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. 22, October 31

And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament
And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament By Fleming Rutledge Eerdmans, 435 PP., $30.00 Fleming Rutledge is the most interesting preacher today working the fault line between the mainline churches and evangelicalism. Throughout...
Campaigns' Faith Outreach Has Centered on Economy
With voters focused intently on pocketbook issues, both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are framing their faith outreach efforts around the economy as the presidential campaign enters its final weeks. That marks a shift from previous election...
Defining the Middle: The Rhetoric and Reality of Class
AN EPISCOPAL PRIEST who, with her husband, brings in about $65,000 a year tells Marketplace that they are lower middle class. A woman posting at dcurbanmom.com identifies her family as middle class, and their income is $100,000 a year. CNN talks to...
Episcopal Bishop Says He Was Denied Entrance to Archbishop's Installation
What started off as a rocky relationship between the Episcopal and Roman Catholic bishops of San Francisco got even worse on October 4 when Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus said he was denied entrance to the installation mass for the city's new Roman Catholic...
Faulty Assumptions
CARLYLE MARNEY taught me that All Saints Day is a time to remember, give thanks and wave to one's "balcony people," those individuals now gone who've had a lasting impact on one's life. This year I'm particularly grateful for Joseph Sittler. I recently...
Fit for Ministry: Addressing the Crisis in Clergy Health
BEING A PASTOR is bad for your health. Pastors have little time for exercise. They often eat meals in the car or at potluck dinners not known for their fresh green salads. The demands on their time are unpredictable and never ending, and their days...
Jesus in Black and White
The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America By Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey University of North Carolina Press, 336 pp., $32.50 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Color of Christ confronts the complicated history of the...
'Judeo-Christian Values' Provide Romney a Link to GOP Evangelicals
Mitt Romney angered evangelicals during his first White House run in 2008 by blurring the theological lines between their faith and his Mormonism. Lurching in the other direction, he irked them again by scarcely mentioning religion at all during this...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
All Saints Day John 11:32-44 TO UNDERSTAND what I am going to tell you, you need to know that my parents were scientists and that my mother's mind had a decidedly nonpoetic bent. Nonetheless, they read me poems from the time I was very young...
NCC Envisions Itself as Smaller, More Agile
With yearly budget problems bedeviling the National Council of Churches, the ecumenical body recently finished taking a six-month look at what structural changes would enable the organization to concentrate on theological dialogue and interreligious...
Non-Muslims Send Help after Mosque Is Damaged
Muslim worshipers are reeling from an arson fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, but are grateful for an outpouring of support from the local and national interfaith community. "All the support we get is very welcome because if you are...
Open Door for Terrorism: Christian-Muslim Tensions in Kenya
THE KILLING OF Muslim cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo on August 27 in Kenya's Coast Province triggered the worst interfaith violence yet witnessed in that country. Muslim youths immediately rioted in Mombasa, burning down and vandalizing churches even as...
Our Ragged Church: A Homeless Mission in the City
I ONCE NAILED the doors of my church shut. I didn't exactly hammer the nails. But I brought the plank and hammer and nails from the basement and held the listing wooden doors while a police officer hammered in the nails. Afterward, no one could...
Pinterest and Porn
Like millions of other people, most of them women, I recently joined Pinterest. This online photo-sharing site is used to organize and recommend images according to topic or theme. The popular images on this virtual pinboard include cute baby animals,...
Recovering Kindness: An Urgent Virtue in a Ruthless World
I SPEND quite a lot of time reflecting on the human capacity for evil. Perhaps that is an occupational hazard for anyone who teaches Christian ethics. Then, as an act of moral self-preservation surely connected to God's mercy, I eventually turn to...
Saints and Doubters
LESLIE STEPHEN famously gave up his priestly orders--and with them, his academic appointment at the University of Cambridge--when he realized that he could no longer accept the story of Noah as sacred truth. His essays on agnosticism drew his future...
Saints as They Really Are: Voices of Holiness in Our Time
Saints As They Really Are: Voices of Holiness in Our Time By Michael Plekon University of Notre Dame Press, 304 pp., $30.00 paperback Michael Plekon is a man of many talents: he is a sociologist, an anthropologist and an expert in Kierkegaard's...
Stump Sermons
Beware when politicians sound like preachers and preachers start sounding like politicians--it's likely that religion is being used for political ends. But some preachers are apparently eager to use religion for political purposes. For the fourth year...
The African Mainstream
Well-behaved churches seldom make history. Over the past 50 years, fascination with the Christian upsurge in Africa has led many scholars to study new prophetic churches, with a heavy focus on those that draw on traditional African practices. Extraordinarily...
The Book of Mormon Girl
The Book of Mormon Girl By Joanna Brooks Free Press, 240 pp., $14.00 paperback When people who don't know a lot about American Christianity hear that I am Mennonite, they sometimes ask if it's the same as being Mormon. No, I say, and add a...
The Rise of the 'Nones'
The number of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation has hit an all-time high--about one in five adults--according to a study released October 9 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Labeled "nones" because they claim either...
Unitarian Universatists See Opportunity for Growth
For Nathan De Lee, going to church as a kid was an ordeal. De Lee, a Unitarian Universalist, grew up in rural Kansas, where members of his faith were few and far between. Attending services meant an overnight trip to Kansas City, Missouri, where the...