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. 127, No. 7, April 6

A Bad Place to Be Sick
WHENEVER TALK TURNS to how dreadful health care is in countries where the government has a large role in it, I think back to a summer spent in Scotland. Our young son began to suffer from what seemed to be a virulent new allergy, and after sleepless...
A Christian Diet: The Case for Food Rules
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, I started to become vegetarian. I say started, because this was not a sudden conversion to the standard vegetarian menu. I kept on eating fish. I eat game from time to time, though only on special occasions....
After the Earthquake: MCC Workers in Haiti
WHEN THE earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, Ben and Alexis Depp were in Port-au-Prince working with the Mennonite Central Committee. Ben served as a field reporter and communications assistant in a microfinance operation; Alexis worked on sustainable...
Conservatives Win Vote on School Curriculum
In a battle over the content of public school textbooks that is widely thought to have national implications, religious conservatives on the Texas Board of Education succeeded in adopting curriculum guidelines that reflect their views on U.S. history...
Doctors of the Soul
I HAVE LONG ENVIED the white coats that physicians wear in hospitals; they're simple, no nonsense and authoritative. Drape a stethoscope around the neck and the coat is perfectly accessorized. To me, the coat says, "Trust me. I know what I'm doing....
God at the Center: What's Church About?
AT A CHURCH LEADERSHIP retreat, a tall man with a mustache and red suspenders stands up and says, "Several of us here find ourselves wondering if our church is still God-centered. It seems to us something's missing." At another retreat, a woman blurts...
Jews, Muslims Wary of Full-Body Scanners
Canadian lawyer Kerry Gearin is planning to fly to Washington, D.C., this summer for a conference on Islamic family law, but the full-body scanners being deployed in some U.S. airports make her wonder if she'll be forced to leave her modesty at home....
Leading from the Belly
"Seventy-eight percent of all clergy are either overweight (48 percent) or obese (30 percent)." --Pulpit & Pew Research Project I was sitting in my usual seat behind the pulpit, famished, thinking, "Will this anthem ever end?" My stomach...
Lives Together: How My Mind Has Changed
It is by living and dying that one becomes a theologian, Martin Luther said. With that comment in mind, we have resumed a CENTURY series published at intervals since 1939 and asked theologians to reflect on their own struggles, disappointments, questions...
Living by the Word
Sunday, April 11 John 20:19-31 THOMAS USED TO shock me. I agreed with John Calvin that "the stupidity of Thomas was astonishing and monstrous ... he was not only obstinate, but also proud and contemptuous in his treatment of Christ." To be called...
Methodists Suspend Funding of Two Seminaries
The United Methodist Church is withholding funds from two of its seminaries until they submit updated financial reports, and one campus--Claremont School of Theology in southern California--will also have to defend its proposed reconfiguration into...
My Life as an Acolyte
When my daughter became a teenager, she was invited to serve as an acolyte at our Episcopal church. I thought it would be a wonderful thing to do with her. With her permission, I became an acolyte too--in my mid-forties. My daughter has since left...
Obama's 'Spiritual Cabinet' Offers Advice and Prayer
Near the end of a bumpy first year in office, President Obama readied for a Christmas vacation in Hawaii, but before he left, he called on a group of five ministers for a spiritual recharge. Like previous prayer calls, this one was more personal...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, April 18 John 21:1-19 FRED SNODGRASS MADE one mistake and the world never let him forget it. Snodgrass was playing center field for the New York Giants in the 1912 World Series against the Red Sox. The teams were tied in the tenth inning...
Shutter Island
Shutter Island Directed by Hartin Scorsese Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Hark Ruffa|o, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams Director Martin Scorsese goes for broke in Shutter Island. The style is a particularly gaudy brand of expressionism. The...
Some Military Chaplains Uneasy on Planned Repeal of 'Don't Ask' Policy
As Congress and the Pentagon grapple with a proposal to allow gays to serve openly in the military, some chaplains--especially evangelicals--worry that the change will infringe on their religious beliefs. "It's morally wrong," said Billy Baugham,...
Sustainable Empire
Empires come and empires go--and their collapse, says financial historian Niall Ferguson, is often precipitous (Foreign Affairs, March/April). For example, the economic and military might of the British Empire was sharply reduced by the time of the...
The Holy Fire: Cremation: A Practice in Need of Ritual
WHEN I'M GONE just cremate me," Hughey MacSwiggan told his third and final wife as she stood at his bedside while the hospice nurse fiddled with the morphine drip that hadn't kept his pain at bay. The operative word in his directive was just. He wasn't...
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