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. 6, March 22

Allowing Local Option Would Fracture ELCA, Say Lutheran Critics
If this summer's Evangelical Lutheran Church in America convention follows the advice of a sexuality task force to selectively permit ordination of homosexual pastors without fear of church discipline, the denomination will suffer "structural dissolution"...
Anglicans Shut Door, but Leave Room for North Americans
Almost more than any other Christian group, Anglicans are notoriously--and proudly--hard to pin down. They are not fully Protestant yet not quite Catholic; hierarchical yet independent; scripturally literate but not literalistic; equal parts New York...
Century Marks
PREACH IT: Although he attended seminary, James R. Krabill says he did not really learn how to preach until he spent time with African-initiated churches in Ivory Coast. There he met Papa Benoit, an elderly preacher who had never been to school. Benoit's...
Characters
TRAPPED ON a plane on a runway in Atlanta the other evening, I had three hours to catch up on back issues of the Times Literary Supplement. Instinctively, I looked for M.E.M.O material. There on the runway I encountered some memorable aspects of some...
Cousin Thomas
Sunday, April 3 John 20:19-31 HEY YOU! Don't even think of parking that sermon near this playground! Take your Doubting-Thomas-Mobile to some other lot. Don't even wait here with your motor running. OK--maybe it sounds like I don't have a life....
Dazzling Truth
EASTER IS a terrific story," says Tony Hendra, an actor, satirist and author of the wonderful book Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Life. So it is, and so we rediscover each year as we turn to the familiar narratives. The Gospels' accounts are themselves...
Getting Religion
DEMOCRATIC PARTY leaders and progressive religious activists are persevering in their separate but complementary efforts to shape a connection between faith and polities. This is happening despite some embarrassing missteps last summer by party officials,...
Israel's Nonsacrifice
WHEN HISTORIANS look back on the current false peace between Israel and the Palestinians to determine what ended the Palestinian dream of a viable state, they'll find answers in a February 24 New York Times editorial. There they will discover that...
Justices Ponder Ten Commandments Displays
IF THE U.S. Supreme Court prohibits public displays of the Ten Commandments nationwide, all heck may break loose, say some religious conservatives. They predict that the furor would exceed the reaction when a California court ruled that "under God"...
Keanu to the Rescue
HELL WANTS HIM, heaven won't take him, earth needs him." So proclaims the poster for Constantine. It sounds like an ad for a previous Keanu Reeves movie, the ridiculous Devil's Advocate. Yet some of the same publicists who promoted Mel Gibson's The...
McLaren Talk Canceled by Kentucky Baptists
Author-pastor Brian McLaren, recently listed by Time magazine as one of the country's most influential evangelicals, was removed as a scheduled speaker by a Kentucky (Southern) Baptist evangelism conference after a review of his book A Generous Orthodoxy...
No Time to Linger
Sunday, March 27 John 20:1-18 VERY EARLY IN the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. Dark. First light. Dawn. A few minutes of extraordinary encounter. This scene at the tomb of Jesus bestows...
Rare Alignment
ONE OF MY desk drawers is filled with old calendars, which I've been saving as a prop for a faulty memory. I suspect it's a fruitless exercise. Appointments and to-do lists, however necessary, don't add up to a life, and the dates that really do matter...
Ruling to Ban Minors' Executions Is Praised
A U.S. Supreme Court decision this month to ban execution of juvenile offenders is finding strong support among some national religious groups. The 5-4 decision will remove from death row about 70 individuals who were convicted of murders committed...
Text Messages: Gadamer, Derrida and How We Read
THE LITERARY PHENOMENON of "deconstruction" is regarded by many as an irresponsible fad that has now become pass& Fortunately, most of the wild, irresponsible readings of texts that went under the banner of "deconstruction" are passe. Yet in the...
The Human Specimen
THERE IS SOME uncertainty about what to do with the dead. Should we anoint them, embalm them, bury them, preserve them in vaults, or burn them up and keep their ashes on the shelf? Recently people have started doing some disturbing new things with...
Trusting and Believing
A PAIR OF British imports explores faith of different kinds. Millions, directed by Danny Boyle from a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce, is by far the slicker of the two. It is chock-full of glitzy visual effects, something to be expected from the man...
WCC Endorses Divestment from Israel
The World Council of Churches has urged its 347 member denominations to give "serious consideration" to pulling investments out of Israel in protest of what it sees as mistreatment of Palestinians. In calling for church-sponsored "economic pressure,"...
Where's the Compassion?
PRESIDENT BUSH may truly care about the poor and about people down on their luck, and he may want the public and private sectors to join in efforts to help. But his actions suggest he is engaged in what the Wall Street Journal calls a "war on the war...