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. 9, May 4

Best Sellers
Baker Academic 1. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey by Mark Allan Powell 2. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation by James K A. Smith 3. The Drama of Scripture: Finding...
Christian Terrorists?
The Christian militia group known as the Hutaree, whose leaders were arrested by the FBI during Holy Week, is fond of quoting Christian scripture. Its Web site features this line from Jesus in the Gospel of John: "Greater love hath no man than this,...
Churches Cheer Agreement on Reducing Weapons
When President Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev met in Prague on April 8 to sign a new agreement on nuclear weapons, it marked one more step in the religious community's long campaign to reduce, if not end, the threat of nuclear war. ...
Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Undermines Pope Benedict's Crusade to Reclaim Europe
Days after being elected pope, Pope Benedict XVI referred to one of Europe's patron saints, Benedict of Nursia, as he explained his choice of papal name to thousands of pilgrims massed in St. Peter's Square. "He represents a fundamental point of reference...
God the Insomniac
My favorite theological joke is the old chestnut that asks: What do you call an agnostic dyslexic insomniac? Answer: Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there is a dog. In retelling this joke, I mean no disrespect to those who struggle...
Liberal D.C. Pastors Torn in Response to Gay Marriage
In the nation's capital, it now would be legal for Mary Kay Totty to perform marriages of same-sex couples. But in the United Methodist Church, the denomination that ordained Totty two decades ago, that act could get her defrocked. Totty, 46, said...
Mystery of Evil
THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury recently observed that "P. D. James is our most Augustinian writer." James's reflections in her 2009 book Talking, About Detective Fiction justify Rowan Williams's claim. She writes that murder mysteries have an immense...
Obama Bares His Christian Soul
President Obama bared his soul before a cross section of Christian leaders at a White House Easter breakfast on April 6. He spoke publicly of his faith in redemption through Jesus in the most personal terms since becoming president. Addressing his...
Pope Names Conservative Hispanic to Succeed Cardinal Mahony in L.A
"This an epic moment in the life of the church," exuded Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, the most populous U.S. Catholic archdiocese. The prelate was speaking of his projected successor to lead 4.18 million Catholics in heavily Hispanic southern...
Poverty Ravages Zimbabwe, Christian Students Report
Poverty is so bad in Zimbabwe that students sometimes resort to prostitution to survive, says a new report by women in the country's Student Christian Movement. A power-sharing government of Zimbabwe's two main political parties and a small splinter...
Reading Life
I ORDERED Garrison Keillor's Life among the Lutherans as soon as I heard about it. Who could resist a title like that? Besides, in a way, it is a description of my life. Lutherans consistently have been important in my life. In my days in Columbus,...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, May 9 John 5:1-9 AT ONE TIME I volunteered at an annex to a church where we collected mail for the homeless, dispensed sandwiches and snacks, helped with health issues, job hunting and so on. Sometimes the work was heartbreaking: pregnant...
Reform Rabbis More Open to Intermarriage
In a major shift, Reform rabbis have publicly acknowledged intermarriage as a given that calls for increased outreach and understanding, rather than as a threat to Jewish identity that must be resisted at all costs. The Central Conference of American...
Unequipped: A Pastor's Continuing Education
"YOU ARE NOT EQUIPPED." The preacher looked straight at me as he repeated this sentence in a stern refrain. Looking across the worship space, I could see some uncertain faces, as the warning rang through a room festively decorated in red and filled...
Why I Read the Gita
T. S. ELIOT ONCE declared--and I agree--that the greatest philosophical poem next to the Divine Comedy is the Bhagavad Gita ("Song of the Blessed One"), the most widely revered of the sacred texts of India. Once or twice a year I reread the Gita, relying...