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. 26, December 30

A Is for Availability: A Theological Dictionary
GOD IS "eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, holy, just, faithful, benevolent, merciful and gracious." I can still rattle off those divine attributes learned in catechism class. Well-tutored Christians will remember learning that some of these...
Blockade
In early December the security situation had improved enough in Bethlehem for busloads of tourists to come back to visit the birthplace of Jesus and other holy sights in Israel and the West Bank. That was about the only the good news from the Middle...
Despite Money Woes, Report Urges U.S. to Boost World Antipoverty Efforts
The global financial crisis makes it even more urgent that the United States not only take care of its own economy but also redouble efforts to aid the world's poorest, according to a new report and several development experts. The 2009 edition...
Doubt
Doubt. Written and directed by John Patrick Shanley. Starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. It is commonly assumed, and regularly taught, that the key difference between playwriting and screenwriting is that the...
Financial Collapse: Lessons from the Social Gospel
NOW THAT THE NATION is deep into a financial collapse, at the beginning of a bad recession, and on the edge of what might become a second Great Depression, it is instructive to recall the first depression and the response of ecumenical American Christianity...
Global Christian Leaders Censure Africans for Failures in Zimbabwe
Leaders of global Christian organizations have criticized African heads of state for their failure to address a growing humanitarian crisis in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe. In a statement on November 14 they called on "the Zanu-PF party...
Huckabee: Neglected 'Value Voters' Key to GOP's Future
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, often mentioned as someone who could shepherd the GOP out of the political wilderness, says Republicans neglected religious conservatives in 2008 and need to maintain their support as the party regroups....
Notes from the Global Church
Christians persecuted in Iraq ... Christian clergy murdered in Indonesia ... churches destroyed in the Sudan. Around the world, stories of anti-Christian abuse and violence mount up and are usually presented as irrefutable evidence of the violence...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, January 4 Jeremiah 31:7-14; John 1:(1-9), 10-18 WHETHER WE CHOOSE to believe it or not, we human beings are embodied creatures. There have been many times throughout the history of philosophy and religion when great thinkers have tried...
Religious Clout Often Elusive in 2008
Barack Obama may have chosen Joe Biden, and John McCain may have turned to Sarah Palin, but in the end the most sought-after running mate in the 2008 campaign never appeared on a single ballot. God, it seems, couldn't be successfully wooed by either...
Report Suggests CIA Covered Up Details Related to Missionary Death
A top-ranking Republican says he will seek a new federal inquiry into an alleged CIA cover-up in the 2001 military attack on a small plane in Peru that killed an American missionary and her infant child. Representative Peter Hoekstra (R., Mich.),...
Rival Anglican Church Body Forms for North America
Dissident Episcopalians in North America unhappy with what they say is the "liberal turn" of the U.S. and Canadian branches of Anglicanism have announced that they are forming an alternative denomination, or province, within the worldwide communion....
The Cruelest Month: December Losses
ON A NASTY NIGHT, Christmas Eve 1965, members of my family walked into my father's hospital room. We had just returned from my grandparents' home, where we had celebrated a Swedish smorgasbord, caroled and opened presents. The sideboard boasted turkey,...
Visions of Amen: Olivier Messiaen's Transcendent Music
"My faith is the grand drama of my life. I'm a believer, so I sing words of God to those who have no faith." --Olivier Messiaen VAST AS THE HEAVENS are that surround us, we seldom lift our gaze beyond the narrow boundaries of daily tasks. We...
Voices of 2008
"I have come to the conclusion after two years of debate on immigration without success that it's going to take the love of Jesus Christ to bring people together." --Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Ia.), speaking on the contentious subject of immigration...
What's Changed? Obama and Race in America
What opportunities and challenges of racial reconciliation present themselves for the nation and the African-American community in light of the election of Barack Obama as president? Does Obama's success point to a generational change in the style...
William Placher, 1948-2008
COUNTLESS TIMES over the past two decades, when this magazine had an especially important theological book to review or topic to explore, we contacted William C. Placher, one of our editors at large. And since he could not write all the articles we...