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. 128, No. 13, June 28

After Bin Laden: Ending the War on Terrorism
EVEN BEFORE Osama bin Laden's death, President Obama had announced plans to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July. The pace of that withdrawal is unclear. But absent clear evidence that the U.S. and its allies are on track to defeat the...
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Cave of Forgotten Dreams Directed by Werner Herzog The preponderance of 3D feature films these days represents both a desperate bid to draw audiences away from home entertainment centers into theaters and an excuse to extract even higher admission...
Detour to Mission: An Unplanned Ministry
A CHURCH'S strategic planning process is a fragile creature. Like those Hebrews who were on a desert journey, we're not sure where we are going. We hope that we will end up not with some golden idol of a vision, but with God relentlessly guiding us...
Double Duty
WHEN GEORGE MITCHELL quietly resigned as special envoy for the Middle East, I was dismayed. I've always thought of him as a man of strong convictions but also as a pragmatist, a practitioner of politics as the art of compromise. Did he find the Israel-Palestine...
For GOP Evangelicals, Bachmann Talks the Talk
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour warned several hundred Christian conservatives gathered in Washington recently not to expect a "perfect candidate" to emerge from the field of Republican presidential contenders. "There's only been one perfect person...
German Ex-Bishop Says Praying with Taliban Beats Bombing
A former leader of Germany's Protestant community, Margot Kassmann, says she believes that a suggestion to pray with the Taliban by candlelight is "a much better idea than bombing water tank lorries in Kunduz." The minister drew loud applause from...
Getting to the Root: The Nation's Financial Woes Won't End till It Confronts Health-Care Costs
There are two ways to reduce the federal budget deficit: cut spending and increase revenue. Most of the debate in Washington has focused on cuts; more recently the two parties have been in a standoff over whether to raise money as well--by reducing...
Grief without Stages
NEAR THE END of the last round of presidential primaries in 2008, the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton broke decisively toward Obama. Resolute Hillary supporter Lanny Davis was devastated by the prospect of her defeat. Davis had served...
Holy Imitation: A Manual for Disciples
OF PAUL'S MANY bold statements, perhaps none seems more brazen to modern readers than his demand that the Christians in Corinth take him as their model (1 Cor. 4:16). Our culture values originality, not slavish imitation. Wouldn't you rather take the...
MacArthur Encouraged Religion in Postwar Japan
A NEW BOOK on postwar Japan says Gen. Douglas MacArthur sought to fill the country's "spiritual vacuum" with religious and quasi-religious beliefs, from Christianity to Freemasonry, as an antidote to communism. In 1945 Under the Shadow of the Occupation:...
Messiah Alumni Group Supports Gay Students
ALUMNI AT evangelical Messiah College have launched an online petition urging the conservative Christian school to change its policies toward gay and lesbian students. The petition has collected hundreds of alumni signatures, with some indicating...
Ministry in the 21st Century: Josh Carney: Waco, Texas: What Is Pastoral Ministry like These Days, and How Is It Being Shaped in New Ways? the Century Talked to Pastors about the Challenges and Surprises of Their Early Years in Ministry. This Interview Is the First in a Series
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] What excites you most about ministry these days? Our church's growing diversity. University Baptist Church started with a mission to reach college students, underchurched and overchurched alike. We've maintained this goal...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, July 3 Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 I HAD JUST ARRIVED in a new parish when a member told me how, in a horrific flash of fewer than two years, her husband died, her son was incarcerated for drug possession and her daughter committed suicide....
The Anti-Gospel of Ayn Rand
The atheist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand published more than a dozen books before she died in 1982. Now some liberal Christians say another work belongs to Rand's controversial canon: the 2012 Republican budget. House Republicans passed their...
The Biggest Fish Story
I am not an experienced fisherman, but some years ago I went with a friend on his annual trip to a remote lake in Canada. We spent most of a week at the family fishing cabin on an island surrounded by a vast expanse of water. The boat trip to the island...
Toward Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament
AFTER THE END of the cold war, a new global movement arose seeking nuclear disarmament. The movement was sparked in part by a remarkable initiative by four self-described former cold warriors--former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger,...