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. 125, No. 1, January 15

A Diocese's Long Journey to Schism
Bishop John-David Schofield struck an urgent tone when he urged his Fresno-based San Joaquin diocese to defect from the Episcopal Church. "God's timing is essential," he said before the overwhelming vote December 8 to cut ties with the American...
A Mormon President?
Better to be ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian," Martin Luther is alleged to have quipped. Whether or not he actually made this remark, the sentiment captures the paradoxical vision that Luther and many other Protestants have brought to...
A Wizard's Mission: Christian Themes in Harry Potter
"THE EXCITEMENT, anticipation and just plain hysteria that came over the entire country this weekend was a bit like the Beatles' first visit to the U.S." Lisa Holton, president of the children's publishing house Scholastic, was referring not to the...
Brother Scientist
THERE WERE two great, abiding mysteries in my life when I was a young boy--mysteries that I puzzled over for years but never solved. I discovered them while lying in bed trying to fall asleep. The first I found while lying on my side practicing...
Colorado Shootings Reflect Big Threats at Megachurches
With megachurches come megacrowds, megamoney and, increasingly, mega--security concerns. The crowds--anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 worshipers each weekend--can be an attractive target for a deranged shooter. Overflowing offering plates are tempting...
Fear Not
WHAT AN ANOMALY: while many Americans were gearing up for Christmas and singing the angels' song of peace on earth, good will to all, the nation was considering the government practice of torture--or more precisely, how and why videotapes of the government's...
Grassley Plans No Hearings on Alleged Lavish Spenders
Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who is investigating the finances of six prominent Pentecostal and charismatic ministries, says he doesn't plan to hold hearings on any individual ministry and hopes he won't have to subpoena any of them....
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, January 20 Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11;1 Cor. 1:1-9; John 1:29-42 I AM OFTEN at a loss for words when people ask me what I think. To me, thinking--making clear and linear progress through my mental swamp--is drudgery that I perform only...
Methodist Leader Says Firing Was over Style, Differences of Vision
The recently dismissed head of the United Methodist Church's main ecumenical and interreligious agency says his forced departure was due to disagreements over the body's future direction. "They didn't agree with my vision or my ability to bring...
New Jersey Repeals Capital Punishment
New Jersey became the first state in decades to repeal the death penalty as Governor Jon S. Corzine signed a measure to end what he called "state-endorsed killing." The state had reestablished capital punishment in 1982, but no executions had taken...
No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Starring Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones. Joel and Ethan Coen accomplish what Cormac McCarthy set out to do in his bombastic 2005 novel No Country for Old Men. The movie by...
Poll Surge Raises Scrutiny of Huckabee
Mike Huckabee went from longshot candidate to serious GOP presidential contender in only a few weeks--and the tone of media coverage went from bemusement to serious critical analysis of his record. The result is both good and bad for the former...
Stories to Live By: The Fantasy Worlds of Pullman and Lewis
THE RELEASE of the film version of Philip Pullman's novel The Golden Compass has reinvigorated the controversy over his trilogy, His Dark Materials. Proclaimed "worthy of the bonfire" when first published, Pullman's books have evoked from some Christians...
Take Episcopal Church at Its Word, Says Archbishop Williams
The spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion says it would be "unrealistic and ungrateful" to expect the Episcopal Church to make yet another attempt to explain itself. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in a letter to the heads...
Textweek.com: The Woman Behind the Web Site
IF YOU'RE a lectionary preacher with access to the Internet, you have probably clicked on textweek.com. The Web site includes extensive links to biblical commentaries and articles on church history, conveniently organized around the upcoming Sunday's...
The Enemy Church: Pullman's Agenda in 'Compass' and Beyond
PHILIP PULLMAN, the British author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, is an avowed atheist who makes no attempt to disguise his distaste for religion and especially for Christianity. As one of his characters (the scientist and exnun Mary Malone)...
Young Life Ministry Draws Fire over New Ministry Guidelines
New "nonnegotiable" guidelines for evangelism at Young Life ministries has led to the closing of a North Carolina office of the group and the claim by a national expert on youth and religion that the organization is moving in a fundamentalist and authoritarian...