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. 23, November 14

After Controversial Video, Catholic Leaders Explain Relations with Islam
AS A VATICAN delegation prepared in October to leave for war-torn Syria, the Catholic Church's fraught relationship with Islam emerged as one of the main themes at a major gathering of the world's bishops in Rome. The debate was stirred by a leading...
Backing Romney, Graham Alters Stance on Mormons
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed language labeling Mormonism a cult from its website after the famed preacher met with Republican nominee Mitt Romney and pledged to help his presidential campaign. The removal came after a gay rights...
Beyond Anger and Blame: How to Achieve Constructive Conflict
SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE," and "see that none of you repays evil for evil," exhorts St. Paul. Which is easier said than done. Consider the situation of a pastor who is told after a worship service, "The next time you preach on that subject, give me...
Bhutan Bans Faith Activity in Run-Up to Elections
Political leaders in the tiny Buddhist nation of Bhutan have announced a nearly six-month ban on all public religious activities ahead of the upcoming elections, citing the Himalayan nation's constitution that says "religion shall remain above politics."...
Duty and Delight
A SOURCE OF constant irritation to my parents was my persistent procrastination when it came to saying "thank you" as a boy. The occasion was usually a birthday card from my grandmother. When I ripped it open and looked for the money that was usually...
Inconvenient Solidarity: Religion Professors Support a Hotel Boycott
ON THE WEEKEND before Thanksgiving, thousands of religion scholars will gather for a joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature in a city that will provide more than enough material for moral reflection....
Jewish, Christian Groups Differ over Aid to Israel
An established interfaith group is in danger of disintegrating as major American Jewish groups and prominent mainline Protestant churches differ over U.S. aid for Israel--a long-standing argument that the group was established, in part, to diffuse....
Leaving and Grieving
I JUST ANNOUNCED that I'll be leaving the church I serve as a pastor because I have accepted another position. There's a lot of shock and dismay. Some are angry. This is the third time I've said goodbye to a congregation. I should know how to do...
Let the Children Lead: A Changed View of Ministry
A THREE-YEAR-OLD girl came running down the center aisle of the sanctuary and straight into my arms. "I'm here!" she exclaimed, laying her head on my shoulder. I had no idea who she was, but I held her close for a few moments before beginning the...
Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity
Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity By David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy HarperOne, 288 pp., $17.99 paperback On more than one occasion, pastors and laypersons from progressive congregations have confided in...
McGovern Was Methodist Advocate of Social Gospel
To most American voters in 1972, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota was way too liberal on many issues--and he was beaten badly by incumbent Richard Nixon. But to many fellow Methodists he was also a churchgoing humanitarian...
Ministers and Musicians: Allies or Adversaries?
Eileen Guenther, the national president of the American Guild of Organists, reveals behind-the-scenes church struggles in her new book, Rivals or a Team? Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century. Guenther, an associate professor...
Ordination of Women Is a Mistake, Say Adventists
Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have said that recent decisions by two regional bodies to allow ordination of female pastors were "serious mistakes," and women who are ordained won't be recognized--at least for now. "They directly challenge...
Personal Soundtrack
Recorded music has suffused my life. It began during a time when my afterschool chore was to milk the cow, and beside the milking stall was a cobwebbed portable radio. One afternoon while I was squeezing the cow's dry, calloused teats and listening...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, November 18 Daniel 12:1-3; Mark 13:1-8 DO YOU KNOW what the antidote for fear is?" the minister asked. The answer jumped into my head immediately. "Perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:17, NASB). But since it's generally frowned upon...
Short Shrift in a Long Campaign: The Campaign Hardly Touched on Some Major Issues Facing the Nation
The two-year presidential campaign was an exhausting marathon for candidates and for voters, yet it hardly touched on some major issues facing the nation. Among the glaring omissions in the 2012 race: Poverty: Though concern for the middle class...
Southern Diocese Leaving Episcopal Church
The Diocese of South Carolina has announced that it has disaffiliated with the Episcopal Church, escalating a long-running skirmish and setting the stage to become the fifth diocese to secede from the denomination. South Carolina said the split...
The Lure of Mormon Romance
The fifth and final movie installment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, Part 2, closes the circle on a seven-year obsession with Bella Swan and her journey toward immortal life and eternal love. In case you haven't caught up on the series, which...
The Original Separationist
Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty By John M. Barry Viking, 480 pp., $35.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the members of the Danbury, Connecticut,...
The Poor Are Still with Us: Peter Edelman, Policy Advocate
PETER ED ELMAN has worked in public policy for almost 50 years, specializing in issues related to poverty and welfare. In 1996, he resigned from his post in the Clinton administration to protest its support for welfare reform, a reform he believed...
What Makes a Baptist?
A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches By Robert E. Johnson Cambridge University Press, 470 pp., $33.99 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Baptists Through the Centuries: A History of a Global People By David W. Bebbington Baylor...