches Renting Space in Public Schools
The U.S. Department of Justice is urging a federal court in New York to uphold the right of religious organizations to conduct worship services in public school buildings. In prior rulings in such cases, courts have held that religious organizations...
Lack of Black Churches Delays Launch of New Ecumenical Group
The launching of a new group that aims to bring Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians in the U.S. together for the first time has been postponed because the effort has received little interest from black churches, leaders said. The fledgling...
Lives of the Embryo
THERE IS NO such thing as a spare embryo," President Bush declared, vowing to veto a bill that would allot federal money to support stem cell research on human embryos that were created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and have been slated to be...
Ordinary Beauty
CALVIN SAYS somewhere that each of us is an actor on a stage and God is the audience. That metaphor has always interested me, because it makes us artists of our behavior, and the reaction of God to us might bethought of as aesthetic rather than morally...
Redeeming Sam: The Difference Jesus Makes
JUST AS HE turned eight, a boy I will call Sam became totally paralyzed and spent three months on a respirator in a coma. The rest of the year he spent in a children's rehabilitation hospital. He emerged with minor brain damage, learning disabilities,...
Reformed Church Author OKs Gay Marriage
A professor with long ties to the Reformed Church in America has coauthored a book that makes what he considers a Christian argument for gay marriage. In What God Has Joined Together? A Christian Case for Gay Marriage, psychologist David Myers of...
Running on Empty
FOR AT LEAST the past generation, mainline Protestants have been worried about declines in membership. One camp has taken up the rallying cry of conservatives (and some vocal sociologists) who claim that theological "strictness" and clear church-culture...
Sent Out
THE LAST STAGE of the worship liturgy clothes the congregation in the practices of faith so that its members make the whole world a Eucharist. Making the whole world a Eucharist means bringing all the practices of worship into a regular pattern of...
Supreme Court Upholds Inmates' Religious Rights
A unanimous Supreme Court has upheld a five-year-old federal law that makes it easier for prison inmates--and others--to assert their religious freedom. The justices validated on May 31 the constitutionality of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized...
The Blame Game
Sunday, July 3 Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 DO NOT TOUCH." "Do not taste." "Don't walk on the grass." What is it about me that wants to do exactly what signs instruct me not to do? The warnings are probably for my benefit. The signs...
Wounds of War
YOU'RE GOING to Germany? Sweet!" That was how news of my deployment was greeted by more than one member of my Air National Guard unit--the 181st Fighter Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard. In the military, the initial criteria for evaluating...
Zimbabwe Evictions of Urban Poor Decried; Methodist Deported
Religious and human rights groups, along with a top UN official, are calling on the Zimbabwe government to end its campaign of evicting the urban poor and destroying their shacks and market stalls. An estimated 200,000 people have lost their homes...