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. 130, No. 1, January 9

A Land Divided: The Internal Conflicts of Zionism
ON DECEMBER 2, the Sunday after the United Nations General Assembly voted to accept Palestine as an observer state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his cabinet's weekly meeting with defiance. Not only did he declare that "the government...
Blessed Technology
I work remotely, out of my home office. As such I am dependent on the smooth and ready operation of computer equipment. Recently I encountered some hitches. My VPN (virtual private network) signal was being easily interrupted, bumping me off my connection...
Blue Hearts
DURING THE DAYS following the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, it didn't take much to bring me to tears. The photos of the first graders who were killed did it, but so did the sight of almost any child--in a mother's arms, or walking hand in hand...
Bracing for Legal Battle over Gay Marriage
The Supreme Court's decision to take up the explosive issue of same-sex marriage will thrust it into a policy debate that has divided federal and state governments and courts as well as voters in nearly 40 states. The court's agreement to hear challenges...
Fate of Accused Pastor Falls to His Flock
Pastor Travis Smith paced First Baptist Church's sanctuary, decorated for the holidays. He addressed his congregation in Stover, Missouri, about forgiveness. "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also...
Fervent and Open
Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World By Brian D. McLaren Jericho Books, 276 pp., $24.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IF BRIAN MCLAREN'S new book had a theme song, he says...
Low-Tech Bond
Viewers don't look to James Bond movies for profundity. Mostly they go to see buxom babes (now brainier and badder) and gravity-defying vehicle chases. But the most recent Bond installment offers some pertinent comments on technology (and I don't say...
Massacre Galvanizes 'Cross Lobby' on Gun Control
The shooting deaths of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school has revived religious support for gun control, galvanizing a movement that has struggled to gain traction against the powerful gun lobby. "We are going to win this...
Mormon Website Promotes Gentler Tone toward Gays
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints isn't changing its tune about homosexuality, but it has launched a new website to alter the tone. The site called "Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction" includes video clips of Mormon...
Pastor, Not Friend
JACK ANDERSON IS every pastor's dream elder. He's a physician who is known for being ethical and compassionate. He reads theology and practices the spiritual disciplines, and I can always hear echoes of the Holy Spirit in his wise counsel. No one in...
Playing Offense: It's Time to Divest from the Oil Industry
THE PIPELINE blockaders in the piney woods of East Texas that Kyle Childress describes (p. 22) are American exemplars--the latest incarnation of John Muir, Rachel Carson, John Lewis or Fannie Lou Hamer. They're playing defense with verve and creativity--blocking...
Protesters in the Pews: Young Pipeline Resisters Come to Worship
BE CAREFUL what you pray for"--a variation on the old adage "Be careful what you wish for"--has been repeated over and over by many. We repeat it because we believe there's some wisdom in it. It's shorthand for the theological insight that God always...
Psychedelic Pill
Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young and Crazy Horse [Reprise] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] While many of his contemporaries have ossified, Neil Young claws at the marrow like a deranged miner, digging deep in ways that confound expectation. He launches...
Reading God's Handwriting: Poems
Reading God's Handwriting: Poems By Philip C. Kolin Kaufmann, 96 pp., $16.95 A prolific literary critic, editor of the Southern Quarterly, and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, Philip C. Kolin is...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, January 13 Isaiah 43:1-7; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 I WAS ORDAINED last February, and since then I've been invited to preach at more than a dozen churches as a supply preacher. It's always an adventure to pack up my minister's...
Report Cites Ways for IRS to Curb Lavish Ministries
A special commission created by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has called for clearer Internal Revenue Service guidance and greater efforts by donors to address "outliers" among congregations and other nonprofits that are not...
Spirited Remnant
Waiting for Gospel: An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant "Establishment" By Douglas John Hall Cascade, 226 pp., $25.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Douglas Hall is likely the most respected, perceptive and influential...
Stopping Gun Violence
Twenty-eight dead in Connecticut, most of them first graders. Days earlier, three people killed in an Oregon mall. More than 500--including many children--shot down in Chicago in 2012. In the aftermath of a horrific shooting, some object to any...
The Postpartisan Partisan: Obama as Christian Realist
PRIOR TO HIS election in 2008, Barack Obama declared that Reinhold Niebuhr was one of his favorite philosophers. This affirmation led several prognosticators to elucidate various features of the early Obama presidency in Niebuhrian terms. Indeed, his...
The Quest for the Historical Satan
The Quest for the Historical Satan By Miguel A. De La Torre and Albert Hernandez Fortress, 256 pp., $20.00 paperback According to Albert Schweitzer, the quest for the historical Jesus ends with the questers looking down a well and seeing their...