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. 17, August 22

Catholic Official Jailed for Sexual Abuse Cover-Up
Monsignor William J. Lynn, the first U.S. Catholic official convicted for covering up the sexual abuse of children, has been sentenced to three to six years in prison. Lynn, 61, has been in jail since his June 22 conviction on endangering the welfare...
Confessio
I, BRIAN, A SINNER, a most simple suburbanite, a generally decent sort but subject to fits of unrelieved selfishness, do here wish to confess and be shriven, in such a manner that speaking of that which I have not done well will provoke me to do better;...
Court Upholds Georgia Ban on Guns in Church
A FEDERAL appeals court has upheld Georgia's ban on bringing guns into places of worship. Jonathan Wilkins, pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston, and a gun-rights group had argued that church members should have the right to carry guns into...
Episcopal Bishop Says Yes (and No) to Gay Blessings
Episcopal Bishop Kee Sloan of Alabama voted in favor of his church's new ritual for blessing same-sex unions--but he won't allow priests in his diocese to perform it. "For the time being, I will not give permission," Sloan said. The blessing of...
Essential Books on Mormonism
Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900, by Leonard J. Arrington (University of Illinois Press). A masterful account of the policies and practices that enabled Mormons to settle in the hostile environment of the...
Gun Control as a Religious Issue
Of all the controversies that have I followed in the bloody wake of the July 20 shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, few have provided such clarifying insight into the moral tensions and contradictions in American culture as the argument over whether...
Gun Madness
A PRINT OF The Peaceable Kingdom hangs in many clergy offices. Painter Edward Hicks, a Quaker who lived from 1780 to 1849, loved the beautiful vision in Isaiah 11 of the wolf dwelling with the lamb, the leopard lying down with the kid, the calf and...
Investing in Change: Nora Nash, Shareholder Activist
SISTER NORA NASH of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia works for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, which combines the investing assets of more than 300 institutions for a combined portfolio of more than $110 billion. Together...
Orthodox Church in America Ousts Its Leader
THE ORTHODOX Church in America announced that it had forced its leader, Metropolitan Jonah, to resign earlier this summer, chiefly because he had failed to remove a priest accused of rape. "In light of the recent widely publicized criminal cases...
Our Mormon Neighbors
The fact that the Constitution bars a religious test for public office does not, of course, bar citizens from taking religion into account when they vote. However, the spirit of the Constitution--not to mention political wisdom and the spirit of Christian...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, August 26 John 6:56-69 WHAT WAS JESUS THINKING? He had such a great following before he spoke. He'd just fed 5,000 people, and they were ready to sign up to become disciples. This would've been the time to use his best preaching material--toss...
Romney as Church Leader: Strict on Sex, but Caring to Those Needing Help
Lani Gerson left the Mormon church long before Mitt Romney decided to excommunicate her. Gerson, 65, grew up in Arizona and left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints as a teenager. When she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, she began...
Snakes in the Grass
I am not squeamish about most animals or insects. I have no inordinate fears of dogs or cats. Bats are not too scary, though I would rather not have one stuck in my hair. Spiders have my respect and are not regarded as cuddly. But snakes are different....
Stimulus Needed
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE remain unemployed in the wake of the recession. Among workers age 25 to 54, the U.S. economy has restored less than one fifth of the jobs lost during the recession of 2007-2009. Long-term unemployed and discouraged workers now make...
Take This Waltz
Take This Waltz Directed by Sarah Pol|ey Starring Hichette Williams, Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby This low-key, intimate Canadian film is in danger of passing by unnoticed. An anatomy of two relationships--a marriage and a courtship that overlap--the...
The Absurd in Worship
THE PUBLISHING HOUSE of my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will soon issue a promising new hymnal. Naturally the hymns had to pass theological muster, but the range of styles and themes in this collection is wide--newer hymns, global...
The Bible Plus
A LATTER-DAY SAINT friend of mine once invited an evangelical coworker to church. The coworker found much that was familiar in the LDS service: hymn singing, an informal sermon style, robust fellowshiping and scripture-driven Sunday school. But then...
Training in Jesus' Way
Todd Friesen Lombard, Illinois TODD FRIESEN graduated from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. He is lead pastor of Lombard Mennonite Church in west suburban Chicago. What excites you most about ministry these days?...
Visions of Zion
IN FEBRUARY Mitt Romney made two of his more memorable campaign trail gaffes, both regarding wealth. Speaking to CNN about the economy after his important win in the Florida primary, Romney said he was "not concerned about the very poor." In context,...