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. 122, No. 19, September 20

A Desire for God
THE ENORMOUS ecumenical impact of the Taize community, with its haunting music and its tradition of silent prayer and meditative chant, is astonishing given that the community never promoted itself. No doubt many American Christians who have made the...
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Back to Fundamentals
MANY OF YOU may be asking why a former politician is giving a Bible lecture to an assembly of highly qualified Christian leaders. My only credential is experience. I began teaching Bible lessons as a young midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, and...
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Breaking the Cycle
BLOOD FEUDS have plagued society for millennia and are still common in some parts of the world. I have experienced them between villages next to each other in Upper Egypt. The discoverer of the Nag Hammadi Codices, Muhammad Ali, told me that someone...
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Defeated in Votes, American Bapist Conservatives Organize
Rebuffed at national meetings of American Baptists that declined to adopt tough stances against homosexuality, some conservative leaders will meet this month near Chicago to expand an alternate missionary organization. A leader of the fledgling Great...
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First-Year Bishop: Dispatch from Birmingham: In My Job I Get to See Moribund Churches. I Also Get Blindsided by the Undeniable Fidelity of God's People
ON MY LAST Sunday in Duke Chapel, after I'd preached to a full church and received a standing ovation after my sermon, a sophomore came up to me and said, "Thanks for abandoning us. What am I supposed to do for spiritual guidance now?" I told him...
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Guest Appearance
ACCORDING TO Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of Great Britain, the Hebrew Bible contains only one commandment to love the neighbor but no less than 36 commands to love the stranger. Throughout Torah, the reason given for this moral teaching is that the...
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Iraqi Constitution Draft Worries Minorities
Iraqis will vote October 15 on a proposal for a permanent constitution that many Sunni Muslim leaders, other religious minorities and secularists find deeply troubling. The drafting committee, made up mainly of Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim Arabs and...
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Keep It to Yourself
LIKE W. C. FIELDS and most Christians, I spend a good deal of time reading the Bible, looking for loopholes. Recently, I focused on getting off the hook with respect to the sin of gossip. I was moved to do this after reading two New York Times articles...
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Living by the Word: Dinner Reservations: The Troubling Parable of the Vineyard Has Been Left at the Doorstep of the Church
Sunday, October 2 Matthew 21:33-46 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'? Therefore I tell you,...
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Living by the Word: Showing Up
Sunday, September 25 Matthew 21:23-32 A MISSIONARY friend was scheduled to speak about his mission work at a distant church. He got up before daybreak that Sunday morning and drove 300 miles, preached at two services and spent the afternoon speaking...
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Northern Ireland Continues to See Sectarian Attacks
Sectarian attacks in Northern Ireland were showing no sign of abating by the end of August, despite a recent declaration by the Irish Republican Army that if will lay down its arms, according to both Catholic and Protestant communities reporting attacks....
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Not in Our Backyard
PHILOSOPHER Immanuel Kant argued that it is always wrong to treat a person or a people purely as a means to an end. According to Kant, to say nothing of common moral sense, human beings are subjects and as such should never to be treated as mere instruments...
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Poll: Teach Evolution and Creationism
NEARLY TWO-THIRDS of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools, according to a new poll, but there is far less agreement over who gets to decide what is taught. About 64 percent support teaching both evolution...
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Presbyterian Panel Opens Window for Gays
A special panel has urged the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to maintain its ban on noncelibate gay clergy, but the panel also wants local congregations to determine when to apply--or bypass--that standard. The 20-member task force, which has spent...
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Reed, BYU Ranked as Most Secular, Religious
If you are about to spend $40,000 a year to send your offspring to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, you can rest assured that he or she will get the nation's top-ranked overall academic experience for undergrads. The one thing the Reed student won't...
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Robertson's Words Draw Rebukes
Pat Robertson's suggestion about assassinating Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continued to reverberate, with a wide spectrum of religious leaders decrying his televised remarks. Robertson, the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, first...
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Sound Alternatives
O How The Mighty Have Fallen, by The Choir (Galaxy Music). Alternative Christian rock. The first new Choir disc in five years recalls U2, Coldplay and the Wallflowers. From the nitro-burning "Nobody Gets a Smooth Ride" to the lovely, melodic chorus...
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Teaching Moments
SOME THEOLOGIANS seem to disdain the church as they shine their scholarly light on the church's triviality, unfaithfulness and banality. Other theologians have the same capacity for critical thinking, but they sit in the pew on Sunday morning, participate...
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The Burden of the Gospels: An Unconfident Faith: The Gospels Present Us with Peculiar Questions, Ones That We Can't Escape and Can't Really Answer
ANYBODY HALF AWAKE these days will be aware that there are many Christians who are exceedingly confident in their understanding of the Gospels, and who are exceedingly self-confident in their understanding of themselves in their faith. They appear...
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The Making of Taize
ALMOST EVERYONE engaged in the search for Christian unity has at some point received important impulses from the Taize community. And whoever speaks of Taize is bound to speak of Roger Schutz (1915-2005), whose intuitions and initiatives turned the...
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Zimbabwean Churches Form Coalition to Aid Demolition Victims
An alliance of church groups in Zimbabwe is forming a coalition to aid victims of the government's "drive out trash" campaign that the United Nations estimates has cost 700,000 Zimbabweans their homes or livelihoods or both. "Churches have formed...
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