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. 23, November 16

Are More Bible Versions Bad for the Good Book?
If you stacked all the Bibles sitting in American homes, the tower would rise 29 million feet, nearly 1,000 times the height of Mount Everest. More than 90 percent of American households own a Bible and the average family owns three, according to...
Buckle Up: Congregational Change Isn't Easy
I HAVE MY DOUBTS about programs that claim to train transformational leaders. Most of them are implementing a pattern developed elsewhere, one that has to do with technique and data collection. I received one advertisement from a church consulting...
Closing Hymns
SHE WAS ONCE the queen of the congregation--always elegantly dressed and with a delicate smile. She is the wife of a former pastor who died a long time ago. He was a good man, but her influence in the church has far outlived his influence. There...
Crystal Cathedral Files for Bankruptcy Protection
Unable to satisfy creditors owed millions of dollars, the ailing Crystal Cathedral ministry in Southern California has filed for bankruptcy protection. The once-influential megachurch founded by Robert H. Schuller in recent years has reduced its...
Gays Tell Bullied Teens 'It Gets Better'; Clergy Decry 'Religious' Attacks
A CATHOLIC writer in upstate New York, a Muslim college student from Connecticut and an ex-Mormon attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area have joined a chorus of testimonials on YouTube aimed at preventing teen suicides. Even if your faith and your...
Losing Ground: Less Money for AIDS Work
WHEN MEMBERS of faith-based groups get together these days, one concern is woven through every discussion: the flatlining or decline in funding for global AIDS work. According to Father Robert Vitillo, an adviser on HIV and AIDS to Caritas Internationalis,...
Loss of Context
I DON'T KNOW what I'm going to do without Context: Martin E. Marty on Religion and Culture. Earlier this year Marty and the Claretians, who have published Context 12 times a year, announced that it was closing down. I've been in a mild depression ever...
Mideast Catholic Bishops Urge Israel Not to Use the Bible 'To Justify Injustices'
Bishops from the Middle East, summoned by the pope to the Vatican, ended their two-week meeting with a statement that called on Israel to end its "occupation" of Arab lands and to stop using the Bible to defend injustices. The dwindling numbers...
Poll Links Religion to Gay Enmity, Suicides
Most Americans believe that messages about homosexuality coming from religious institutions contribute to negative views of gays and lesbians as well as to higher rates of suicide among gay youths, a new poll reports. While divided on whether same-sex...
Quiet Faith Lies Behind Satirist's Blowhard Facade
When comedian Stephen Colbert brought his act to Capitol Hill in September and stole the spotlight with his satirical shtick, no one was more surprised than lawmakers. "You run your show," scolded House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, "we...
Reactive Mood
Congregations in crisis present a huge challenge to leaders, notes Peter Steinke, a veteran congregational consultant (see his article on p. 30). He emphasizes that change and the prospect of more change--even when it is planned--makes congregations...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, November 21 Luke 1:68-79 FIFTY YEARS AGO, when I was growing up as Mennonite farm girl in central Illinois, I had Catholic playmates, but we never went to each other's churches. I could not have imagined that an international Catholic-Mennonite...
Stand Up for Jesus: Susan Sparks, Pastor and Comedian
SUSAN SPARKS is senior pastor at Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. Before entering the ministry, she worked as a trial lawyer and also had a career as a stand-up comedian--a career that she has continued. She often performs with a Jewish...
The Social Network
The Social Network Directed by David Fincher Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield David Fincher's The Social Network, with a script by the monarch of machine-gun banter, Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), is a smart, funny...
What Genesis Doesn't Say: Rethinking the Creation Story
MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE that according to the Bible, there has been a cosmic Fall as a result of the sin of the first humans, and death was a consequence of this supposed Fall. Many such approaches to scripture are lamentably lacking in theological sophistication....
Why Do We Call It 9/11?
Despite all the attention given to remembering the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001, little attention has been given to one conspicuous aspect--the event has no name. We don't refer to the issuing of the Magna Carta as 6/15 (the date in 1215...
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