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. 123, No. 10, May 16

City Churches Reap Real-Estate Cash
Robert brashear, a New York City pastor, rubs his fingers against the 117-year-old walls of his church, and a shower of red dust sprinkles the sidewalk. Above him, scaffolding protects pedestrians from falling 20-pound chunks of sandstone. Inside,...
Dan Brown's Truthiness: The Appeal of the Da Vinci Code
The word truthiness was named Word of the Year for 2005 by the American Dialect Society. It was also recognized by the New York Times as one of nine words defining the spirit of the age. But in fact (Is there still such a thing as "fact"? Do we care?),...
Exception to the Rule: PCUSA Eyes 'Third Way' on Homosexuality
"I have become profoundly dis-enchanted with our General Assembly process ... the unsatisfactory way we were dealing with difficult and complex theological issues ... and the toxic by-products of perpetually creating winners and losers, friends who...
God's Extended Family
In terms of commercial activity, Mother's Day is the third-biggest holiday in the U.S., with 140 million greeting cards sold and $7 billion spent on presents and meals--and 60 million roses. Robert Fulghum assembled this information for his book It...
Hoodlum and Child
The South African film Tsotsi, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, is based on a novel by the celebrated South African playwright Athol Fugard. He wrote the novel in the 1960s but put it aside for many years; it was finally...
Hyde's Warning
Republican member of Congress Henry J. Hyde opened a budget heating of the House International Relations Committee on February 16 with a speech he called "Perils of the Golden Theory." A reporter for National Public Radio called it flowery. I found...
Living by the Word: Missing the Resurrection
Sunday, May 28 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19 Imagine being judas and having your name become synonymous through the ages, in every country on earth, with an act of treachery. That would be heavy, wouldn't it? Years...
Living by the Word: Wildfire
Sunday, May 28 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19 Like a fire out of control, the Holy Spirit leapt from the Jews to the gentiles, amazing Peter and his fellow Christians from Jerusalem. The Spirit was wild, unpredictable,...
Lonely in Dakota
Baltimore, our declining but still 12th-largest city, has a larger population than the entire state of North Dakota, which has 634,366 people. The state's Divide County takes up a lot of space on the map, but its population declined from 9,636 in 1930...
Methodist Ranks Drop for 36th Straight Year
United Methodist Church membership and attendance are slightly down again in 2004, according to a new report. Officials of the largest mainline denomination said that membership dropped .81 percent, to a little more than 8 million, and attendance...
Novel Faiths
At first glance, it might seem that The Da Vinci Code and the Left Behind series occupy opposite poles of the cultural spectrum. The former's effort to reaffirm the "sacred feminine" with the claim that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife is the sort of...
Politicking the Pastors: 'Restoration Project' Targets Ministers
TThis I know," the politician-cum-evangelist insisted, "he who counts every hair on our heads and every drop in the oceans ... this all-knowing, all-powerful Creator loves us so much that there is not a matter so trivial or so small that we can't surrender...
SBC Domestic Missions Chief Quits under Fire
After a trustee investigation produced a scathing report of numerous examples of poor management, Bob Reccord has resigned as president of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board. "I regret that events of recent weeks have...
Teaching Moment: Temple Church and the Da Vinci Code
As master of the Temple Church in London, one of the sites featured in The Da Vinci Code, Robin Griffith-Jones has had the chance to talk to hundreds of people about the claims of the best-selling novel. His book on the topic, The Da Vinci Code and...
The Lowly Virtue
THE OTHER day my class was discussing George Herbert's Humilitie, a poetic dream-vision in which the virtues, personified as court officials, accept "tokens of submission" from beasts and fowls who allegorically represent the vices. Spoiled by the...
Towey Leaving Helm of Faith-Based Initiatives
President Bush's lieutenant for promoting government funding for faith-based social programs has announced that he is leaving his post after the end of this month. Jim Towey, 49, director since 2002 of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community...
What Did Luther Say? Jesus and Mary Magdalene
A recent New Yorker article on Mary Magdalene, obviously written with an eye on her role as Jesus' paramour in Dan Brown's best-selling The Da Vinci Code, began by noting that "Brown is by no means the first to have suggested that Christ had a sex...