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. 128, No. 19, September 20

Buck
Buck Directed by Cindy Meehl Horse trainer Buck Brannaman is the sweet-souled star of Buck. Cindy Meehl's documentary begins as the portrait of a remarkable professional and turns unexpectedly into a Dickensian tale about the consequences of...
Checkpoint
I WAS DRIVING ACROSS the border into Canada to give a couple of sermons at a church in Toronto. The no-nonsense officer in the booth asked if my visit was for work or pleasure. She looked tired, perhaps bored, and wanted a straight answer to a standard...
Churches Are Losing the Less Educated
A recent study reports that white Americans without college degrees are dropping out of church faster than their more highly educated counterparts, and researchers are offering several possible explanations. The study, by University of Virginia...
Civil Rights Vets: King Memorial Was Long Overdue
AT AGE 93, famed preacher Gardner Taylor never thought he'd live to see the day when his friend Martin Luther King Jr. would be honored with a national memorial in Washington, D.C. "I think it is singularly appropriate and long overdue," said Taylor,...
ELCA Bishop 'Hopeful' amid Animosities, Economy Woes
At its previous churchwide assembly in 2009, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided to allow ordination of gay clergy, closing a controversial chapter on gay rights even as U.S. society remained divided over same-sex marriage and at loggerheads...
Faith Talk Losing Appeal to Voters
Has America gotten more religious, or is religiousness just a vocal strain in American politics? The country has grown less religious since the 1970s, according to recent studies, but researchers say that frequent churchgoers are now much more likely...
Ill Will toward Muslims Remains Ten Years Later
In a post-9/11 bid to better relations with Muslims, pastor Bob Roberts invited Muslims to his NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas, for Q&A sessions and a cooking club and to help on a few home remodeling projects. The result: Roberts lost "a bunch...
Nearly 2,000 Conservatives in PCUSA Ponder Options for Mission, Separation
The biggest news from a recent gathering of Presbyterians in Minnesota in the aftermath of approval by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to ordain qualified clergy who are openly gay was the unexpectedly large turnout--almost 2,000 clergy and laity...
Presidential Limits
These are frustrating times for Americans who believe that their government should actively promote employment, equality and social welfare. Elected officials are disinclined to kick-start the fragile economy. The Obama administration remains cozy...
Quake-Damaged Cathedral Faces Millions in Repairs
The iconic Washington National Cathedral, already struggling with financial problems, faces millions of dollars in repair costs from the damage inflicted by an August 23 earthquake. And nothing is covered by insurance, according to a church official....
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 25 Exodus 17;1-7; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21;23-32 A MAN ONCE BOUGHT himself a cemetery plot and a lawn chair, and then took a week of vacation to sit on the chair at his plot. I don't think he sat there because the view...
Shared Lives: The Challenges of Friendship
FRIENDSHIPS ARE possible only if we are willing to make space for another person in our lives. But this is risky and sometimes gets messy, because the very people we are initially delighted to make room for in our lives can hurt and disappoint us as...
The Liberal Agony: Why There Was No New New Deal
SHORTLY AFTER the election of Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008, the cover of Time magazine featured a fabrication of an iconic photograph of Franklin Roosevelt, cigarette holder at a rakish tilt, sitting at the wheel of a convertible. FDR's face...
The Peaceable Senator: Mark O. Hatfield, 1922-2011
IN THE MIDST of today's rancorous politics and the trivialization of religion in the public square, the death of Mark O. Hatfield on August 7 called to mind a different kind of political style and a different kind of Christian political witness. ...
Tough Conversations
LAST MONTH, in an essay in the New York Times, columnist Roger Cohen cited an American protagonist in a Philip Roth novel who said that "in England, when someone mentions the word 'Jew,' I notice that the voice always drops a little." Anti-Semitism...
Where Do You Pray?
Years ago, I spent three weeks in Egypt, exploring church life in a predominantly Muslim country. The group I was with visited an array of Coptic and Protestant churches in Cairo and Alexandria and in country villages. One of the most memorable...
You Can't Make This Up: The Limits of Self-Made Religion
A MAN RECENTLY told me about his faith life, as people are wont to do with ministers. He said, "I'm spiritual but not religious. I want to give you my testimony about why I do not attend church." Now when I meet a math teacher, I don't feel the...