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. 124, No. 19, September 18

Face to Face
OUR CULTURE'S ever-increasing individualism is about to take a decisive turn. Any day now self-checkout lanes in our stores will outnumber the lanes that lead shoppers to a human cashier. At that point, "going to the market" will become a solitary...
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Gangs and God: How Churches Are Reaching Out: The Best Response to Gangs Is Neither to Vilify Them nor to Romanticize Them, but to Be the Church for and with Them
AT A RECENT gathering of ministers, I asked a colleague what was new at her parish. "I've been doing a lot with gang ministry," said Maria Edmonds, a pastor in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. "I'm trying to get gang members into the...
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Getting to No: Learning to Say No Is How We Clear Space for a Few Fully Planted Yeses to Grow
FEW YEARS AGO I bought a book on leadership called Getting to Yes. I think it was about moving from win-lose situations to win-win situations in which everyone involved has an easier time "getting to yes." I cannot say for sure since I never read it,...
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Group Abandons Plan to Send Troops 'Left Behind' Games
An evangelical entertainment troupe has abandoned plans to send a controversial video game in care packages to U.S. troops in Iraq. As a member of the Pentagon's "America Supports You" program, Dallas-based Operation Straight Up planned to include...
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Heavy Lifting
A FEW YEARS AGO one of my adult children picked up a book of theology I was reading, leafed through a few pages, then asked, "Dad, why are you still reading this stuff?" Good question. There are many reasons why I read this stuff: Because I need to...
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Hymns Celebrated on Charles Wesley's 300th Anniversary
Hymn writer Charles Wesley, the younger and less celebrated of two brothers whose work led to the forming of the Methodist Church, is being honored at a London exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of his birth in December. "Hark the Herald:...
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Lesbian Is Candidate to Be Next Episcopal Bishop of Chicago
The Episcopal Church's struggle with the worldwide Anglican Communion over homosexuality and biblical interpretation took another turn just before the Labor Day weekend with news that one of five clergy nominated to be the next Episcopal bishop of...
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Living by the Word: At Ease in Zion
Sunday, September 30 Amos 6:1-7, Psalm 146 AMOS WAS ONE prophet who knew how to afflict the comfortable. He seemed to have it in for those who had done all right for themselves. His theological motto could well have been: If it feels good, God doesn't...
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Living by the Word: Singing the Blues
Sunday, October 7 Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4; Psalm 137; Luke 17:5-10 HABAKKUK HAS a complaint. There is violence. There is wrongdoing and trouble. Ruin and strife and contention are in his face. He cries out for help, but God doesn't seem to be listening....
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New Life for Old Church Buildings
Dozens of children chattered with excitement in a space where the faithful of the former Heights United Presbyterian Church once raised their voices in worship. The pews were gone, and the sanctuary had become a youth-club basketball court in Cleveland...
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Re-Bourne
THE IMMENSELY exciting Bourne trilogy, culled from Robert Ludlum's best sellers, builds to a satisfying conclusion in The Bourne Ultimatum, which ties together the arcs of The Bourne Identity (in which amnesiac CIA "black ops" agent Jason Bourne attempts...
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Tax Dollars at Work: Even the Pentagon May Not Know How Many Military Bases the U.S. Has Overseas
IN A SMALL-GROUP setting at the World Council of Churches Assembly in 2006, a Paraguayan couple timidly mentioned their concerns about the United States building a military base in their country. The Americans in the group were shocked: they didn't...
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The Next Chapter
READERS often ask, "Whence issue these columns?" Here's the current answer. Last winter we traded our suburban home of 43 years for high-rise housing in downtown Chicago. We can see three states looking south from our condo, and from my study, looking...
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Toxic Trailers: FEMA Resisted Evidence That Its Emergency Trailers Are a Hazard to Health
THE SECOND anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has come and gone, and the storm's devastation continues to take its toll--sometimes in ways that are the consequence of human negligence, indifference, incompetence and just plain stinginess. For example,...
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Two Years after Katrina
PASTOR R. C. BLAKES has two flocks in two different cities. On Sunday mornings in New Orleans, services are packed at his New Home Family Worship Center, which is working to get all of its ministry programs up and running two years after Hurricane...
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Uncorrected: Failures of the Juvenile Justice System
AT AGE 12 Lionel Tate killed his six-year-old playmate. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Five years later, in 2004, appellate courts overturned Tate's conviction, and a plea bargain led to his...
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Where the Jobs Are
ON JUNE 28, President Bush's grand bargain with Congress over immigration reform legislation collapsed. The event is best understood not as a failure of short-term political leadership, but rather as an inevitable long-term consequence of NAFTA (North...
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