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. 126, No. 6, March 24

Bell's Appeal
WHEN ROB BELL walks on stage at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, the 38-year-old sports chic black glasses and black jeans with a wide, white 1970s belt. His geeky, affable presence and energized speaking style warm up the room quickly...
Counting the Cost
AMONG U.S. CHURCHES of better-than-average size and budget, nearly half are feeling the impact of the deepening recession and are being forced in many cases to cut staff of freeze salaries. Donations are down, said 48 percent of church leaders surveyed...
Creative Invocation
WHEN RICK WARREN was invited to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration, the choice annoyed some people because of Warren's conservative position on several important and controversial issues, and it pleased others who either like Warren...
Encyclopedia Project Stirs Heated Argument
In the spring of 2006, a University of Chicago Divinity School expert on the history of Christianity was approached by George T. Kurian, a prolific editor of reference books, including two on Christianity. Kurian asked the professor, Bernard McGinn,...
Fool-Osophy
I COLLECT EXPRESSIONS of anti-intellectualism. I even consider myself to be a connoisseur of the sorts of things that fall within this genre. But this is no mere hobby. I was raised in a spiritual environment in which the intellectual life was regarded...
Gen-Next Preacher: Chatting with Rob Bell
You've traveled across the U.S. and the United Kingdom on speaking tours. Who comes out for a lecture by Rob Bell? A full spectrum--people who worship each week, Jewish rabbis and Buddhists, and people who say their friends will never set foot in...
High Court Rules against Sectarian Park Monument
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a city park in Utah does not have to include a monument sought by a small religious sect even though it already features a Ten Commandments monument. Summum, a Salt Lake City-based group, had argued that officials...
Housekeepers
ONE THURSDAY AFTERNOON this past October, along the main road to Los Angeles International Airport, members of the hotel workers union unrolled a banquet scene. Tables were put UP in front of the Hilton LAX, one of the airport hotels most hostile to...
Living by the Word
Sunday, March 29 Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; John 12:20-33 AS THE SEASON of Lent rushes toward inevitability, scripture calls us to play the old game of Truth or Consequences--no, not the game show from the 1960s, but the old-time religion...
Lutheran Panel Proposes Road Map to Permit Partnered Gay Clergy
A blue-ribbon panel has recommended that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lift its ban on partnered gay and lesbian clergy, but only after the church agrees in principle on gay relationships and agrees to respect the consciences of those...
New York Catholics Get an Affable Archbishop
Steven Avella, a Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee, said his counterparts in the Archdiocese of New York should soon expect a phone call from their new boss--Archbishop Timothy Dolan. "He'll start phoning guys right away," said Avella, 57, a historian...
On Music
Buddy Miller has worked with and provided material for some of the most prominent names in country music, including Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams. The Dixie Chicks and Brooks & Dunn have covered his songs; Grammy winner Shawn...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, April 5 Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-11; 14:1-15:47 WHEN I WAS a child, I loved Palm Sunday because we got to act out the biblical version of a ticker-tape parade. Later I learned of the ephemeral quality of stardom and...
Spending Habits
The U.S. defense budget, always outsized, has become even more bloated in recent years. In the past eight years military spending has nearly doubled, with much of the increase devoted to financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A year ago Joseph...
Updike's Passions
AS JOHN UPDIKE'S readers know, he was haunted by death, but he lived in hope that his words would live and speak to other children of earth. "I think of [my] books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a country-ish teenaged boy...
Wendy and Lucy
Wendy and Lucy. Directed by Kelly Reichardt. Starring Hichelle Williams, Will Patton and Wally Dalton. Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is a homeless woman driving cross-country with her dog, Lucy, and sleeping in her car at night to save...
When South Is North
North is North, and South is South, and never the twain shall meet. Well, actually, they do. In a globalized world, people move freely, carrying ideas and practices with them, and some of the resulting meetings and mergers can be surprising, even bracing....
Worldviews
THE NEW YORK TIMES has called Walter Russell Mead one of the "country's liveliest thinkers about America's role in the world." A senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, he writes widely on international affairs and is the author of Special...