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. 119, No. 21, October 9

A Whiff of Armageddon. (Impressions)
BARRING A MIRACLE or the sudden discovery of a moral backbone in Congress, President Bush will get his mandate to attack Iraq. Although the U.S. didn't attack either the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China when both were well stocked with...
Before the Shooting Starts. (A Fabricated Case?)
AS I HAVE listened to the discussions about Saddam Hussein and Iraq, some disturbing questions have arisen. As an ordinary citizen with no special expertise in foreign policy, I am unable to get to the bottom of them. As a skeptic, however, who remembers...
Best Sellers
Westminster John Knox 1. Life in Biblical Israel by Philip J. King and Lawrence E. Stager 2. Jesus the Savior: The Meaning of Jesus Christ for Christian Faith by William C. Placher 3. A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where...
Bookish. (from the Editor/publisher)
I GREW UP with books. My parents valued books and taught me to treat books with respect and affection. One of the unexpected pleasures of college was going to the bookstore to purchase the texts I needed and could afford, and carrying them back to...
Century Marks
GIVE WOMEN A CHANCE: After the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks failed in July 2000, President Clinton said, "If we'd had women at Camp David, we'd have an agreement." Swanee Hunt and Christina Posa agree, and can cite cases in which the presence of...
Churches Argue against War. (News)
AS THE BUSH administration wrestled with Senate Democrats over presidential authority to wage a preemptive war against Iraq, mainline church figures lobbied Congress, contending that a first-strike, unilateral attack on that country would be immoral....
Congress, Bush Faulted for Inaction on Welfare. (News)
As Congress and the White House shifted focus to Iraq and ongoing homeland security concerns, religious leaders say Washington has failed the nation's poor by stalling on welfare reform. The federally funded welfare program, Temporary Aid to Needy...
Cutting Up the Neighborhood
LET ME BEGIN by saying that, yes, I had a big, fat Greek wedding. It was performed in the shadow of the dome of the church where my grandfather had once been priest. Our reception took place in the church basement, where I was surrounded by my extremely...
Editors' Picks
The Dive from Claussen's Pier, by Ann Packer (Knopf): Mike Mayer and Carrie Bell are engaged to be married, but the flame in the romance seems to be dying for Carrie. Then Mike has a diving accident that leaves him paralyzed. What obligation does 23-year-old...
Favorite Poems: An Ongoing Series of Poems, with Commentary, as Selected by Century Editors at Large
i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is...
Gays and the Bible ... (Letters)
I APPRECIATED the exchange between Robert Gagnon and Walter Wink ("Gays and the Bible," Aug. 14-27). The debate in families, churches and denominations about how to deal fairly, justly and lovingly with homosexual persons and their families remains...
Jesus' Final Exam. (Living by the World)
Sunday, October 27 Matthew 22:34-46 THE PROBLEM with any speech that one hears repeatedly is that a hardening of the ears sets in. That may be the case with the first portion of our lectionary reading containing the summary of the law: we have undoubtedly...
Magical Spirits
THE WORLD Hayao Miyazaki conjures up in the Japanese animated feature Spirited Away is so exotic and in a state of such constant metamorphosis that you may have the impression, as you stagger out of the theater, that you've watched the entire movie...
Mighty Fall. (M.E.M.O.)
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL is now urgent reading for preachers, since its daily stories give evidence that Augustine and Calvin were right. On page one, original sin daily turns into actual sin, so much so that the sins of the wealthy no longer shock...
Needy Pastors. (Faith Matters)
YOU KNOW, MOM, the trouble with our new pastor is that he needs us to love him so much that we can't see God anymore." This was the assessment of a 13-year-old boy talking with his mother about the struggles they were having at their church. A new...
Nigeria Churches Decry Calls for Impeachment. (News)
Christian leaders have denounced calls from the Nigerian parliament for the impeachment of President Olusegun Obasanjo, warning that it could derail democracy in the country. The executive of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the country's...
Pakistan Churches: U.S. Policies Harmful. (News)
Following another lethal attack on a Christian target in their country, some churches in Pakistan declared they are being made to suffer because of U.S. policies. The National Council of Churches in Pakistan (NCCP) blamed the recent killings of seven...
Planning the Aftermath
WHEN HE WAS running for president, George W. Bush deeded "nation building." It was not the task of the U.S., he insisted, to bring order to chaotic countries. The U.S. may be the global cop, but it is not the global social worker. After sending...
Presbyterians Refuse to Redefine News Service. (News)
Officials in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have narrowly rejected an attempt to clarify the mission of the award-winning Presbyterian News Service, voting instead to allow the news service to continue under its current guidelines. The church's...
Second Judge Rules against Death Penalty. (News)
A federal judge in Vermont has become the second magistrate in two months to say the current national death-penalty law is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William Sessions ruled in Vermont that the federal Death Penalty Act does too little to...
Sex Abuse Report May Spark PCUSA Reforms. (News)
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will consider a host of reforms on how it handles sexual abuse cases after a damning report said a serial molester might have been stopped if officials had intervened. The denomination released a 173-page report October...
Uneasy America. (Letters)
WILLIAM H. WILLIMON notes the wisdom of a student who observes, "Maybe Jesus wants us to be permanently uneasy" ("The sin of smugness," Aug. 28-Sept. 10). The student and Willimon are both on target. It is one thing to act in response to overt action...
Whitewash. (Living by the World)
All Saints' Day Friday, November 1 Revelation 7:9-17 I WAS IN CUBA this summer on a mission trip when our host pastor, Hector Mendez, approached me, his face grave and drawn. "They have attacked a Presbyterian hospital and school in Pakistan," he...
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