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. 23, November 14

Arrested Development
IN DIRECTOR Todd Field's Little Children, adapted from Tom Perrotta's best-selling novel, Kate Winslet plays Sarah, an intelligent, expensively educated woman who is raising a preschool daughter in the suburbs. Her husband, Richard (Gregg Edelman),...
Best Gift
THE BEST GIFT I ever received was something I never wanted. A few days before I finished my 12th and final year as pastor of a church I loved deeply, the congregation's lay leader shuffled into my office. Nobody had bothered to vote James Alexander...
End Game: Living Joyfully in an Apocalyptic Time
IN HER 2004 BOOK The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Westview), Barbara R. Rossing challenged notions about the rapture and the end-times destruction of the earth that are popular in evangelical Christian circles and...
Episcopal Membership Loss 'Precipitous'
AFTER A PERIOD of modest declines and gains, the Episcopal Church has suffered a net loss of nearly 115,000 members over the past three years--with homosexuality issues fueling the departures. The Episcopal Church, whose active membership has slipped...
Influential Dozen Seek to Help Democrats Bridge 'God Gap'
At a meeting of the House Democrats' Faith Working Group, a perplexed member of Congress turned to his colleagues for pastoral guidance. How could he counter a local preacher who argued that all Jesus" moral teachings were about the world to come,...
Living by the Word: Royal Choice
Sunday, November 26 Revelation 1:4b-8 ENVISION THIS SCENE: A high-profile pastor passionately describes what the kingdom would be like if political leaders committed to God were elected. He calls it the God Ticket. As he speaks, the Jumbo-Tron screen...
Living by the Word: Temple Talk
Sunday, November 19 Mark 13:1-8 AS MARK TELLS the story, Jesus spoke these words from chapter 13 at the end of a Tuesday just days before his crucifixion. He and the disciples were standing on the Temple Mount, gazing at one of the most opulent...
Marked Man
MAURICIO AVILEZ isn't sleeping well. He's jumpy. It's hard for him to concentrate on his studies. He's learned surreptitiously that the paramilitary groups in his country, Colombia, want him dead. So he worries about unfamiliar cars on his street and...
Moderate Will Lead Christian Coalition
An organization once synonymous with the religious right has named as its new president a pastor who is becoming known as a critic of conservative Christians wedded to Republican politics. The Christian Coalition last month named Joel Hunter, pastor...
Paying Attention
I WAS FASCINATED to learn that New Testament scholar Barbara Rossing was first drawn to studying the book of Revelation because of her interest in environmental issues (see page 22). Many of us are not much interested in apocalyptic literature, especially...
Peace Prize Winner among Pioneers in Microfinance Loans
This year's selection of the Nobel Peace Prize winner has thrown the spotlight on Christian-supported microfinance and banking institutions that make small loans to help poor people build a future. The Norwegian Peace Prize committee announced that...
Pentecostal Power: Conversions in El Salvador
THE TOMB OF Archbishop Oscar Romero is all but hidden in the basement of the national cathedral in San Salvador. Though the memorial was recently beautified to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1980 assassination, no signs point to its location. Of...
Race and Romance
"You two would have beautiful children!" "What did his parents say?" "Do you guys think it's more difficult being together in the South?" "Have you found churches to be welcoming?" "The fact that you guys are dating says a lot about his...
Room Service
MANY CHRISTIANS' image of a labor leader is of a Jimmy Hoffa--like cigar-chomping political boss--a figure as morally suspect as the industry captains labor tangles with. I tended to have this image in mind too until I met some pastor-organizers and...
Sneers
AT A CONFERENCE in Maine last month I was cast along-side Richard Dawkins, author of the best-selling The God Delusion. But we did not debate. We were on parallel paths and went in opposite directions. His career and his book are devoted to opposing...
Surprise Ending: Imagining Heaven
DOES ANYONE even think of heaven apart from the experience of loss? My guess is no. The land of the living is so preoccupying that it takes some radical disenchantment to get most of us to entertain anything beyond the here and now. Or to put it another...
Textbook Case
WHEN ASKED ABOUT the Bible course at the local public high school, a West Texas minister told the Abilene Reporter News, "My hope is the end result is they read their Bible and start asking questions elsewhere and they become Christians. That's the...