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. 125, No. 12, June 17

Aid Groups Feel the Pinch of Rising Food and Gas Prices
Dramatic increases in food and gas prices are leaving some religious hunger-relief groups praying for relief. Problems were already apparent in 2006, but U.S. churches now report increased difficulty getting meals to people who need them. Food distributors...
Bishop Calls on Kansas Governor to Stop Taking Communion
The Catholic archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, said he hopes Governor Kathleen Sebelius will abide by his request for her to stop receiving communion before he has to take further punitive measures because she supports abortion rights. "There are...
Conversation on Race
LAST MONTH the United Church of Christ invited its congregations to conduct a "sacred conversation" about race in response to the controversy swirling around Trinity United Church of Christ and its now retired pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Assuming that...
Eight Points about Iran's Nuclear Program
1. The U.S. government's National Intelligence Estimate reported in November 2007 that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003. Iran is developing the capacity to enrich uranium, as it is entitled to do under the Nuclear Nonproliferation...
Executive Perspective: An Interview with Clifton Kirkpatrick
MORE THAN ANY other mainline Protestant executive in the past dozen years, Clifton Kirkpatrick of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been on the hot seat almost annually over church disputes, usually concerning the ordination of noncelibate gay clergy...
Failing Christianity
I TEACH A VARIETY of courses at Piedmont College, but "Introduction to World Religions" is my favorite. I have taught it more than 20 times now, to more than 500 students. One of them tells me how different the news from Iraq sounds now that she knows...
First Call: From Seminary to Parish
I WAS A freshly minted product of seminary, plopped down by the bishop into a forlorn little church in rural Georgia. During my first sermons, my congregation stared at me impassively. At first I thought that the seemingly unbridgeable gulf between...
Inside Iran: First-Person Encounters
EARLY IN MY VISIT to Iran I was introduced to Nesa, 24, who was eager for contact with Americans. A recent university graduate who hopes to get a doctorate in English literature, she was also eager to explain her nation. "Iran is a complex country,"...
IRS Ends Probe of UCC on Obama Talk, Clears Pastor on Huckabee Endorsement
In letters sent on successive days, the Internal Revenue Service said it concluded that neither the United Church of Christ, whose national convention heard Barack Obama speak, nor a Southern Baptist pastor, who publicly backed Mike Huckabee, violated...
McCain Rejects Support of Pastors Hagee and Parsley
Presumed Republican presidential nominee John McCain has rejected the political endorsements of two mega-church pastors after learning more about their disparaging views of other faiths. The Arizona senator rejected on May 22 the backing of Rod...
Mortal Fears
IN MY EARLIER YEARS, my mother would often say to me, "Someday when I am old and gray ..." I later used the phrase with my children in what they rightly described as guilt peddling. No doubt at times my mother evoked the phrase for that purpose. Recently,...
Protestant Groups Join Episcopal Fight over Church Properties
Sixteen Protestant denominations and regional districts have joined a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in contesting a Reconstruction-era state law that governs church splits. The post-Civil War splintering...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, June 22 Romans 6:1b-11 IT'S STILL DARK on Easter morning as I join other worshipers for our annual sunrise service. We gather on a tree-studded hillside in a cemetery that overlooks a peaceful river. As the first shards of light glisten...
Ronald
RONALD AUTRY has always been called Ronald, never Ron or Ronnie, during the years that we have known him. We have spent time with his family in Vermont and visited them in Des Moines; we have spent hours doing jigsaw puzzles with Ronald, who is is...
Son of Rambow
Son of Rambow Written and directed by Garth Jennings. Starring Bill Milner and Will Poulter. I took my 11-year-old son to see Son of Rambow as a form of retreat from the current armada of blockbusters. I had heard that the film, an audience...
Talk to Iran
Areport emerged from President Bush's visit to Israel saying that Bush told Israeli leaders he intends to launch a military strike against Iran before he leaves office. The president is reported to have said that Hezbollah's recent show of military...
The Pastor Behind the Gay Marriage Ruling
Little noted in the history behind the California Supreme Court decision that gives the "right to marry" to same-sex couples are the bold steps taken over four decades by onetime Pentecostal minister Troy Perry in trying to establish legal and religious...
Waiting for the Mahdi: Jesus and the Shi'a Savior
WHEN IRAN president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed an open letter to George W. Bush in May 2006, he invoked Judgment Day, the day when the deeds of all political leaders will be examined. Ahmadinejad asked Bush whether either of them would be accepted...