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. 9, May 6

All in the Family
ON THE THIRD Sunday of Easter I was in La Jolla, California, for the baptism of a granddaughter. If there is anything better than witnessing and participating in the baptism of a grandchild, I don't know what it is. I'm told there are never unpleasant...
Best Sellers
Chalice 1. Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism by Martha Grace Reese 2. Unbinding Your Heart: 40 Days of Prayer and Faith Sharing by Martha Grace Reese 3. Operation Inasmuch: Mobilizing Believers Beyond the Walls of the Church...
Books in Search of an Author
OF MAKING MANY books there is no end," says Ecclesiastes. Certainly more books are made than can be read, and many are produced that probably didn't need to be. But there are some books that yet need to be written. Here are six suggestions: I have...
Choosing a Seminary
IN AMERICAN theological education, we are in the midst of recruitment season. Applications to M.Div. programs across the country have been read and argued over by admissions committees, and offers of admission have gone out in the mail. Now we are...
Church-Closing Rate Only One Percent
With a dozen regulars or fewer attending services, the 150-ear-old Kinderhook United Methodist Church in rural Illinois near the Mississippi River shut its doors this Easter. That Sunday was also the last for St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church...
High Court to Hear Case on Monument Displays
It's the Ten Commandments versus the Seven Aphorisms, and it'll be coming to the U.S. Supreme Court sometime in its 2008-2009 term. The justices agreed March 31 to hear a case involving a 47-year-old monument to the Decalogue in a Utah city park....
Law from 1867 Relates to Episcopal Fight, Judge Says
A Virginia court has ruled that a Civil War--era law applies to a property dispute between the state's Episcopal diocese and 11 congregations that have seceded from it. The state law in question, which dates to 1867, relates to the settlement of property...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, May 11 John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-21;1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 WHAT HAPPENS TO a person when the Holy Spirit suddenly descends like a tongue of fire? The first clue we have is in Acts, where the Spirit came and what seemed empty was suddenly...
Pewless
THIS SPRING a certain Christian layperson has been criticized for not exiting his local church when he disagreed with something his pastor preached. The experts on the subject have been, as far as I can tell, media personnel who never go to church,...
Reform Jewish Leader Calls Hagee 'Extremist' Unworthy of Support
The president of the 1.5-million-member Reform Judaism movement called controversial Texas pastor John Hagee an "extremist" and urged fellow rabbis to shun his high-profile support of Israel. Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, denounced...
Religious Freedom Panel Says Bush Should Skip Games or Visit Tibet
An independent federal body that monitors religious freedom is urging President Bush not to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing unless there are discernible changes in China's policy toward Tibet. The Washington-based Commission...
Saved by Stalemate: When the Church Splits 50-50
IT'S BEAUTIFUL when the congregational system is humming along--when the church is Spirit-filled, when worshipers are singing to one another in psalms and hymns, submitting to one another, bearing each other's burdens, enjoying the unity of the faith,...
Seminary Distress
Jesus taught his disciples in the outdoors, without a prescribed curriculum. His lessons were passed on by way of oral tradition before being written down. The way things are going, mainline seminaries may be returning to such informal models of...
Stop-Loss
Stop-Loss. Directed by Kimberly Peirce. Starring Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish. Staff Sergeant Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe) thinks Tikrit will be the last stop on his tour of duty in Iraq. It's a bad finish: he leads his men into an ambush....
The Liberal Chesterton
IT IS OFTEN ASSUMED that G. K. Chesterton was a reactionary, antimodern, illiberal writer. In a certain sense he was. He was an avowed advocate of nearly all things ancestral. He described tradition as "the democracy of the dead," a proper granting...