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. 127, No. 11, June 1

African Lutherans Press Opposition to Gay Rites
THREE MONTHS BEFORE a major assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, church leaders in Tanzania and Ethiopia--who represent the two largest Lutheran constituencies in Africa--have expressed opposition to "same-sex marriages and those who support...
Anti-Incumbent Mood in the Missouri Synod
When the nominations for president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod were tallied and released in April, a collective gasp went up from Lutherans who pay attention to things like presidential nominations. It wasn't just that nine-year incumbent...
Can Evangelicals Live with High Court's Broadened Symbolism of the Cross?
Many evangelicals cheered when the Supreme Court ruling allowed a cross to remain as a war memorial in California's Mojave Desert. However, some Christians, including some in the evangelical camp, caution that a celebration may not be in order. ...
Deep and Wide: How My Mind Has Changed
IN SUNDAY SCHOOL more than 50 years ago we used to sing, "Deep and wide, deep and wide, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide." Perhaps our teachers knew what was flowing deep and wide, how to identify the fountain, and where whatever was flowing...
ELCA Worried by Shutdown of Publisher Pension Plan
THE EVANGELICAL Lutheran Church in America says it is "deeply concerned" about the welfare of employees who are suing the denomination's publishing arm over the termination of their pension plan. Augsburg Fortress, which publishes ELCA hymnals,...
Ex-Chaplains Reject Change for Gays in the Military
More than 40 retired military chaplains have warned President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that allowing gays to serve openly in the military will force current chaplains to choose between obeying God or men. "This forced choice must...
Fog of the Culture War
The earliest occurrence of what church historians call a jeremiad happened before there was a United States. In 1670, only 50 years after the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Reverend Samuel Danforth offered a harsh assessment of...
From Clergy Shortage to Clergy Glut
After a decade-long clergy shortage in America's pulpits, Christian denominations are now experiencing a clergy glut--with some denominations reporting that they have two ministers for every vacant pulpit. "We have a serious surplus of ministers...
It's about the Carbon: What's Worse Than the Gulf Oil Leak?
THE SUDDEN, hideous explosion of oil in the Gulf of Mexico is the latest reminder of who we really are. By we, I mean: British Petroleum: For a while it engaged in an expensive public relations campaign to restyle itself as Beyond Petroleum, but...
Kung Warns against Total Condemnation of Church over Sexual Abuse Scandal
Vatican critic Hans Kung has warned against "condemning the church and its priests wholesale" for the current spate of sexual abuse allegations. "It would be a bad generalization to place the whole clergy and Catholic Church under suspicion," the Roman...
Lovers' Quarrel
WHEN MOSES IS on Mount Sinai he offers the gutsiest prayer of all time. I'm in awe of it because it doesn't sound at all pious; it sounds like an argument. The Lord says, "Your people, who you brought out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely.......
My Church, Rachel's Church
EVERY SPRING WHEN our church confirms members of our confirmation class, I reflect on my own experience of joining the church. I don't think we called it confirmation back then--that was something the Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans did. We...
Preferential Hiring?
Iraqi immigrant Saad Mohammad Ali worked for six months as a volunteer with World Relief, helping the nonprofit Christian-based agency resettle Iraqi refugees in the Seattle area. Apparently he was good at his work, for his superiors at World Relief...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, June 6 1 Kings 17:8-24; Luke 7:11-17 AS WE STRUGGLE to stay alert to the constant demands of the needy, we pastors sometimes forget that we take for granted others in our congregations who seem strong and whole. This applies particularly...
Repentance: Repeat as Needed
THE PARISH liturgy committee decided to adopt the contemporary version of the Lord's Prayer for use during worship. From now on, at least at one of the services, we'd be "sinners" instead of "trespassers." The next Sunday a distraught man cornered...
Thanks, but No Thanks: Congregations Say No to the Faith-Based Initiative
MORE THAN A decade ago, the faith-based initiative was launched in Congress with the idea of tapping the energy and genius of religious organizations, including congregations, to meet social needs The idea of fostering more government partnerships...
The Eclipse
The Eclipse Directed by Conor McPherson Starring Ciaran Hinds, Iben Hjejle, Aidan Quinn and Jim Norton The modest Irish picture The Eclipse has slipped below almost everyone's radar; it's moving quietly across the country in brief art-house engagements....