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. 121, No. 26, December 28

After Arafat
ON JANUARY 9, 2005, the Palestinians will elect a new leader. Is there any reason to believe that this will lead to a positive result for the Palestinians? Judge for yourself' on the basis of recent history. Yasir Arafat is the only modern leader the...
Apocalypse Now
LET ME TELL you about Nadia, a friend and colleague in Iraq. From May 2003 until last April she worked for a newspaper in Baghdad Then two of its reporters were killed and its editor, after receiving repeated threats, fled the country. So Nadia was...
A Strange Silence
AFTER THE U.S. military began its assault on insurgents in Fallujah, we received an email from a reader asking, "And where are the churches?" The writer's assumption was that churches should be rising up with moral outrage at the destruction of an...
College to Close out 'Open Theism' Scholar
After escaping an ouster a year ago by the Evangelical Theological Society, a leading proponent of "open theism" theology is being shown the door by trustees at Huntington (Indiana) College for his "notoriety" among evangelical pastors. John E....
God on the Loose
Sunday, January 9 Psalm 29; Matthew 3:13-17 INEVITABLY, in the course of a pastoral career, one encounters that person--the spouse of an active member, or an avid golfer--who claims not to need to attend weekly services because "I can worship God...
Guest List: At the Divine Banquet
ACCORDING TO the claims of classical Christianity, there can be no salvation except through Christ. So what of those who reject or apparently never receive an imitation to join the party? Does God's generosity, and the generosity of classic Christian...
Invested Interests
THE PROPHET ISAIAH, whose words we read in Advent, gives us wonderful images of peace and of the restoration of Zion--images of the wolf living with the lamb, of waters breaking forth out of the wilderness, of a land where there shall be "no lion,...
Jury Defrocks Openly Gay Methodist Pastor
After one of his pastors lost her ministerial license because she is openly gay, the United Methodist bishop of Philadelphia said it was time for the church to "move on in our ministry." Bishop Marcus Matthews urged fellow Methodists to accept the...
Lake Effect
THIS HAS NOT been a good year for Luftmenschen. Before bidding the year goodbye, let's pay them some attention. The term, the dictionary tells us, is "an adaptation of the Yiddish 'luftmensch,' which breaks down into 'luft' (A Germanic root that can...
Looking East: The Impact of Orthodox Theology
THINK OF THE standard theological debates in Western Christianity: is conversion a matter of divine grace or human free will? Are theological disputes to be arbitrated by appends to the Bible or to church tradition? Do the church's authority and unity...
'More Orthodox' Than the Orthodox
IT'S COMMONLY observed that converts to a faith are the most ardent defenders of it. That seems to be the case with American converts to Orthodoxy. The large number of converts attending Orthodox seminaries prompted Alexey D. Krindatch, a sociologist...
Plato Was Wrong
Sunday, January 2 John 1:(1-9), 10-18 FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE once remarked that "Plato was a bore," but this snooty remark merely confirms the madman's madness. Alfred North Whitehead concluded, boring or not, that "the safest general characterization...
Right to Torture: An Escalating Issue That May Torment the U.S
President Bush's nomination of White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales to succeed John Ashcroft as attorney general will almost certainly intensify the focus on the use of torture in U.S. policy in the war on terror and the war against Iraq. But...
Smells and Bells: Turning to Orthodoxy
ON THE THIRD DAY of Easter, I stood in front of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine. With me was a prominent scholar of American religion who was visiting Eastern Europe for the first time. We were watching a priest and his flock process around...
Standard Deviation
WHEN ALFRED Charles Kinsey was hired as an assistant professor of zoology at Indiana University in 1920, he began a two-decade study of the gall wasp, collecting over 1 million samples. He loved the gall wasp, he said, because each one was totally...
UCC Reaps Publicity from Banned Ad
THE UNITED CHURCH of Christ, a budget-struggling mainline denomination often confused with a similarly named church, felt that only a bold regional and national TV ad campaign costing $1.7 million might rescue it from public anonymity. The denomination's...
Voices of 2004
"Hostility toward America has reached shocking levels." --Advisory group on public diplomacy appointed by the White House "It is unlikely that Iraq could have destroyed, hidden or sent out of the country the hundreds of tons of chemical and biological...
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