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. 25, December 11

Bishops Aim to Shape Political Consciences
ONE YEAR BEFORE next November's national elections, U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved new moral guidelines for Catholic voters that prioritize ending abortion and warn that political choices could affect a person's salvation. The guidelines...
Blake Formally Elected Head of Church of God in Christ
While members of the 6.5-million-member Church of God in Christ looked ahead to the denomination's 100th annual convocation in November, the bishop and megachurch pastor who serves as the de facto interim presiding bishop of the historically black...
CC Recommends
A special Christmas section of books, DVDs and CDs as recommended by the editors, film reviewers John Petrakis and Steve Vineberg, music critics Bradley Lehman and Lou Carlozo, and Mary Harris Russell, a speciakust in children's literature at Indiana...
European Panel Wary on Religious Rights in Turkey
Turkey still does not have a legal framework to ensure that religious minorities can function "without undue constraint," says a European Commission report on the country, which is seeking membership in the European Union. "Missionaries have been...
Extravagant Gift
ONE OF THE BOOKS I pull from the shelf each b Advent is A Sprig of Holly, a collection of Advent and Christmas columns written for the CHRISTIAN CENTURY a generation ago by Hal ford Luccock, who was both a great preacher and a great teacher of preaching....
Grief Work: After a Child Dies
WHEN MY WIFE and I see news reports about the deaths of young people, as we did after the grisly slaughter at Virginia Tech last April, we inevitably think back to June 1999, when we lost our son, Daniel. He was a healthy, jovial and playful boy, and...
Lesbian Clergy Couple Go on Amazing Race
Kate Lewis and Pat Hendrickson may be ordained clergy, but even before they became the latest couple eliminated from television's The Amazing Race, they knew that God wasn't really watching. "We are religious people, but we have no illusions that...
Living by the Word: Reading the Signs
Sunday, December 23 Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25 "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (Matthew 1:23). WE ARE ON the very brink of the nativity. Our sense...
Living by the Word: Risk and Fulfillment
Sunday, December 30 Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23 ALL OF THE Spirit's labor--the pruning of our imagination, the background work on our expectations--comes to fruition on Christmas Day, when we are brought into the Presence....
Methodists Ponder Cost, Size of Their Quadrennial Convention
The United Methodists gather as a legislating body only every four years, but officials say the General Conference is becoming so costly that they are thinking about new ways to function as an increasingly global church. The 2008 meeting April 23-May...
Ministry and Mission
IN JUNE, Bradley Schmeling was officially removed from the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for being in a same-sex relationship. ELCA policy excludes from ordained ministry gays who are in a relationship. However, the parish...
Parched
WE USUALLY DON'T think about water unless we're thirsty, or unless we're enduring a flood or a drought. Water has been very much on the minds of people in Georgia and other southeastern states, which have experienced the worst drought in a hundred...
Performing Scripture: Nicholas Lash on the Tasks of Theology
NICHOLAS LASH, professor at Cambridge University, has been one of the most influential theologians in the English-speaking world for the past generation. His work has helped spur the renewal of confidence among orthodox theologians working in mainline...
Political Time-Out
POLITICS PULVERIZES," observed the elegant, P white-haired editor as she looked at me across her mahogany desk. She knew about such things, having grown up a bishop's daughter, single-handedly raised several children, lost friends to war, managed a...
Primary Figures
WE SET FOR ourselves one of the strictest, sternest codes in existence," wrote South Carolina native Ben Robertson in his 1942 memoir Red Hills and Cotton, "but our country is southern ... and frequently we fail." Confusion as well as defeat is in...
Purse Race
FOR A WHILE it was expensive watches that most tempted the very rich. More recently it's been handbags for women, which are intended to be iconic advertisements for designers and to flaunt the wealth of the owners. These are presumably people who survived...
Religious Alliance Calls for Compassion toward Immigrants
While immigration reform is necessary, four Christian leaders said in a joint appeal last month in Washington, the faith community needs to help bridge the gap between immigrants and a society that often rejects them. "We call on people of faith...
Shopocalypse Now
IF YOU WANT to know the power of the demonic," Stanley Hauerwas once said, "try not being a consumer." The Church of Stop Shopping has taken on the demonic forces, and its Shopocalypse tour has been captured on film in What Would Jesus Buy? directed...
Tennessee Baptists Drop Challenge to Belmont University
In the latest test of whether Southern Baptist-related colleges can be independently run, Tennessee state Baptists have reached an agreement to drop their lawsuit to regain control of the 4,800-student Belmont University in Nashville. Belmont will...
Wartime Truths
IT TAKES a long while to assimilate Brian De Palma's Iraq war film. It's not so much that Redacted is raw and assaultive. It's that the style isn't like anything you've ever seen. It might be called a docudrama except that instead of emulating the...