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. 4, February 26

Amateur Atheists: Why the New Atheism Isn't Serious
FOR MANY YEARS I taught an introductory theology course for undergraduates titled "The Problem of God." My fellow instructors and I were convinced that our students should be exposed to the most erudite of the unbelievers. Our rationale was that any...
Benedict and Kobia Pray Together in Rome for Christian Unity
In an ecumenical first, a general secretary of the World Council of Churches took part with the pope in a Rome service to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an observance that began 100 years ago in the U.S. WCC general secretary Samuel...
Both Sides Celebrate Decline in Abortions
As abortion-rights supporters and opponents last month marked the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized the procedure nationwide, new statistics showed that fewer women are choosing abortion. The study, released just days...
Bridging the Gap
A PH.D. STUDENT in religion veered off from his friends one morning to head toward the divinity school chapel. "Where are you going?" one of his colleagues asked. "To chapel for the Lord's Supper," he replied. His friend thought for a moment before...
Call Waiting: A Journey to Ordination
AS I WAS GROWING UP, the church was my one constant in a changing world. I was six months old when my father, a foreign correspondent with United Press International, was called to cover the story that would dominate the next decade, the Vietnam War....
Churches Pinched by Health Care Costs
UNLIKE MANY other pastors in the Church of the Brethren, Kendal W. Elmore stuck with his denomination's medical insurance plan for 34 years, even as premiums escalated. The 60-year-old pastor from Toledo, Ohio, says he was told that the higher costs...
Constraints & Opportunities: Nick Carter on Retooling Seminaries
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ANDOVER NEWTON Theological School, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary, is regarded as the country's oldest free-standing graduate school of theology. Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches and the United Church...
Crossing the Aisle
Part of the success of Mike Huckabee's and Barack Obama's presidential campaigns has been their promise of transcending partisan politics. Huckabee talks of wanting to "make Americans, once again, more proud to be Americans than just to be Democrats...
Film Favorites of '07
BY THE TIME the credits began to roll for Lars and the Real Girl, the movie was at the head of my list of top movies of 2007. Writer Nancy Oliver and director Craig Gillespie deliver a sensitive portrait of Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling), a young man...
Focus on Ministry: Harvard Revamps Its M.Div. Program
THE FIRST CLASS to start and finish Harvard Divinity School's revised M.Div. program won't graduate until June, but HDS's move to tighten degree requirements and bolster ministry studies has already begun to reinvigorate the divinity school, officials...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, March 2 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 IN RICHARD POWERS'S novel The Echo Maker, a young man suffers a brain injury in an auto accident and is afflicted with Capgras syndrome. When he wakes from a coma, he can...
Moderate Baptists Test Unity in Diversity
At a gathering in Atlanta of Baptists trying to mend fences and join hands, there was preaching by blacks and whites, scripture readings by women and men, and music by African-American and Hispanic groups. It was a visible, concerted push toward unity...
Monson Poised, Prepared as New Mormon Leader
Thomas S. Monson, tapped to succeed Gordon B. Hinckley as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has spent his entire career in the service of the LDS church. He has worked in Salt Lake City alongside every Mormon president since...
Providential Roadblocks
EVERY TIME I happen upon Psalm 16:6, "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places," I think about how any of us comes to be who we are. Some of us in ministry can name the incident or date when we encountered a call to this vocation, but...
Scholars for the Church: Preparing Seminary Teachers
"HOW WOULD your introductory course in your field help prepare students for ministry?" This question consistently stumped candidates fresh from graduate school who were interviewing for a faculty position in our theological school. The candidates were...
Survey Shows That Pastoral Posts Still Attract and Satisfy
Recent surveys have indicated that clergy are generally quite satisfied with their profession. But what about the men and women who are in seminary or who are fresh from seminary and face the demands of congregational service or the challenges of other...
The Savages
The Savages. Directed by Tamara Jenkins. Starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. There are few tasks more daunting for a filmmaker than straddling the line between comedy and tragedy. It is hard enough to establish a tone for a movie without...
When the Well Runs Dry
THERE WERE 15 PEOPLE in my house when the well ran dry. It was Thanksgiving, and everyone knew that they did not have to flush every time. Those who were spending the night had learned how to take navy showers: turn the water on long enough to get...
Worry Workout
BACK IN THE Middle Ages, which means somewhere in the 1990s, the acronym WWJD was a widely publicized guide to Christian ethics. We don't hear much about it today, and sales of jewelry and bumper stickers bannering the letters seem to have declined....