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. 129, No. 15, July 25

After Adoption
SHE WAS THREE years old, had milk chocolate skin, jet-black hair and brown eyes the size of saucers. She didn't speak more than a few words of English. We call her Dhini. Her new father, who is our mission pastor, and his wife had just brought her...
Blessed and Dangerous
Newman's Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint By John Cornwell Continuum, 288 pp., $16.95 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Heart of Newman: A Synthesis (2nd ed.) By Erich Przywara Ignatius, 405 pp., $17.95 paperback [ILLUSTRATION...
Catholic Priest Convicted of Shielding Abusers
A Philadelphia priest was convicted June 22 of one count of child endangerment, becoming the first cleric in the Catholic Church's long-running clergy sexual abuse scandal to be tried and found guilty of shielding molesters. Monsignor William Lynn,...
Embattled Ecumenism: The National Council of Churches, the Vietnam War, and the Trials of the Protestant Left
Embattled Ecumenism: The National Council of Churches, the Vietnam War, and the Trials of the Protestant Left By Jill K. Gill Northern Illinois University Press, 563 pp., $40.00 In her remarkable account of the declining influence of mainline...
Evangelical Body Proposes Code of Ethics for Pastors
The National Association of Evangelicals is urging pastors to seek a common moral ground by uniting under a consistent code of ethics. NAE leaders said the new code will provide uniform guidance to church leaders across the 40 denominations that comprise...
First Lady Says Church Is Good Place to Discuss Political-Moral Issues
FIRST LADY Michelle Obama held up the church as the place to deal with political issues and the catalyst for getting people to the polls in a speech June 28 to members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. "You see, living out our eternal salvation...
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Featuring Peter Dinklage, Harry Lloyd, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, Richard Madden, Mark Addy and Sean Bean In my years in academia I observed that the difference between elite and ordinary schools is this: at ordinary institutions,...
Green Light for Health Care
The idea of reforming America's inefficient and economically discriminatory health-care system seems to spark what legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin calls "health-care derangement syndrome." Opponents of the Affordable Care Act warn with wild inaccuracy...
How Many Winners in Health-Care Ruling?
Supporters of President Obama's health-care reform law were elated on June 28--and a bit surprised--by the Supreme Court's narrow decision upholding the landmark legislation. But social and religious conservatives quickly reacted as if the 5-4 ruling...
Humbled: Escaping the Universe of Pride
WHEN I WAS on the cusp of adolescence, my mother gave me a card on which were emblazoned these plaintive words of Thomas Merton: "Deliver me from pride, which is the heaviest of burdens." Of course, I had no idea why my mother would think Merton's...
Hungry Farmers: The Challenges of African Agriculture
IN LUTACHO, KENYA, the rains were late. It was mid-March 2011, and the farmers of western Kenya were still in the grip of the brutally hot dry season. The year before, the seasonal rains that usher in the corn planting began at the end of February;...
In-Flight Disciplines
On a recent plane trip I I read the in-flight magazine and found the letters column especially interesting. One reader wrote that he loved the airline, saying it "has all the qualities I look for in my future bride: always on time, greets me with a...
Interfaith Groups Urge End to Solitary Confinement
AN INTERFAITH coalition is urging Congress to end solitary confinement, which they said is a "harmful, costly and ineffective practice." Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith leaders joined the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to break a...
Mobilizing G8 on Food
WHEN LEADERS of the G8 countries met at Camp David in May, the proceedings were closely watched not only by experts in trade, politics and economics but by experts on world hunger. The Group of Eight, which includes representatives of most of the world's...
Number of American Imams Doesn't Meet the Demand
The Islamic Center of New England has always been led by imams born outside America. The two-campus mosque would like to change that, but it's proving harder than leaders had thought. The ICNE's mosque in Sharon on the South Shore of Boston has...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, July 29 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Ephesians 3:14-21 ABOUT A YEAR AGO my wife bought a gadget that checks all of the Christmas lights on a string and alerts the user to the one that is burned out. I didn't pay much attention to it at first. Then...
Respectfully Diverse
WHAT IS IT about theological educators that allows them to get along with civility and respect in spite of wide theological diversity? I attended the recent biennial meeting of the Association of Theological Schools and was impressed with the spirit...
Southern Baptists Approve Alternate, Unofficial Name
Members of the Southern Baptist Convention narrowly accepted the alternate--but unofficial--name of "Great Commission Baptists" as the denomination attempts to reach beyond the Bible Belt. Delegates meeting in New Orleans last month heatedly debated...
That Old-Time Skepticism
Conceived in Doubt: Religion and Politics in the New American Nation By Amanda Porterfield University of Chicago Press, 264 pp., $40.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 1809, Thomas Paine died in poverty, alcoholism and obscurity. Only a dozen...
The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation
The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation By Craig Van Gelder and Dwight J. Zscheile Baker Academic, 208 pp., $19.99 paperback The missional church discussion is alternately exhilarating and mystifying...
The Wrong Debate: It's Not about the Size of Government
IN A JUNE column, Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. argued that liberals need to be more direct and explicit about championing the role of government. Political scientist Douglas Amy titled his new book Government Is Good. With House Republicans...
To Rome with Love
To Rome with Love Written and directed by Woody Allen Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and Alec Baldwin Lit by the prodigious cinematographer Darius Khondji, Rome looks glorious in Woody Allen's latest, an omnibus of four...
Wrecking Ball
Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen [Columbia] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On the cover of Wrecking Ball, I Bruce Springsteen holds his iconic Fender Esquire guitar, the same ax he sported on his 1975 masterpiece Born to Run. Back then, saxophonist...