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. 19, September 19

A Door in the Ocean: A Memoir
A Door in the Ocean: A Memoir By David McGlynn Counterpoint, 288 pp., $26.00 In his sparkling new collection of essays--presented as a memoir after some adept editing--David McGlynn wrestles with some of the same fierce angels that haunted...
Amish Communities on a Growth Spurt
The Amish are one of the fastest-growing religious groups in North America, according to a new census by researchers at Ohio State University. The study, released July 27 at the annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, reports that a new...
Can Medicine Be Cured?
The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying By Jeffrey P. Bishop University of Notre Dame Press, 432 pp., $35.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN THIS brilliant book, Jeffrey Bishop, who is both a physician and...
Dangerous Vows
IT WAS SUE AND MIKE'S first Sunday back in worship after their honeymoon. From the preacher's chair I could see them in the fourth pew, unable to keep their hands off each other. We sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," which we'd also sung at their wedding....
Disagreeing in Love: A Congregation Discusses Same-Sex Marriage
I KNEW I HAD to talk to him. My letter was already printed in the newsletter that would arrive in mailboxes later that week, and it was all set to go up on the church website. There was no going back from it now: I was taking a stand against North...
Disputed Sources Underlie Rep. Akin's Rape Remarks
"The question of rape always stirs the emotions whenever it is introduced into the abortion debate," wrote Dr. Fred Mecklenburg in 1972. "Unfortunately, the emotional impact of rape often clouds the real issues and the real facts." Mecklenburg--an...
Font of Life: Ambrose, Augustine, and the Mystery of Baptism
Font of Life: Ambrose, Augustine, and the Mystery of Baptism By Garry Wills Oxford University Press, 208 pp., $21.95 A story is told of Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa. He ascended the cathedral pulpit one Sunday to...
GOP Ticket Signals Religious Shift
By naming devout, conservative Catholic Paul Ryan to be his running mate, former governor Mitt Romney, once a Mormon bishop, did more than ensure that the U.S. will have a Catholic vice president in 2013. He established the first Republican ticket...
Grand Theory
Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind By Kitty Ferguson Palgrave Macmillan, 320 pp., $27.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Throughout most of his career, physicist Stephen Hawking has strived for a theory of everything--a complete, integrated understanding...
Lament for Small Places
Eighty-plus years ago, Granddad and Grandma Clapp moved into the Oklahoma Panhandle and established a farm. The farm was still in the making when the great dust storms of the Dirty Thirties engulfed the region. Grandma and Granddad persisted. They...
Megachurch Worship Offers a Spiritual 'High'
Maybe religion really is the opiate of the masses--just not the way Karl Marx imagined. A University of Washington study posits that worship services at megachurches can trigger feelings of transcendence and changes in brain chemistry--a spiritual...
Multisite Churches Are Outpacing Growth of Megachurches
The number of congregations that host worship services at more than one physical location has grown to more than 5,000 in the last decade, according to a new report. Researchers say these multisite churches, which may share worshipers across town or...
Obama, Romney Quizzed on Religious Perspectives
President Obama says it's not his job to defend his Christian faith against doubters who suspect he's Muslim. His GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, says religion is "integral" to his life, but he often avoids mentioning his Mormon faith by name. Religion...
Once upon a Time
Once Upon a Time TV series created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz Mirror, Mirror Film directed by Tarsem Singh Snow White and the Huntsman Film directed by Rupert Sanders I've long imagined that the gender theorists at Walt...
Racial Politics
Race is a major theme of American history, and it tends to bubble to the surface during presidential campaigns. Blacks are often accused of playing the race card, but more often it is white politicians who play that card. George H.W. Bush used the...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 23 Proverbs 31:10-31 THOSE OF US WHO follow the lectionary have encountered the industrious woman of Proverbs 31 many times. Every three years she appears with her wool and flax, her distaff and spindle, her keen eye for both...
Russian Band Punished for 'Religious Hatred'
A Moscow court has found three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral in February. They were sentenced on August 17 to two years in...
Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America
Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America By Lynne Gerger University of Chicago Press, 296 pp., $29.00 paperback Last year a furor erupted when Alix Spiegel's story "Can Therapy Help Change...
Speaking of Money
MY FILES ARE FULL of sermons on stewardship. I have always taken that aspect of Christian life seriously. So it came as a shock when people would say, "We know that you really don't like to talk about money." Late in the game, I began to understand...
The End of Aids? Gains and Challenges in Fighting HIV
RECENT REPORTS about the approval of Truvada, a drug that inhibits HIV infection, along with the story of a Seattle man, popularly known as the "Berlin patient," who has reportedly been cured of AIDS, have generated hopes that the end of AIDS might...
Unnecessary Roughness: The Moral Hazards of Football
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE in 1967, my father and two cousins awaited a bus in Cumberland, Wisconsin, bound for Madison. They waited in the car not just to avoid the bitter cold, but to listen on the radio to the tense conclusion of the NFL title game between...
What Jesus Is Doing: The Ministry of the Risen Lord
FOR YEARS I have heard it said by Christians of quite different stripes that we are to be Jesus' hands and feet. Closely related to this notion is the idea that the Christian community is to "incarnate" Jesus through its words and deeds, that it is...