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. 25, December 12

Catholic Bishops Split on Views of Economy
A divided U.S. Catholic hierarchy has failed to agree on a statement about the economy after a debate that revealed sharp differences over the kind of social justice issues that were once a hallmark of the bishops' public profile. The defeat of...
Christmas Unvarnished
FIVE YEARS ago I preached a Christmas sermon that struck out with one family. I know that preaching can be a dangerous business. But I've always thought the hazard was wrapped in the risk of trying to handle divine mysteries. Hold those mysteries...
Demographic Turmoil
Ironically, racist attitudes may have increased during President Obama's first term. A survey conducted by researchers at Stanford found that 51 percent of Americans now associate blacks with words such as lazy and violent, compared to 48 percent who...
Desperate Prayers
IN LATE OCTOBER, as the "perfect storm" that was Hurricane Sandy came barreling toward the northeast coast, my wife and I were in Atlanta watching the Weather Channel with mounting concern. Our cherished home on the Chesapeake Bay, the place of our...
Discomfort Food
There is a way of using the Bible that focuses on the comfort that it may provide. Such a way is exemplified in the Gideon Bible, which points to particular Bible verses for immediate comfort and encouragement. So for those seeking "comfort in time...
Emerging as Adults
My husband and I laugh at ourselves for laughing so much at the Fox television show New Girl, now in its second season. Our laughs are partially rooted in the fact that we fit loosely into the age cohort of the characters (well, close enough). The...
Fall of a Warrior
It's tempting to view the sex scandal surrounding army general David Petraeus through a religious lens. Even before Petraeus's fall from grace, some Pentagon colleagues compared him to the biblical King David--another proud and powerful warrior....
Fusing Justice and Holiness
What is pastoral ministry like these days, and how is it being shaped in new ways? The Century talked to pastors about the challenges and surprises of their early years in ministry. This interview is the ninth in a series. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
How We Talk about God
The God Problem: Expressing Faith and Being Reasonable By Robert Wuthnow University of California Press, 344 PP., $34.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For nearly four decades, Princeton University sociologist Robert Wuthnow has proved himself...
Introverts Unite
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Crown, 352 pp., $26.00 IN AN ASTONISHINGLY popular essay in the Atlantic a few years ago, Jonathan Rauch envisioned the dawning of an...
New Archbishop Inherits Divided Anglican World
Bishop Justin Welby, a former oil executive who's emerged as a critic of corporate excess, will become the 105th archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide 77-million-member Anglican Communion. Welby,...
New Life without Parole
EVERY TIME I walk into a prison I notice the same things--the relentless noise, the yelling, the clanging of door after door. I'm led into an interior world resembling something like a human maze. When I was a seminary student in Columbia, South Carolina,...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, December 16 Luke 3:7-18 IT WAS A Thursday morning, and I was preoccupied with writing this article and considering the words of John the Baptist from the passage in Luke 3. John seems so out of place in Advent, I thought to myself. He...
Revolutionary Words
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1:52-53) THESE ARE powerful words, revolutionary words. They belong not to Karl Marx, but...
The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edited by Isabel Best Fortress, 240 pp., $29.95 Readers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer know him in many roles--theologian, pastor, ecumenist, university lecturer, seminary director, conspirator, prisoner,...
The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives
The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives Edited by Devon W. Carbado and Donald Weise Beacon, 288 pp., $28.95 Why do readers endure the bleak realm of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games? Why do we march through bog and storm with...