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. 122, No. 9, May 3

2005 Is Crucial Year for Cutting Poverty, Say Religious Experts
A third of the way into the 15-year United Nations program aimed at cutting global poverty by 50 percent, church leaders say progress so far has been abysmal and 2005 is a make-or-break year for the program. The eight-pronged Millennium Development...
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Archbishop Iakovos, Pioneer Orthodox Ecumenist, Dies at 93
Archbishop Iakovos, the spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians in the Americas who introduced the immigrant church to the ecumenical, interfaith and civil rights landscape of the late 20th century, died April 10 of a pulmonary ailment in a Stamford,...
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Beyond the Commandments: We Should Be Wary of Attempts to Unhitch the Ten Commandments from Their Religious Moorings
THIS SUMMER the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on several cases involving the constitutionality of displaying the Ten Commandments on government property. Public opinion is fairly clear on this question: according to a Gallup poll, 76 percent say state...
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Can a Jew Be a Christian? the Challenge of Messianic Judaism: With Its Connections to a Mainline Church, Avodat Yisrael Has Raised Profound Questions about Christian and Jewish Identity
CAN YOU BE a practicing Jew and also believe that Jesus is the messiah? The customary answer is no. Though Christianity began as a Jewish sect, it quickly became an all-gentile affair. Indeed, Christians came to understand themselves as people who...
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Cardinal Law's Role in Rome Recalls Church's Scars
After a grand funeral attracting world leaders to the Vatican and crowds urging a speedy sainthood for the late Pope John Paul II, the assigning of a former U.S. cardinal to celebrate one of the masses in St. Peter's Basilica during the mourning period...
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Catholic Nun Begins Jail Sentence for Military Protest
Before going behind bars, Sister Lelia ("Lil") Mattingly said she expected jail would be cold and dreary compared to life in a convent. But the nun sentenced in connection with a protest in Georgia said her imprisonment follows Jesus' way--"to speak...
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Churches Together on Target for Launch
THE FLEDGLING Christian Churches Together--a painstakingly crafted amalgam of U.S. mainline Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, racial/ethnic and evangelical/Pentecostal churches--will organize formally behind closed doors early in June and publicly celebrate...
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Doing It by the Book
EXPECT TO SEE banners with "Song of Solomon 2:6" or "Genesis 2:25" unfurled in sports stadiums along with the customary "John 3:16" signs. Expect these, that is, if the annual multimillion-dollar sale of evangelical sex manuals continues to grow apace....
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Family Chaos
AFTER HER HUSBAND leaves her--apparently to run off with his secretary--Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) is left with four daughters between the ages of 15 and 22. The Upside of Anger is about reconstituting one's existence when mostly what you feel is...
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Gay Clergy Option Backed by ELCA Council, Professors
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's high-ranking church council has prepared a proposal to the churchwide assembly in August that would give bishops the final authority to let congregations ordain gay and lesbian clergy who are in committed...
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Hearing God Out
WHEN THE BOOKS of the Bible are read in the context of worship, they become the scripture of the church. Just as the greeting turns an assembly into a church, so the proclamation of Old and New Testament passages turns words into the Word. Though...
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Heart of the Matter: Sometimes Pastors Need a Reminder of What We Are Here For
AT ORDINATION Presbyterian ministers promise to give their "energy, intelligence, imagination and love" to ministry. Sometimes just managing the institution of the church exhausts such capacities. Sometimes attending to the committees, task forces,...
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In Praise of Folly
I WENT TO LOOK for "Main's Folly" the other day. It's at the back of the church property, down the old road to the back and left at the Chinaberry grove where I used to preach every Easter. Go past the rock altar and head toward the ring of stones...
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Inside Stories: Mike McCurry on Church, Politics and Civil Debate
AS PRESIDENT CLINTON'S press secretary from 1995 to 1998, Mike McCurry was' a familiar face on the nation's TV screens. Before serving in that post--what he calls a "dream job"--he was a spokesman at the Department of State and director of communications...
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Kansas Is 18th State to Ban Same-Sex Nuptials
Kansas voters have made that state the 18th in the nation to adopt a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. They approved on April 5 an amendment to the Kansas constitution banning gay marriage by a 70 percent margin. Seventeen other states already...
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Living by the Word: Fire in the Dark
Pentecost Sunday, May 15 Acts 2:1-21 OUR REFORMER ancestors would be appalled by some of the small traditions of joy and triumph that have crept into the Christian celebration of Pentecost. We've added trumpet blasts to mimic the great sound...
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Living by the Word: Power Point: The Ascension Is Not Merely a Matter of Visualizing Jesus as Lifted Up into the Clouds
Sunday, May 8 Ephesians 1:15-23 AS LONG AS the ascension is in any way related to upward movement (like an elevator going to the clouds), I am and will continue to be unmoved. The vertical directional imagery just doesn't do it for me. I am not...
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Middle Ground Elusive on Gun-Control Issue
In the wake of another spate of gun mayhem--this time in Red Lake, Minnesota, just nine days after a church shooting in Brookfield, Wisconsin--the question resurfaces: Why can't a gun-control compromise be found to prevent such incidents? The answer...
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No Return
ARMY SERGEANT Kevin Benderman, 40, faces a military trial for refusing to return to trial for a second tour of duty. The trial is scheduled for May 11 at an army base in Georgia. A Tennessean of Southern Baptist background, Benderman joined the army...
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Postmodern Jesus: The Vatican's Quarrel with Roger Haight: In Seeking to Do Theology in Dialogue with Modernity, Haight Has Perhaps Conceded Too Much to Contemporary Culture
IN FEBRUARY the Jesuit theologian Roger Haight, former professor at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, received notification that the Vatican had found "serious doctrinal errors" in his 1999 book Jesus: Symbol of God (Orbis)...
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Speech Lessons
TWO MESSAGES arrived on the same day, each one from a talented young adult concerned about how best to use Christian language. One person was concerned about the "large number of people my age who cannot seem to connect with God. I think part of the...
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