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. 6, March 21

A Desecration
One would have assumed that after 11 years of deployment in Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO troops would have known better than to burn copies of the Qur'an. But the assumption has been proved wrong. In mid-February copies of the Qur'an and other Islamic...
A Holy, Mundane Essence: Lessons of Confinement
LIVING WITH a chronic illness is much like Henry David Thoreau's experiment on Walden Pond: life is pared down to essentials. The difference is that Thoreau chose the constitutive limits of Walden Pond as part of an experiment in "living essentially,"...
Albert Nobbs
Albert Nobbs Directed by Rodrigo Garcia Starring Glenn Close, Janet McTeer and Mia Wasikowska Albert Nobbs's journey from page to stage to screen has been long and bumpy. Simone Benmussa adapted a short story by Irish writer George Moore into...
Campus Founded by Moody Is Being Given Away-To the Right Buyer
Jerry Pattengale's cell phone won't stop ringing as he leads a secretive group of college administrators on a tour of a majestic Massachusetts campus built in 1879 by legendary evangelist D. L. Moody. Calls and visitors are pouring in for one reason:...
Dignity and Choice
I'VE PICKED UP Nicholas Wolterstorff's new book, Justice in Love, and am reading it slowly, trying to savor each paragraph as he discusses the relationship--which sometime feels like a conflict--between justice and love. Wolterstorff comments on...
Franklin Graham Apologizes for Doubting Obama's Faith
Evangelist Franklin Graham has apologized to President Obama for questioning his Christian faith and said religion has "nothing to do" with Graham's decision not to support Obama's reelection. Graham's apology came February 28 after a group of prominent...
John Hick, Influential Philosopher of Religion
JOHN H. HICK, a prolific author renowned on British and U.S. campuses for his forthright approach to major questions in Christology and interfaith relations, died at age 90 on February 9 in Birmingham in his native Great Britain. It was at Princeton...
Multimedia Ministry: AME Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHEN VASHTI Murphy McKenzie was elected a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2000, she became the first woman to serve in that capacity. As bishop, McKenzie has emphasized social networking and digital media...
Nonprofits Oppose Change in Charitable Deductions
For the fourth year in a row, President Obama is proposing lower tax deductions for the wealthy on donations to churches and other nonprofit organizations. And for the fourth year in a row, nonprofit groups say the change would lead to a dramatic drop...
N.Y. Knicks' Jeremy Lin Seen as 'Taiwanese Tebow'
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin's underdog story and outspoken evangelical faith have some sportswriters dubbing him the "Taiwanese Tebow." But while Lin and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow share similar Christian convictions, Lin's sudden...
Organizing for Communion: 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 Sixth in a Series
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A part-time pastor at Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, Isaac S. Villegas also teaches classes in prisons with Project TURN and serves on the board of the North Carolina Council of Churches. He is the coauthor (with J. Alexander...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, March 25 Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33 IT'S THURSDAY afternoon or later, and Sunday is coming. For a pastor, the push is on to compose a sermon with application that's relevant to its hearers, along with compelling...
Southern Baptists: Name Change Too Costly
WHEN SOUTHERN Baptists gather for their annual meeting this June, they will not be asked to create a new official name. Top leaders decided that a change is not worth pursuing. Instead they will be asked to approve a recommendation that Baptists end...
Splinter Groups Turn into Churches
There's a popular saying in church-planting circles: it's easier to make babies than to raise the dead. That principle applies to denominations as well, said Paul Detterman, who in January helped found the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians....
Stripped Bare: Holy Week and the Art of Losing
UNDRESSING another person, or another person's body, is a slow and exquisite work. Whether it's a feeble parent who can't manage the buttons, a child for its bath or an expectant lover, undressing can be an act of love. When a Jew dies, a small group...
The Prodigal's Brother
WHEN I PREACH on the parable of the prodigal son, I always get stuck on the elder brother. I wish there were a fifth gospel in the New Testament devoted to reaching out to that guy because he's everywhere in the congregation I serve, wearing many names...
Virtual Good and Evil: The Moral Complexity of Video Games
ISABELLA HAD ABANDONED ME. I was in shock. She was my ally, drinking buddy, even lover. She knew the stakes: if we did not return the Tome of Kuslun to the Qunari, the entire city of Kirkwall would be razed to the ground. She had agreed to aid me,...
Whose Holy Ground?
In his poem "Little Gidding," T. S. Eliot warned his readers not to take too intellectual an approach to places of worship; instead, he urged, "You are here to kneel / Where prayer has been valid." Yet around the world many believers wrestle with the...
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