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. 124, No. 1, January 9

Barely Making It
SOULFUL AND TOUGH in equal measure, The Pursuit of Happyness is the ideal movie for the Christmas season. It's a triumph-of-the-spirit film in which the protagonist's journey from poverty and occasional homelessness to solvency and the promise of a...
Bearing Witness
WHILE VISITING friends in east Texas my wife saw a message on the sign of the Assemblies of God church in which she had grown up. It declared, "The Bible Says the Land Belongs to Israel." This was during the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005....
Christmas Wars Enrich Some Advocacy Groups
For conservative Christan groups, the hot gift last month was a weapon for fighting back in the "War on Christmas"--be it a button, a bumper sticker or a legal memo with information on the topic. The Mississippi-based American Family Association...
Critical and Faithful
WHEN ASKED WHERE the new members of liberal churches will come from, David Jenkins, former Anglican bishop of Durham, replied: "Where they have always come from--the evangelicals." This is only partly true, of course. Most members of liberal churches...
Episcopal Division Widens in Virginia
Conservative Episcopalians' steady exodus from the Episcopal Church accelerated before Christmas as eight Virginia congregations--including two large, historic parishes--voted to leave the national body. The Diocese of Virginia has lost 12 congregations...
God's Covenant
THE IDEA OF "covenant" comes up frequently in proposed solutions to mainline crises. Before writing its final report, the PCUSA Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church drew up a covenant of prayer, worship and careful listening....
Graham Family in Dispute over Burial Site
Evangelist Franklin Graham said last month that the decision about where his parents will be buried is "personal" and he does not intend to enter a public debate about it. The word was out, however, that not all is settled. Graham's comments came...
Grand Parenting
THE EXCERPT from Wendell Berry's latest book (p. 20) was for me a Christmas gift to savor. It stirred memories and reflections about grandfathers. As Berry suggests, the grandparents of people my age lived in a different world from ours. They never...
Hymn Sing
NEW HYMNALS, a.k.a. "Worship Books," are forthcoming from numerous church bodies, including two Lutheran groups (among them my own ELCA). Having studied none of these books, I write with vincible ignorance about the details. Having studied church history,...
Is Bottled Water a Moral Issue?
Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. Thou shalt not ... drink bottled water? Rooted in the notion that clean drinking water, like air, is a God-given resource that shouldn't be packaged and sold, a fledgling campaign...
Living by the Word: Acceptable Words
Sunday, January 21 Psalm 19; Luke 4:14-21 HE WAS NOT the young man they had known before. They were sizing him up, as people in small towns will do, when he stood up in the synagogue to read from the prophet Isaiah. He read a fantastic and otherworldly...
Living by the Word: Expect a Call
Sunday, January 28 Jeremiah 1:4-10; Luke 4:21-30 WHEN I RUN across texts like these from Jeremiah and Luke, I'm always asking, "What kind of community does it take to raise prophets like Jeremiah and even Jesus?" Being a Baptist, I have few doubts...
Living by the Word: Wedding Gifts
Sunday, January 14 John 2:1-11 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 WHAT DO YOU GET for the bride who has everything? It's unusual these days for a couple not to have all they need before they marry. They don't need dishes or kitchenware--unless they hope to upgrade....
New Jersey Lawmakers OK Gay Civil Unions
State lawmakers voted in mid-December to make New Jersey the third state in the nation to 'allow gay couples to form civil unions with all the rights and responsibilities of married couples. The historic votes by both houses of the state legislature...
Religious Newcomers on Capitol Hill
WHEN IT reconvenes, Congress will for the first time include a Muslim, two Buddhists, more Jews than Episcopalians, and the highest-ranking Mormon in congressional history. Roman Catholics remain the largest single faith group in Congress, accounting...
United Nations Court Jails Rwandan Priest, Frees Adventist Pastor
The United Nations war-crimes court for Rwanda has convicted a Roman Catholic priest of genocide and sentenced him to 15 years for his role in the 1994 mass killings in the central African country. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda...
What If? the Missed Opportunity of 9/11
AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 11 attacks it took President Bush only six days to authorize the U.S. military to prepare for war against the al-Qaeda network and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Influenced by Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald...