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. 5, March 8

Back to Life
Sunday, March 13 John 11:1-45 I DIDN'T WANT to come back. My consciousness hovered somewhere above the body lying on the gurney. It was all over, I thought. The last sensation I remembered had been incomprehensible pain, then a tunnel, and a grinding...
Beginnings
THOSE OF US who spend a major portion of life in church keep track of time by the sequence of the liturgical or church year as well as by the calendar year. The calendar year begins on January 1, the church year begins with Advent at the end of November...
Bible Verses Compared
The recently published TNIV, now with an Old Testament translation that continues the shift toward gender-inclusive language, also strives to improve clarity in contemporary English, judging by a comparison of the new version with the wording in the...
Episcopal Officials Hopeful despite Downturn in Giving
The Episcopal Church is hoping the financial fallout from a gay bishop's election will level off this year after a conservative-led financial boycott helped create a 12 percent drop in giving in 2004. Church treasurer Kurt Barnes said giving from...
Former White House Aide Says Bush Failed on 'Poor People Stuff'
A former deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives says President Bush has failed to support the program as he had promised. David Kuo, who left the position in December 2003, said the White House didn't...
Free Spirit
SPANISH DIRECTOR Alejandro Amenabar's The Sea Inside is a triumph-of-the-spirit picture with an unconventional premise: the hero, Ramon Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), a quadriplegic for two decades as the result of a diving accident, is seeking...
God Willing: Lincoln on the Divine Mystery
IN SEPTEMBER 1862, Union troops were soundly defeated by Confederate forces led by Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee at Manassas Junction, Virginia. The North called it the Second Battle of Bull Run. President Abraham Lincoln's somber mood afterward...
Good Work: Learning about Ministry from Wendell Berry
RECENTLY I CELEBRATED 15 years as pastor of a congregation in East Texas of under 200 members with about half of them present for Sunday worship. At denominational meetings and around town I'm asked, "When are you going to a bigger church? Why do you...
House Calls: A Vanishing Form of Ministry
A CHURCH I pastored in Portland, Oregon, ran an after-school children's program. One afternoon someone came to tell me that twin brothers, aged six, had pushed a little girl during a play period. Although she recovered quickly, we had some anxious...
Insiders Steal Big from Unsuspecting Churches
When their priest, Brian Lisowski, was caught with an alleged prostitute last summer, parishioners at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church began to suspect their pastor had been keeping secrets from them. They were right--he had a million of them....
Life Together: A Passion for Reconciliation
RACIAL RECONCILIATION has been the central theme of Chris Rice's life and ministry. It is also the subject of his two books. More Than Equals (Inter-Varsity, 1993) was coauthored by his friend Spencer Perkins, a fellow member of Voice of Calvary Church...
Millisecond Thoughts
TWO PORTRAITS graced my study walls for many years: Holbein's Erasmus and Cranach's Luther. Already in high school I was enjoying Erasmus's Julius Exclusus and other satires critical of the pope; even earlier I was reading Luther's catechisms. The...
New Bible Woos Young Adults, Skirts Critics
WHEN ZONDERVAN published in 2002 an inclusive-language version of the New Testament by the translators of the older, best-selling New International Version (NIV) Bible, vociferous criticism poured in from conservative Protestants. Some Bibles from...
Parochial Politics: The Religious Divide in the Ukraine
VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO'S 52-to-42 percent victory over Viktor Yanukovych in the December 26 election in Ukraine reflected not only the centuries-old schism between western and eastern Ukraine, but also the split between the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church...
Ready or Not
Sunday, March 20 Matthew 27:55-61 I ONCE LIVED in a village in Germany that lay at the foot of a mountain covered in deep forest. A narrow farm separated the houses from the forest, and a cemetery occupied a piece of land part way up the mountain....
Seminary President Ousted over Gay Daughter's Wedding
The New Brunswick Theological Seminary, one of the nation's oldest schools for training mainline Protestant clergy, has retired its president and reprimanded him for officiating at his gay daughter's wedding. The board of trustees of the New Brunswick,...
Soul Food: Why Fasting Makes Sense
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER with Christian fasting was in a Russian kitchen in the provincial city of Krasnodar in 1991. It was November and my host, a university professor, was preparing the evening meal at the beginning of the Orthodox fast called Little...
Star-Spangled Hoops: Not All Schools Salute the Flag
AT THIS TIME of the winter countless high school basketball teams are trying to dribble, pass and shoot their way to a state championship. Glamorized in small-town lore and big-budget movies, reaching the state tournament is a dream shared by most...
There's Always Room
THE CHRISTIANS gathered at Duke for the weekend had come from places marked by destructive ethnic and tribal violence and conflict: South Africa, Sudan, the United States, India and Rwanda. They posed challenging questions: How Can we find paths forward...
Unlisted
LIST-MAKING IS a peculiarly modern obsession. The top 20 basketball teams. The top tell best sellers. Ten ways to trim your thighs. Time magazine recently listed its choices for the 25 most influential evangelicals. The article seemed designed partly...
U.S. Jesuit Forbidden by Vatican to Teach as Catholic Theologian
Following a five-year inquiry, the Vatican has forbidden an American Jesuit priest from teaching as a Catholic theologian because of what were called "serious doctrinal errors" in his work. The investigation by the Vatican's doctrinal agency centered...
Vatican Official Talks about Papal Retirement
In a startling break with Vatican protocol, a high Vatican official has addressed the issue of whether the ailing Pope John Paul II should retire. Even before the frail pontiff ended his nine-day hospital stay while fighting respiratory problems,...