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. 14, July 11

A School in Tibet
ON AN ORDINARY day some ten years ago, when I was in the midst of a long-forgotten project, a call came from preschool: "You need to pick up Andy. The nurse found head lice." So began my first encounter with the horror, the shame, the benightedness--I...
Carry-On Reading
IT'S SUMMER, a time when most preachers are lucky enough to enjoy an extended Sabbath. For me, summer affords the opportunity to do the kind of reading I know I need to do but am not able to get to in the midst of the normal schedule. I save major...
Catholic Bishops Change Words of the Liturgy
At the start of every Roman Catholic mass, the priest welcomes the congregation with the words, "The Lord be with you." The collective response, "And also with you," a fixture for decades, will soon be changed to "And with your spirit." That was...
Christian Reformed Speak Up for Peace, Stall on Women
The theologically conservative Christian Reformed Church, in its first major statement on war in two dozen years, urged its churches to raise moral questions with governments about weapons of mass destruction and preemptive military actions. Delegates...
Exporting Democracy
America is at war. This is a wartime national security strategy required by the grave challenge we face--the rise of terrorism fueled by an aggressive ideology of hatred and murder, fully revealed to the American people on September 11, 2001. This...
Female Head Bishop Faces Critical Time
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams reached electronically across the Atlantic to express to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to be elected as presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, his "good wishes as she takes up a deeply demanding...
Hot and Bothered: Facing Up to Global Warming
AS I WRITE these words, the season's first named storm--Alberto--is developing in the Caribbean. We're now in what everyone refers to as hurricane season, which is joining winter, spring, summer, autumn, Christmas and football as a fixture on the calendar....
Liberating Word: The Power of the Bible in the Global South
GATHERINGS OF the worldwide Anglican Communion have been contentious events in recent years. On one occasion, two bishops were participating in a Bible study, one from Africa, the other from the U.S. As the hours went by, tempers frayed as the African...
Living by the Word: Capital T
Sunday, July 16 Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29 THE OTHER DAY I was sitting in a coffee shop and couldn't help overhearing an interesting and intense debate on the other side of the room. An older gentleman was trying his best to aid an inquisitive...
Living by the Word: Wrecking Crew
Sunday, July 23 Ephesians 2:11-22 THE WORLD IS full of walls. Everywhere we go, there are fences, gates, partitions and other ingeniously constructed barriers--all aimed at keeping something or someone in and keeping something or someone else out....
Lone Christian in Palestinian Cabinet Quits after Violence
The only Christian cabinet member in the Palestinian government headed by the Islamist Hamas movement has quit his post because of growing factional violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "I confirm to you that I have resigned from the government...
NCC Urges Closure of Guantanamo Center Following Suicides
The National Council of Churches and its online site FaithfulAmerica.org have reiterated a demand for the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, following the suicides of three prisoners there. "Americans who love their country...
Outlaws in the Outback
GREAT WESTERNS have always wrestled with moral issues. John Ford's The Searchers tackles racism; Howard Hawks's Red River, loyalty; Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, honor; Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West, revenge; Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven,...
Presbyterian Compromise
PRESBYTERIANS, torn by divisions over homosexuality for nearly three decades, agreed in June to a delicate compromise. The impetus behind the decision to allow exceptions to the ban on ordaining gay clergy--in the case of otherwise qualified candidates...
'Restraint' Promised on Gay Bishops
HOPING TO STAVE off schism within the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church has agreed to "exercise restraint" before electing any more openly gay bishops. The 11th-hour resolution at the triennial Episcopal General Convention last month...
SBC Cheers Rice's Speech on Freedom
In an address received like a campaign stump speech, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice exhorted Southern Baptists at their annual meeting to support the United States in spreading freedom around the globe. After a standing ovation upon being introduced--during...
Snookered
IT'S BEEN SAID that a fundamentalist is an evangelical who got mad. Fundamentalists in 1920, angry that their fellow conservative believers did not fight back, fought against moderates and liberals in their own denominations as well as in other churches...
Sojourners
A FEW YEARS AGO, after government officials decided to return some unearthed Indian artifacts to the present-day descendants of their original owners rather than ship them to a museum, a Saturday Night Live spoof put this act of generosity in perspective:...
Trying to Understand Osama Bin Laden
Some reading groups choose great fiction or fast-moving mysteries. At Vanderbilt University in Nashville, one group of professors chose the writings and threats of Osama bin Laden as their discussion material. For nearly a year, these professors...
UCC's Marketer Leaves; So Do Puerto Ricans
The United Church of Christ, whose often-dating progressive stances on full inclusion of homosexual worshipers in church life stir controversy inside and outside the denomination, suffered two losses last month. * The creator of the UCC'S much-hyped...
Wartime Scripts: To View the Enemy as Subhuman and Having No Regard for Life Is a Rational Used in All Our Wars
ON THE NIGHT of June 10, two men from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen fashioned makeshift ropes from knotted bed sheets, then hanged themselves in their Guantanamo Bay prison cells. Rear Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the prison, reported the deaths...
Young Conservatives, Bloggers Help Pick New SBC President
In an unusual three-way race for leadership of the nation's largest Protestant denomination, pastor Frank Page of South Carolina was elected in an upset as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, giving hope to many younger conservatives that...