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. 122, No. 15, July 26

Activists Set for Justice Nominee Fight
The surprise was palpable in the nation's capital when Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a crucial swing vote in many of the Supreme Court's most controversial decisions of the past 24 years, announced on July 1 that she would retire to care for her husband....
Century Marks
COMING OF AGE IN CHURCH: Novelist Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections) gives an account of his youth group experience at First Congregarional Church in Webster Groves, Missouri, that is more about the awkwardness of adolescence than about God, spirituality...
Fear Factor
IN THE WORLD of comic-book superheroes, Batman has the distinction of not having any superpowers. He relies on his skills in the martial arts, his reserves of wealth (for buying gadgets and that rocketship of a car) and his leather outfit. Batman is...
Innovation in L.A
SCHOLARS AND church growth experts have been paying attention to Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, the subject of Gerardo Marti's book A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church. Marti, professor of sociology at Davidson College...
Living by the Word
Sunday, July 31 Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21 Big Story PAUL AND JESUS, each facing a crisis, are tempted to succumb to despair and fear. Each man has gone out in ministry to his own people and been rejected. Paul recognizes that his Jewish...
Multiethnic Mix: A Model of Congregational Diversity?
ETHNIC PARTICULARISM, in the official form of admissions procedures and ethnic studies programs and the unofficial form of students' seating choices in the cafeteria and the library, is a powerful force in American universities. It's also a powerful...
On Gays, American Baptists Keep 'Paradox'
RESISTING EFFORTS to eliminate organizational havens for congregations that welcome gays, American Baptist leaders and delegates meeting in Denver maintained an open stance on-homosexuality--even if that means living with a "paradox," as it was put...
Others Unlikely to Follow UCC Lead on Gay Marriage
Members of the United Church of Christ, like their freedom-loving forebears in New England, cherish their local sovereignty and penchant for independent thinking. Their ancestors, for example, were among the first to work against slavery, and in...
Pope, WCC Leader Reaffirm Unity Quest
Putting behind them a controversial document, Pope Benedict XVI met with leaders of the World Council of Churches June 16 and reaffirmed the Catholic Church's "irreversible" commitment to the search for Christian unity. * Both the pope and Samuel...
Positive Influence
THE ARTICLE IN the previous issue on megachurch pastor Joel Osteen set me to thinking about the members of my congregation who are watching Osteen on television and reading his books. The situation reminds me of the lament of the Reverend John Ames...
Presbyterians and Catholic Bishops Act on Sex Abuse Policies
Presbyterians have officially approved 11 new policies on clergy sexual abuse, marking a shift, church leaders say, from focusing on the accused to protecting innocent victims. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved the 11 amendments to its constitution...
Repenting
THE SUPREME COURT pleased no one entirely with its mixed decisions in the Ten Commandments cases. That s generally a sign that the court is doing its job and trying to decide each case on its merits--in this case, ordering that a display of the Ten...
Step Aside
WHEN I SPEAK in churches across the country, I often hear "former pastor" stories, or stories about struggles that involve a former pastor. What is this "former pastor problem"? Simply put, it refers to pastors who hang around after they are no longer...
Stick with the Story
EVERY DAY, Christians are sorting through their narrative options and claiming an identity as followers of Jesus Christ. On Sunday the preacher helps them in this task by means of a poetic activity. The preacher makes (poiein) words, approximately...
Taking Risks
THEODORE A. GILL, onetime managing editor of this magazine, died last month. Mine is only name remaining on the masthead from his time at the magazine 47 years ago. Priscilla Noble Grundy, then an editorial assistant, and Tom F. Driver, then a contributing...
Tar Wars
IN THE SPRING of 1987, I was the pastor of Central Baptist Church in an Indiana town of 3,000 with three Baptist churches--at least two more than needed. Years ago people broke with the pastor of First Baptist and started Central Church; shortly after...
Virtues and Imposters
I WRITE THIS NEAR the end of a doctor of ministry class at Columbia Seminary, where 16 pastors are exploring virtues for preaching. We are exploring virtues instead of skills because most of us recognize that scholarly exegesis, narrative flair and...
War-Weary
STEVEN SPIELBERG'S War of the Worlds churns up an emulsion of suspense and horror that engulfs you with the gray relentlessness of a low-grade fever. This is not the kind of thrilling, soaring adventure Spielberg created in Jaws or Indiana Jones and...
Women's Work: Feminist Theology for a New Generation
TEN YEARS AGO Rebecca Chopp described how women's voices and feminist practices were transforming theological education and the church. Women, she said, were "doing saving work." Doing saving work signified something more than redressing gender injustices...
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