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. 7, April 4

A Browser's Lament
First there was a Barnes and Noble, and then a Borders Bookstore moved into the neighborhood. Then after a while the Barnes and Noble dropped out, and we were left with one bookstore--until last year, when Borders went out of business. Now we are without...
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A Global Identity: Can United Methodism Restructure Itself?
UNITED METHODISTS may be excused for being a bit confused about their denominational identity these days. Though it is the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.--behind the Southern Baptist Convention--the U.S. membership of the United...
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Armed and Dangerous
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse By Jay Rubenstein Basic Books, 424 pp., $29.99 The end is nigh. Or is it? American Christians have long been fascinated by biblical prophecies anticipating...
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Borrowers and Lenders
More than three years after recklessly speculative banking practices plunged the U.S. economy--and especially the housing market--into a freefall, five of the nation's largest banks agreed to provide $26 billion in relief to people struggling to pay...
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Christians Make Up Half of the World's Migrants
Christians comprise half of the world's 214 million migrants--those who have moved from their country of birth and are now living permanently in a different country--a new study released March 8 has concluded. The study by the Pew Research Center's...
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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Directed by Stephen Daldry Starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn and Max yon Sydow It takes a tremendous amount of delicacy and tact to pull off a movie about 9/11 without making the audience feel...
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Hopes for an 'Ecumenical Spring'
For years, advocates for greater unity among Christian churches have wrung their hands and talked of an "ecumenical winter." But now, ten years after leaders took the first steps toward forming the broad-based group Christian Churches Together in the...
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Living by the Word
Easter Sunday, April 8 John 20:1-18 JOHN'S TELLING of the encounter of Mary Magdalene with the risen Christ is striking for its narrative perspective. This might seem to be among its less remarkable features to most readers, but a writer reads...
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Longing for Certainty
ONE OF THE SAINTS in my life died recently. I knew about Presbyterian pastor Harry Geissinger because of his prominence in the Pennsylvania town of my youth. But then one day I met him for a lunch meeting--one that I'll never forget. I was trying...
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Minnesota Church Learns Price of Supporting Gays
A small Minnesota church is finding out the high cost of standing up for same-sex equality--while also receiving an unexpected lifeline from the very people it decided to support. When Pastor Oliver White voted in favor of the United Church of Christ's...
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Monkish Ways
WHEN I WAS GROWING up in the 1970s, I loved hanging around the college where my dad taught in the department of religion. My ballet teacher lived at the edge of the campus, and sometimes, after my lesson, I would walk over and find my dad and his students...
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Mormons Warned against Baptizing Holocaust Victims
The LDS Church's governing First Presidency has issued an unequivocal mandate to its members: do not submit names of Jewish Holocaust victims or celebrities for proxy baptism. Doing so could cost Mormons access to their church's genealogical data or...
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Mosque Study Shows Rapid U.S. Growth in Last Decade
The number of mosques in America has jumped 74 percent since 2000, and the majority of them--56 percent--espouse a less-than-literal approach to interpreting Islam's holy texts. These are some of the findings of a major new survey of American mosques...
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New Clergy, New Churches: Church Planting as a First Call
THREE YEARS AGO, Emily Scott had an idea. What if twentysomethings in Manhattan's East Village got together every Sunday for an agape feast, just as the early Christians did? Scott knew that Gen Xers and millennial peers crave egalitarian participation...
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New Testaments
Common English Bible Church Resources Development Corporation 1,264 pp., $29.95 The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation By N. T. Wright HarperOne, 544 pp., $25.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A...
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Prayer Is God's Work: Ruth Burrows, Carmelite Sister
EVERY YEAR, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams commissions a book for the Anglican Communion to read during Lent. This year he asked Ruth Burrows--known as Sister Rachel in her Carmelite community--to write a book on how to know God. Williams...
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Putin's Election Rekindles Orthodox Church Debate
Vladimir Putin's election to a third term as Russian president has spurred debates about civil society and church-state relations within the Russian Orthodox Church since charges of vote fraud set off mass protests following last December's parliamentary...
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Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, April 15 1 John 1:1-2:2 THE FAMILIARITY OF the great texts of the New Testament can obscure the achievements of their writers. In its first three verses, the First Epistle of John joins "the eternal life that was with the Father" with...
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Santorum's Army of Homeschoolers
STRAPPED FOR CASH and paid staff, Rick Santorum has enlisted a ragtag but politically potent army to keep his campaign afloat: homeschoolers. Before winning three primaries on March 6, plus Alabama and Mississippi on March 13, Santorum was urging...
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Teen Hero: Life and Death in the Hunger Games
ANYONE WHO WORKS with youth is at least dimly aware that teenagers have been gobbling up the novels in the Hunger Games trilogy, a futuristic fantasy by Suzanne Collins set in a postapocalyptic North America. The film version of the first volume...
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The Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets
The Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets Edited by Chris Franke and Julia H. O'Brien T & T Clark, 208 pp., $120.00 Lately there has been a surge of studies variously construed as focused on "religion and violence," "the Bible and violence"...
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Twisters Not Random, Says Calvinist Preacher Piper
An author and preacher popular in Calvinist circles says it is no accident that recent killer tornadoes followed paths that ravaged some communities while others were spared. "Why would God reach down his hand and drag his fierce fingers across...
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William Hamilton, Death of God Theologian, Dies at 87
William Hamilton, a theologian who declared nearly a half century ago that God was dormant if not dead, was remembered at his death for the media impact made by the "death of God movement." The Time cover for April 8, 1966, with its stark words...
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Word Made Global: Stories of African Christianity in New York City
Word Made Global: Stories of African Christianity in New York City By Mark R. Gornik Eerdmans, 368 pp., $30.00 paperback Over ten years ago Andrew Walls, the renowned historian and mission theologian, with whom I was studying at Princeton...
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