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. 129, No. 5, March 7

Anglican Splinter Group Faces New Power Struggle
Founded by breakaway Episcopal priests who left their former denomination because they felt it was too liberal, the Anglican Mission in the Americas is now in the middle of another ugly church feud. The last time the fight was over sex and salvation....
Antipoverty Campaign?
In January, a CBS poll found Rick Santorum running a distant third in the Republican presidential race. After his February 7 victories, CBS polled Republican voters again--and found the former senator from Pennsylvania on top. The now serious possibility...
Appeals Court Nullifies Same-Sex Marriage Ban
In a decision that likely will set the stage for a high-stakes showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure that banned gay marriage, saying there is no "legitimate"...
Ecumenical Group Affirms Relationship with Vatican
One of the world's most recent ecumenical entities, the Global Christian Forum, has met in Rome with Vatican officials, affirming the journey together in the search for Christian unity. In his first forum committee meeting since becoming secretary...
Eventual Grace: The Long Path to Reconciliation
MY MOTHER and her sister (my favorite aunt) recently saw each other across a row of elliptical machines at the local YMCA. After not speaking for almost 20 years, they agreed to meet for coffee. The details of their estrangement are too many and complex...
High Anxiety: The Terror of the Dark Unknown
FEAR THRIVES in the face of the unknown. It is often beyond words and images; it is a physiological response to silence, darkness, tomorrow. It is almost always about death. You can't live in fear, at least not for very long. But you have options....
Homegrown Muslim Terror Threat 'Tiny,' Report Says
The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is "tiny" and often exaggerated by government officials, a leading antiterrorism expert said in a recent report. Charles Kurzman, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a researcher...
Idol Smasher
CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST Ross Douthat sparked a minor but fascinating skirmish over religion when he penned a piece in the New York Times about the late Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great. Calling him "the believer's atheist," Douthat marveled...
In Praise of Snow
Call it a Chicago winter survival skill. Usually by this time you've shoveled enough snow to begin to hate the stuff. So it's time to concentrate on snow's beauty. And it is beautiful. Sometimes it falls like dust, accumulating like soil. Other...
It Is about the Money: Against Docetic Offertory Prayers
DOCETISM IS an ancient Christian heresy--one of the earliest, in fact. Docetism taught that Jesus' physical body was an illusion. That meant that Jesus' crucifixion was illusory as well. Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and only seemed to...
Life and Health
I RECALL three times when the churches I served were picketed. On one occasion, some neighbors were opposed to a development project in which the church was a partner. The opponents handed flyers to worshipers as they arrived and departed, describing...
Megachurch Pastor Resigns, Suit Alleges Sexual Coercion
When megachurch pastor Tyrone Gordon announced January 22 that he was resigning in mid-February from St. Luke Community United Methodist Church--a 6,000-member Dallas congregation that is one of the largest predominantly African-American churches in...
Our Life Together: Four Practices of Healthy Congregations
THE BREAKDOWN could have been avoided. But then, few breakdowns in community are inevitable. In this case, some folks made several poor decisions. Other people responded poorly to the poor decisions. Words were exchanged, positions hardened, sides...
Out of the Shadows: Isabel Castillo, Immigration Activist
ISABEL CASTILLO, 27, has been organizing in support of the Dream Act, legislation that would open a path to legal residency and eventual citizenship for immigrants who came to the US. as minors. The bill passed the US. House of Representatives in 2010...
Reactions Vary on Obama's Contraception Compromise
Facing growing furor from religious groups, President Obama unveiled an "accommodation" in which health insurance companies, rather than religious institutions, will provide employees with contraception coverage. The revised approach effectively...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday March 11 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 A YEAR BEFORE my ordination I shadowed a seasoned pastor as he visited some of the saints of our church at a care facility in Austell, Georgia. We went from door to door and sat and listened and prayed. ...
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Directed by David Fincher Starring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer David Fincher's film of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo should please fans of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Fincher and...
Till Death, or Brain Injury, Us Do Part?
Philip Weeks fondly remembers the days when his wife of 56 years, June, was a nurse and an artist whose paintings were compared to Rembrandt's. Her paintings still hang in their home in Lynchburg, Virginia, but almost everything else changed for the...