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. 8, April 17

Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace
Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace By Beverly Donofrio Viking, 240 pp., $25.95 Beverly Donofrio had just been "looking for a monastery to join, for Christ's sake." She had closed her laptop, having bookmarked religious...
Church of William Harris
This year marks the centennial of an explosive episode in modern Christian history. In July 1913, a prophetic evangelist named William Wade Harris began his march across the French colony of Ivory Coast, calling people to live purely and to reject...
Delayed Marriage Leading to Increased Number of Out-of-Wedlock Births
First comes baby, then comes marriage? That is the new norm for many middle-class young Americans--and they and their children are paying a price, says a new report. With 48 percent of first births now outside of marriage, "today's unmarried twentysomething...
Discovering the Saints: A Church Meets a Cloud of Witnesses
IN THE UNDERRATED film drama Into Temptation, a priest preaches to the small, stoic congregation of St. Mary Magdalene on the feast day of a St. Cyril, who lived a life of complete chastity, poverty and sobriety. "It's no wonder the Irish didn't adopt...
Episcopal Bishops Agree Not to Help Breakaway Churches
The Episcopal Church has a new commandment for its bishops: thou shalt not assist former Episcopalians who are trying to take the church's assets. Church leaders have reached an agreement with nine bishops who had supported breakaway congregations...
Faith Matters: Seeing through Piero
IF YOU WANT to immerse yourself in the art of the early Renaissance Italian painter Piero della Francesca, you need to make a pilgrimage to several small Italian hill towns as well as to museums in London and Paris, Boston and New York City and Williamstown,...
Forgiving Ahab: Naboth's Vineyard and God's Justice
THE STRANGEST THING about freedom in America is not how invisible it is to a foreigner or how cherished it is by those who live there but how frequently it's portrayed as being under threat. Unlike almost every other country in the world, America went...
From Iran to Israel: Translator Orly Noy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ORLY NOY emigrated to Israel from Iran as a child during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. She has worked for All for Peace radio, a station with a staff of Israelis and Palestinians, and she has produced the first translations...
Gordon Cosby, 95, Pioneer in Missional Thinking
Gordon Cosby, the founder of the Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C., and a pioneering Christian activist whose ministry foreshadowed both the missional and emergent church movements, died March 20 at 95. Cosby died at Christ House, which...
Healthy Cooperation
Though most state Republican leaders vowed last year to reject the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, several GOP governors have made plans to increase their Medicaid rolls after all. This is very good news. Currently, many states only cover people...
How Long a Papal Honeymoon?
Sources include: Religion News Service [RNS] USA Today, other newspapers Associated Baptist Press [ABP] denominational news services Since the moment of his election on March 13, Pope Francis has been warmly embraced by his own flock...
Melissa Rogers Picked for Obama's Faith-Based Office
Church-state expert Melissa Rogers will be the new director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rogers succeeds Joshua DuBois, who left the office in February after serving throughout President Obama's first term....
MLK's Manifesto: Letter from Birmingham Jail' at 50
FIFTY YEARS AGO, in June 1963, the CHRISTIAN CENTURY found itself near the center of American public debate when it was the first large-circulation magazine to publish the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The letter...
New Bells to Ring out at Notre Dame Cathedral
For generations, France's best-known cathedral has been ringing in masses and Christian holidays with what some people unkindly called the most discordant bells in Europe. Now, the ear-deafening clangs from Notre Dame Cathedral are being replaced...
News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories
News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories By Jennifer Haigh Harper, 256 pp., $25.99 In her 2005 novel Baker Towers, Jennifer Haigh introduced readers to Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a town named after the coal mines that sustain it, and to the Novak...
Power Couple
As the first program available only through Netflix's streaming service, House of Cards is an experiment in delivering digital content in a way that maximizes profit. Netflix released the entire season at once on February 1. House of Cards is political...
Prophetic Epistle
Martin Luther King Jr. lived less than four decades, and his public life spanned only 13 years, ending in 1968. In that time, the Baptist minister turned civil rights activist pricked the conscience of an America that was just a hundred years removed...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, April 21 John 10:22-30 I'VE ALWAYS BEEN challenged by the lectionary readings for this Sunday. Although both Psalm 23 and John refer to Jesus the Shepherd and us as sheep, I live in New York City, and as far as I can tell, even the Sheep...
Syrian Refugee Crisis Hits Neighboring Countries
AFTER TWO YEARS of civil war, the Syrian refugee crisis is reaching a boiling point. The United Nations estimates that 2.3 million Syrians are displaced within Syria and that another million have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt according...
The Bible's Violent God
WITHOUT INTENDING TO, I turned to the History Channel's The Bible recently and saw the birth of Moses, the slaughter of Hebrew babies and the rescue of baby Moses from the river. I experienced discomfort bordering on revulsion at the occasional exaggeration...
The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology
The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology By Douglas E. Christie Oxford University Press, 488 pp., $29.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Philosophy begins in wonder, claimed Plato long ago. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind,...
Thirst for Life: Do We Really Want to Live Forever?
AS THE NUMBER of our years increases, as we age in that simple chronological sense, we also age in a more important and profound sense. Gradually but progressively our bodies begin to function less effectively, and that increasing loss of function...
What Culture of Violence? Why We Shouldn't Blame Video Games and Movies
VIOLENCE SEEMS to be embedded in our DNA. For as long as there have been human beings, there has been violence. Humans are adept at brutality. And for those of us who hope for an end to violence and believe in a God who desires that we beat our swords...