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. 123, No. 2, January 24

Boast Not
Sunday, February 5 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 SEVERAL DECADES ago, when I was filling out my application for seminary admission, I came to a question that asked me to provide biblical justification for my calling. I knew I wanted to attend seminary,...
Family Fare Proponents Push a la Carte Cable
Advocacy groups say plans of cable television companies to offer family-friendly programming packages are flawed and designed to thwart consumers from getting what they really want: a la carte sales, in which subscribers pick and choose their channels....
Further Along
IN TRAVELING MERCIES Anne Lamott published the story of her slow slide into despair, and of the born-again moment that saved her. After years lost in addictive behavior, including bulimia, alcoholism, drug use and abusive relationships, she reached...
Heartbreak Mountain
AFTER THE world premiere of Brokeback Mountain at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Picture, the publicity machines began referring to it as "the gay cowboy movie." That tag line changed once people got a chance to see the film....
ID Ruling Expected to Impact Other States
Only days after the high-profile intelligent-design trial ended in the fall, Federal Judge John E. Jones III, relaxing in his chambers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, promised to weigh the evidence and "rule as I see fit." At that time, Jones would...
Kicked off the Rolls
MARTHA WAS blind until four years ago, when Medicaid paid for her to have a _corneal transplant. For the first time in her life she could see. Now she has a job. But with recent cuts in funding, Martha has lost her Medicaid. She can no longer afford...
Muslim Groups Seek Answers on Spying
AMERICAN MUSLIM groups have asked U.S. government agencies to be more forthcoming about news reports disclosing widespread secret electronic surveillance and radiation monitoring of Muslim mosques. After a New York Times story reported last month...
New Grants Program Seeks Young Clergy, Local Church Support
With many mainline Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church expecting fewer young pastors in coming years, the Fund for Theological Education (FTE) says that it will receive $6 million from the Lilly Endowment for matching grants to congregations...
Peace Army: Christian Peacemaker Teams Face Hostility
IN A SCENE that has been repeatedly played since Operation Enduring Freedom commenced in Afghanistan four years ago, Michelle Naar-Obed left her home in December for a tour of duty. She knew, as did her husband, her 11-year-old daughter and her friends...
Pucker Up
A BOOK BY Michael Philip Penn titled Kissing Christians is attracting attention. There is some tease in this earnest scholarly work, such as "Chapter One: Kissing Basics." But, alas, there are only slight references to "eroticism." Apparently the early...
Rock Star's Activism Moves Many Muslims
One of Salman Ahmad's earliest gigs was a talent show at King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, where he was studying to be a doctor. Moments after he strummed his first chords, Islamic fundamentalists barged in, smashed Ahmad's guitar and...
Spellbound
Sunday, January 29 Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-23; Mark 1:21-28 IN THE DAYS before every district superintendent carried a cell phone, driving the charge conference circuit was a great opportunity to listen to the radio. My...
Team Players: What Do Associate Pastors Want?
MY FRIEND HAD a dazed look when I asked how his work as an associate pastor was going. Then he ripped into his senior minister: "He won't communicate! He thinks ministry is only for ordained people--preferably him alone! He doesn't even seem interested...
The Matrix
JASON BYASSEE'S "Team players" (p. 18) is an important article for those of us who do ministry in the unique matrix called a "church staff." When I am not behind my desk at the CHRISTIAN CENTURY, I continue to serve as pastor of what Lyle Schaller...
The Siege of Narnia
MY CLASS ON the Inklings (C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and their circle) met on Tuesdays and Thursdays last semester, just in time for elevenses. A master baker in the class provided Lembas, which we found remarkably sustaining....
Tortured
IT'S EASY ENOUGH to say torture is bad (though it took President Bush a while to do so). But how does one address this classic ethical dilemma: A nuclear bomb is ticking somewhere in an urban area. The bomb-setter has been captured by police but refuses...
Victims as Pariahs
SINCE 1996, nearly 4 million people have died in the Congo as a result of an international war--more than in any other country since World War II. Various militias, and armies from Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, have perpetrated gruesome atrocities on...