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. 10, May 18

Abuse Scandal Puts Victims' Group Back in the Spotlight
The drumbeat of news about clergy sexual abuse began in Ireland last year. This year, the stories spread--to Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Norway. The drumbeat got louder. E-mails across the ocean continued to pour into the Chicago and St. Louis...
Appeal Planned after National Day of Prayer Is Ruled Unconstitutional
As Representative Randy Forbes (R., Va.) sees it, the decision by a Wisconsin federal judge that the law creating a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional is little more than one person's opinion. Millions of Americans think otherwise, said Forbes....
Caring and Not Caring: The Desert Christians on Apathy
I'M DELIGHTED to be back among the 400-year-old whitebark pine trees of the Wind River Range in northwest Wyoming. At tree line, near 10,000 feet, the bent and grizzled pines almost seem to thrive on wind-driven snow and sleet, lightning strikes, drought...
Deaths
* Civil rights icon and Baptist minister Benjamin Hooks, 85, died April 15 in Memphis, Tennessee. The former executive director of the NAACP was pastor of Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis for 52 years before retiring in 2008. For 30 of those...
How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders The first ever Academy Award for Best Picture was given in 1929 to Wings, a World War I aviation drama full of groundbreaking aerial sequences. People flocked to see the film...
Learning Curve
ABRAHAM HAUNTS ME. When I wrote my first Faith Matters column in 1997, I began with those three words. At that time I was in transition--moving from Maryland to North Carolina, and from a faculty position teaching undergraduates at Loyola College in...
Learning from Others: The Formation of a Theologian
I STARTED TO WRITE when I was teaching at Augustana College, but after moving to the University of Notre Dame in 1970 I really began to put words on paper. I did not write because I thought you needed to publish to get tenure. I was not that savvy...
Let's Talk about Death: End-of-Life Decisions
IT'S TEMPTING to blame partisan politics for last summer's debacle over "death panels" and the very idea of doctors and patients holding conversations about the end of life. But the truth is: these conversations are difficult. Although some people...
Misguided Missions: Ten Worst Practices
SHORT-TERM MISSION trips continue to rise in popularity. In leading such trips and researching their impact, I've found that they can have a profound effect on the faith and life of participants, and good work is often done: people living in poverty...
Obama Shifts Tactics on Muslim Outreach
Nearly a year after President Obama told an audience in Cairo that America wanted a "new beginning" with the Muslim world, evidence of that policy shift has, in recent months, become hard to ignore. The Obama administration is revising national...
Pilgrims of Our Time
Once upon a time, I Europe lived in an age of faith, which found buoyant expression in the massive popularity of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage shrines flourished across Europe, some drawing millions of followers each year, and new pilgrimage destinations...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, May 23 Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-21 IT'S AN EVER NEW story--the building of a great tower, quickly followed by a descent into babble. We citizens of the 21st millennium seem to be standing amid the bricks from our own Babel towers. It...
Remote-Control Warfare: Drone Attacks Raise Troubling Questions for Those Committed to Just War Principles
Unmanned drones have become the weapon of choice in the Obama administration, which launched more drone attacks in nine months than the Bush administration did in three years. When it comes to attacking al-Qaeda, said CIA director Leon Panetta, drones...
Rhetoric and Rage
BY ALL ACCOUNTS, the crowd that gathered outside the temporary quarters of the Roman governor in Jerusalem on a Friday morning 2,000 years ago whipped itself, or was whipped by skilled political operatives, into an angry frenzy. The issue was what...
Rites of Spring Ring in 'Church of Baseball'
Megachurch pastor Rick Warren stood on the mound at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Easter Sunday and delivered his pitch. "Baseball is a game of numbers in which every player falls short of perfection," said the best-selling author and...
Seminaries See No 'Hard Times' Uptick
The notion that enrollments at theological schools rise in tough economic times did not hold true for Protestant and Catholic seminaries in North America this academic year. In fact, over the past three years, the total student population slipped about...
The Last Station
The Last Station Directed by Michael Hoffman Starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti and James McAvoy The Last Station is a complex but entertaining study of a 48-year marriage and the way subtle and extreme changes that...
Time's Up: When the Pastor Is a Lame Duck
MY CONTRACT as "intentional transitional pastor" or interim with East Bay Community Church (not its real name) had expired, and I was working on a month-by-month "fire at will/quit at will" agreement. By the grace of God, the church and I had moved...