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. 2, January 27

Are Religious Vanity License Plates a First Amendment Right?
In South Carolina, a district court has temporarily halted the production of state-sponsored license plates that declare "I Believe" and feature an illustration of a stained-glass window with a cross. In Vermont, meanwhile, an appeals court has...
Church Unity Advocates Admit Their 'Phobias'
In recent months, the National Council of Churches observed its 100th anniversary, the World Council of Churches celebrated its 60th birthday, and the new, widest-ever group, called the Global Christian Forum, laid plans for a second international...
Living by the Word
Sunday, February 1 Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Mark 1:21-28 NOW THAT PAPER fortunes have been lost and retirement savings have fallen through the floor, the country seems to be in a mood to stone false prophets. There were the CEOs, to start with,...
Obama, Warren Defy Culture War
When President Barack Obama tapped megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, many liberal activists decried the choice of a high-profile evangelical figure who has opposed gay marriage and abortion rights. It did not...
Our Bodies, Our Faith
DEEP SUFFERING makes theologians of us all. The questions people ask about God in Sunday school rarely compare with the questions we ask while we are in the hospital. This goes for those stuck in the waiting room as well as those in the hospital beds....
Prayer and Conversation
A part from Billy Graham, who is sidelined by age, the most influential evangelical Christian in the U.S. these days is probably author and pastor Rick Warren. His best sellers on the "purpose-driven church" and the "purpose-driven life" have reached...
Prayer Chain
PEOPLE HAVE ASKED me to pray for them or for their loved ones all my adult life. I practice intercessory prayer very seriously, but that doesn't stop me from wondering what I'm doing. Is intercession magical thinking? Does something actually change...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, February 8 Mark 1:29-39 NO ONE KNOWS HER name. She may have been widowed, for she rived with two younger men who were not her sons. Their boyish enthusiasms might have made her laugh. It's also pleasant to think that her daughter had inherited...
Survey Finds Changes in U.S. Congregations
ACCORDING TO a new study, U.S. congregations have changed significantly since 1998, having become more ethnically diverse, more technologically savvy and more informal in worship. Predominantly white congregations reported an increase in racial...
Taking Back the Night
My Kenyan friend made an understandable mistake. Not long after arriving in the U.S., he was pleased to find a church advertising "Prayer Service, 12-1." But the timing puzzled him. The length, he thought, seemed grueling, but perhaps ordinary Americans...
The Wrestler
The Wrestler. Directed by Darren Aronofsky. Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. The story of the proud and vital man who has lost his power and nobility is a recurrent theme, especially at the movies. Films have specialized...
Title to Come
EVERY OTHER WEEK, on Thursday afternoon, several editors at the CENTURY gather around a cluster of filing cabinets. With the pages of the next issue spread in front of them, they work on coming up with titles for the articles. The editors do this job...
Tony Blair at Yale: A Former P.M. Reflects
To the chapters of the life of a onetime prime minister and now freelance diplomat, add one more: Mr. Blair Goes to Yale. Fresh off his first year as a guest lecturer on faith and globalization at Yale University, former British prime minister Tony...
Unholy Rites
AS LUKE TELLS IT, the Last Supper ends in an argument. For all the table talk of gifts and remembrance and the kingdom of God, the dinner descends into a dispute among the disciples over "which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest" (22:24)....