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. 25, December 14

Bishops OK Baptism Pact with Reformed Churches
In a "milestone" pact six years in the making, the U.S. Catholic bishops approved a mutual agreement with four Reformed Protestant denominations to recognize each other's baptisms as valid. The American bishops, assembled in Baltimore for their...
Church of God in Christ Convenes Away from Home
When is a church convention more than just another church convention? When 40,000 saints from the Church of God in Christ come marching in and relocate the year's largest convention from one cash-strapped city to another. For the first time in more...
Church under Siege
On the last day of October, gunmen identified with al-Qaeda attacked Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad while mass was being held. According to a report in the Guardian, the gunmen in the cathedral screamed, "We are here to avenge the burning...
Conscientious Objection to Specific Wars Sought
A coalition of religious leaders and veterans has called for a reconsideration of conscientious objection to war, saying that military members should have the right to object to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for moral reasons. The Truth Commission...
Conviction
Conviction Directed by Tony Goldwyn Starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell Secretariat Directed by Randall Wallace Starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich Two of this season's movies, both based on true stories, remind us of the underrated...
Entwined with Us
A CHARACTER IN John Updike's Bech Is Back describes his wife's WASPish Episcopalianism this way: "Many of her crowd went to church as faithfully as they played tennis and golf and attended rallies to keep out developers. Yet, their God, for all his...
Faith-Based Reform Gets Mixed Reviews
President Obama has signed an executive order that reforms the White House's faith-based office in a bid to improve transparency and clarify rules for religious groups that receive federal grants. The nine-page order reflects numerous recommendations...
First-Call Congregation: A Place for Rookies
CONGREGATIONS billed as "teaching congregations" are plentiful these days. Many evangelical churches advertise their teaching role and support seminaries of their own. A number of mainline congregations host "transition into ministry" programs for...
How the Church Grew in South Sudan
"THEY SHALL ALL BE LEFT to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the animals of the earth.... At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth ... whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion" (Isa. 18:6-7)....
In Move to the Right, Bishops Choose Dolan
In a dramatic break with tradition, U.S. Catholic bishops elected New York archbishop Timothy Dolan as their next president, choosing a friendly but assertive leader over the more conciliatory front-runner. Dolan defeated Bishop Gerald Kicanas of...
Israel Finds More to like about Christian Zionists
When Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee wrapped up a recent visit to Israel with 40 pastors in tow, he sought out the places where Jesus walked, preached and prayed some 2,000 years ago. But there was another meeting on the itinerary that was a...
Penalized: The Unfair Burdens of Banking
MR. GEORGE lived in a single-room unit in a government-subsidized high-rise apartment building across from the church I served in Little Rock, Arkansas. When he attended worship services, he came in his wheelchair with a volunteer who assisted him...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, December 19 Matthew 1:18-25 WHEN THE LECTIONARY tells me I can skip a few verses, I am not suspicious. I don't ask what secret is being kept from me or what doctrine is being protected. Very likely the omitted material is totally boring,...
Something from Nothing
THE REUTERS HEADLINE was eye-catching: "God did not create the universe, says Hawking." The occasion was British physicist Stephen Hawking's new book, The Grand Design, a recap of the history of physics crowned by the assertion that the latest form...
Sorrowful Songs: Henryk Gorecki, 1933-2010
WHEN RADIO stations started playing Henryk Gorecki's Symphony no. 3, known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, it was reported that drivers would pull off the road because the haunting, mournful music left them in tears. A 14-year-old Swedish burn...
The Numbing Season
Christmas is the numbing season. There are the ceaseless rounds of Christmas parties, each requiring preparation of food and gift-buying, each surfeited with expectations of obligatory Christmas cheer. There is the flood of commerce, requiting a careful...
U.S. Hunger Rate Still at Historic High
The number of Americans struggling with hunger remained stable in 2009 despite the economic downturn but at the highest recorded level, according to new federal figures. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released statistics November 15 showing...
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