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. 123, No. 7, April 4

Alabama College Struggles with Ties to Accused Arsonists
Birmingham-Southern College has long prided itself on the actions of students who have gone all over the world--and as far away as Mother Teresa's mission in Calcutta--to-perform good deeds as part of the college's social-service emphasis. Now the...
Anglican Body Could Rupture, Says Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has warned in a television interview that the worldwide Anglican Communion may "rupture" over the issue of homosexuality. Anglicans have been riven with division since the 2003 election of V. Gene Robinson,...
A Pastoral Voice: An Interview with Marilynne Robinson
IN 1980, Marilynne Robinson published her first novel, Housekeeping, which won a PEN/Hemingway Award and was made into a movie. She published nonfiction works during the next 24 years, including The Death of Adam and Mother Country, but kept her fans...
Arsonists at Play
THE REIGN of terror against rural Alabama churches appears to be over. Three college men--all honor students, and two of them students at a United Methodist school, Birmingham-Southern College--have confessed to setting nine churches on fire. In the...
A Thousand Little Maps
SUMMERS ARE hot in South Texas. Unthinkably hot. Impossibly hot. Your skin starts to sting the minute you step outside. In the hottest part of the day, everything stops. Insects crawl underground. Animals run and hide. Mosquitoes go wherever it is...
Bidding Farewell: At the Last Supper
"Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, 'Where I am going you cannot come.'" ... Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you...
Bumper-Sticker Theology
AS A LECTIONARY PREACHER who works mainly on Sundays, I have spent much of my preaching life grazing the well-fertilized pastures that my tradition has laid out for me. Sometimes I press up against the fence, drooling over an especially tasty-looking...
Christian Peace Activists Vow to Stay in Iraq
THE NORTH AMERICAN group Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) says it will continue its work in Iraq despite the murder of one of four team members abducted months earlier. The body of American Quaker peace activist and CPT member Tom Fox, 54, of Clear...
Graham's 'Last' Sermon Given in New Orleans
Evangelist Billy Graham seems to have closed out his 60-year career as the country's most famous evangelist. After calling thousands to faith decisions at a brief appearance in wounded New Orleans last month, he acknowledged that "this is probably...
Living by the World: Dangling Gospel
Sunday, April 16 Mark 16:1-8 MOST NEW TESTAMENT scholars say that the Gospel of Mark originally ended with the story of the women who go to the cemetery, only to encounter a mysterious young man pointing to Jesus' empty tomb and announcing the resurrection....
Living by the World: Donkey Fetchers
Sunday, April 9 Mark 11:1-11 AS JESUS WAS about to descend the Mount of Olives to enter Jerusalem, Mark reports, he dispatched two of his disciples to fetch a colt. A seemingly minor matter of transportation it would seem, but surprisingly, over...
Mr. Chappelle's Neighborhood
IF THERE IS a movie that can make you feel optimistic about the possibilities of forming community in America, Dave Chappelle's Block Party is it. In September 2004 Chappelle, an African-American stand-up comic, celebrated his $50 million contract...
Nightmare in Iraq: On the Brink of Civil War
THE VOLATILE cultural divisions and blowback inevitabilities that the Bush administration ignored on its march to war have pushed Iraq to the edge of civil war. Much of Iraq's Sunni population supports the insurgency, the Shi'ite militia movement is...
Party On
FOR YEARS my multiyear calendar has had a listing for April 19, 2009: "Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Minneapolis." "You must really be in demand!" someone or other who peruses the schedule says. Hardly. Mt. Olive, a favorite parish of family members in...
Purpose-Driven in Brazil
BRAZIL OFFERS a major example of the explosive growth of evangelical and Pentecostal churches taking place in the Southern Hemisphere. Reportedly 40 new churches open every week in Rio de Janeiro (and for 50 reales--roughly $23--you can register your...
Sound Alternatives
IMAGINE YOU'RE part of a tandem making your first documentary film. Your experience: zero. In fact, you've never even worked a hand-held videocamera. Your subject matter: the fringes of Christian music. Your own religious identity: atheist. On the...
Sunrise
IN THE DAYS before Easter, preachers find themselves ricocheting back and forth between anticipation of full-to-overflowing sanctuaries and anxiety about being up to the task. In the ease of the people who make it to church only on Easter, the preacher...
What Would Coach K Say?
IN CHICAGO winter lingers well into March, like a house guest unaware that she's worn out her welcome. But some of us hardly notice: we're mesmerized by the NCAA basketball tournament involving 65 teams from Division 1 schools. What makes this tournament...