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. 125, No. 5, March 11

All in the Cortex
THE MEDIAL orbitofrontal cortex has given us much to think about recently. So far as I understand, which is not very far, the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) helps to explain why the more expensive wine is, the better it tastes. In an era of secular...
Anglican Covenant Would Add Power to Canterbury
The head of the Church of England and an international council would have greater power to settle disputes within the Anglican Communion under a draft of a proposed covenant released last month. The covenant seeks to build common ground between...
Climate of Care: Pastoral Ministry to Gays and Lesbians
THERE IS NO END in sight to the mainline denominations' debates over whether gays and lesbians will be fully integrated into the life and leadership of their churches. While that debate is important, so too is the need for congregations to meet the...
Deaths
* John Dillenberger, an instrumental founder of the nine-school Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, died February 7 at his home in El Cerrito at the age of 89. A professor emeritus of historical theology at GTU, Dillenberger developed...
Doors Open to the City
HAVING HAD the privilege of serving downtown churches in Columbus, Ohio, and in Chicago, I have watched city churches struggle to respond faithfully to dramatically changing environments. Broad Street in Columbus is a street of churches--stately edifices...
Evangelicals Shift Political Affiliation
A raft of recent polls and books suggests to some observers that the evangelical vote may be returning to a more even distribution between the Republican and Democratic parties. One indication was a Zogby International poll released February 11...
False Witnesses
When was the last time you heard a sermon about the Ninth Commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor"? The recent congressional hearings on the use of performance-enhancing drugs by professional athletes would certainly serve...
Family Ties: Reading the Story of the Prodigal Son in Turkey
THE PARABLE OF the prodigal son came to have new meaning for me after I preached on the passage in a small Christian church in Turkey. I am an American ministering to a small Turkish congregation made up mostly of believers and seekers from a Muslim...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
Palm Sunday, March 16 Matthew 26:14-27:66 MATTHEW'S GOSPEL has blood spattered all over it. The story opens "in the time of King Herod" (2:1), the tyrant about whom even the Romans joked, "Better Herod's hus than his huios" (luckier to be Herod's...
Methodists to Consider Divestment Plans; Jews Decry 'Anti-Israel' Path
The 7.9-million-member United Methodist Church is poised to become the next U.S. denomination to consider divesting from companies said to support Israeli military-security goals, a topic so controversial that it prompted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)...
Muslims Wish Obama Would Be More Positive about Islam
Muslim Americans and political observers heralded the 2006 elections as a sort of debutante's ball for the Muslim voter, when anger and organizational heft pushed unprecedented numbers of Muslim citizens to vote and get involved with U.S. politics....
Nanking
Nanking. Directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman. Viewing Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's Nanking is emotionally devastating. The film is a record of the Japanese occupation of Nanking in 1937, which entailed unimaginable cruelty. In addition...
Nation in Peril: Dispatch from Kabul
AT A CENTER in Kabul for children affected by violence, a mother of one of the children cut through the niceties of the meeting--and the tradition of Afghan women being self-effacing--by declaring bitterly, "We hate this country and want to leave....
Pope Tweaks Prayer to Address Jewish Concerns
With his decision last July to liberalize use of the Old Latin mass, Pope Benedict XVI sought to appease traditionalists disaffected by recent changes in Catholic worship. But in making it easier for priests to celebrate the so-called Tridentine Rite,...
Rowan Williams's Remarks on Islamic Law Spark Furor
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams triggered a storm of controversy by suggesting that Britain should adopt some aspects of Islam's tough Shari'a laws into its legal system. He later apologized for any "misleading choice of words" that caused...
Second Thoughts
RECENTLY MY SON AND I read one of Roald Dahl's fantastic stories for children--The BFG. Everyone knows, don't they, that giants are terrible, bloodthirsty creatures? So when little Sophie is kidnapped by a giant in the middle of the night and carried...
Shopping for Justice: The Trouble with Good Intentions
JULIE CLAWSON needed a new bra. Most of the time Clawson, a Chicago-area pastor, would have just gone to the store, plunked down some cash and headed home with a new bra. But she had been reading about globalization, and her conscience made her wonder...
The Church Downtown: Strategies for Urban Ministry
THE CITY IS changing. For decades white people with money fled the city for the suburbs, leaving behind a mostly brown and black population that was often bereft of resources. But recently, in many cities, patterns of gentrification have reversed this...
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