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. 122, No. 11, May 31

Are We There Yet? the Route from Suffering to Hope Can Be a Very Winding Road
Sunday, June 12 Romans 5: 1-8 WHEN I TAKE a long road trip, the route I choose depends on whether I am driving my car or riding my motorcycle. If I have a tight time line, I drive my car. I prefer to travel on interstate highways if possible. My...
As Good as Dead
Sunday, June 5 Romans 4:13-25; Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 ARON RALSTON KNEW he would die before the next morning's sunrise. Five days earlier he'd been walking a trail in a narrow desert canyon in Utah and had climbed down from a large chockstone along...
Baptist Pastor Quits after Political Dispute
The pastor of a North Carolina Baptist church has resigned after controversy over allegations that he told members to "repent or resign" if they intended to vote for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in the last election. Chan Chandler...
Bush, 'Proud Methodist,' Opens a Door
IT WAS A modest gesture, but some United Methodists hope that President Bush's first meeting with bishops in his own denomination will contribute to a new relationship with mainline church leaders. While in Washington for a semiannual bishops meeting,...
Choices of Youth
THE EXTRAORDINARY six-hour Italian movie The Best of Youth is like a long novel. By the end you feel you know the characters the way you know your own family and circle of friends. The setting is the social and political turbulance of the years between...
Collared
WHEN DO I WEAR clerical garb, and why? My current practice is to wear clericals when I'm exercising the ministry to which I was ordained--that is, when I'm serving in liturgical or educational ministries (or stand available to do so). In practice,...
Courage to Respond
IF THE CREED is the point in the liturgy where the congregation learns to reason theologically, it is also the place where Christians learn the virtue of courage. Over and over again in the Gospels, when people are challenged to declare whether they...
Lesbian Reinstated; Bishop to Appeal Case
The United Methodist bishop of Philadelphia plans to appeal the case of a lesbian minister who was reinstated last month after she was initially defrocked for violating a church ban on "self-avowed practicing" gay clergy. Bishop Marcus Matthews...
Methodists OK Sharing Communion with ELCA and Episcopal Church
United Methodists have taken the first step toward full communion with Episcopalians and most Lutherans after their bishops approved an agreement to share the Eucharist, with members of the two other denominations. The United Methodist bishops,...
Mine Wars: Rearranging Mountains in Appalachia
IN THE SUMMERS of 1920 and 1921 southern West Virginia was the scene of some of the most historically significant unrest in U.S. history. Yet today this history has been largely forgotten. Although I was raised in West Virginia, I first learned about...
Nothing to Boast Of
AFTER ALL the media attention to things (Roman) Catholic in recent weeks, this may be a useful moment to reflect on the continuing significance of the Reformation. On April 24 the entire hour of Meet the Press was devoted to a roundtable discussion...
Orthodox Depose Holy Land Patriarch
Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic leaders have offered to mediate in a scandal in Jerusalem that has seen the Greek Orthodox patriarch for the Holy Land Itineos I deposed by his own bishops over allegations that he authorized the transfer of church...
Ousting of Editor Viewed as Ominous
Was Thomas Reese, the respected priest-editor of a Jesuit magazine who was often seen on TV during April's papal transition, the latest casualty in a simmering battle between the Vatican and the U.S. Catholic Church? According to most accounts,...
Preach It
IN HIS NOVEL Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope writes: "There is, perhaps, no greater hardship on mankind in civilized and free countries than the necessity of listening to sermons. No one but a preaching clergyman has, in these realms, the power...
Seminary Enrollment Trends Upward
Enrollment in theological schools in North America has continued on a gradual (2 to 3 percent) annual increase over the past five years, according to new data released this spring. But the largest U.S. seminary, California-based Fuller Theological...
Southern Baptists Pull Back from 'Free Speech' Bill
The Southern Baptist Convention's public policy arm has withdrawn support for a bill that would allow religious institutions to endorse candidates without threatening their tax-exempt status. The SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, once...
Symphonic Truth: Von Balthasar and Christian Humanism
MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE that Christian piety entails narrow-mindedness and that the more one affirms Christ in his particularity the more one rejects the world in its plurality. If the true Christian is, as John Wesley said, a person of one book, then...
Term Limit
MAINLINE OR LIBERAL Protestants need a better term to describe themselves. Mainline implies cultural and social dominance, which is hard to assert given the numerical realities. Only three mainline churches rank among the ten largest church bodies...
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