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. 126, No. 19, September 22

A Vote for Gay Clergy
Leave it to Lutherans to address the issue of gay clergy with repeated references to a "bound conscience." The term echoes the words of Martin Luther, who when he was put on trial for his critique of the Catholic Church declared that he would not recant,...
Bodies at Worship: Formed by Liturgy
I LEARNED to install a door one day in small-town Arkansas, on a nondescript tract home with pinkish, mottled brick that was dated even before the mason finished his work. The door was delivered from the lumber-yard as a unit, already hinged and hung...
Calvin at 500
YOU MAY FIND members of Presbyterian and Reformed churches more theologically engaged than usual these days. This year marks the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth. I decided to observe the occasion by focusing my reading this summer on Calvin....
Church Embezzlers Also Rob Congregations of Trust
For 24 years, Barbara Myers worked with Barry R. Herr at a small denominational office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where everybody knew everybody. Coworkers were aware of when someone's family had a baby, a wedding or a death. But they didn't know...
Funny People
Funny People. Directed by Judd Apatow. Starring Adam Sandier, Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann. After two likable hit comedies, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, writer-director Judd Apatow goes the serious route with Funny People. The results...
Health-Care Option: A Mennonite Plan for Mutual Aid
WHEN JUANITA NUNEZ and her husband, Eligio, copastors of a small Mennonite congregation in Apopka, Florida, were involved in a serious car accident in 2006, Juanita Nunez immediately worried about something other than her health. She worried because...
Health Money Can't Buy
The intense debates over health-care reform have brought to mind some poignant memories. When my father was in his early 40s he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Our entire family was shaken, but perhaps no one more than Granddad and Grandma Clapp....
Life Expectancy: On Not Praying for a Miracle
AT MY 20-WEEK ultrasound appointment, my husband and I learned that the baby that we are expecting has a fatal birth defect. Sometime very early in his development something went drastically wrong. His skull never formed--the whole top and back part...
News Filter: Navigating the New Media
The number of news sources has expanded tremendously in recent years, but much of this expansion has been in opinion journalism and news analysis, not original reporting. While traditional news sources are struggling to survive, new media sources--many...
Obama Calls on Churches to Help Debunk 'Lies'
Facing incendiary charges that healthcare reform would result in government financing of abortion and euthanasia, President Obama has made an unusual appeal to religious groups to help sell the plan and debunk critics' "false witness." "I'm going...
Old-Fashioned Love Song
IT IS AUTUMN AGAIN, and life is speeding up. Students are back in school, classes are beginning and the fall programs of churches are in full swing. Wouldn't it be good to find a spiritual discipline for these days that would remind us of the pace...
Parting Shots: When Church Members Leave
IT'S ALWAYS wonderful when a new family joins our church. It's easy for the congregation to feel that it's fulfilling its calling, and easy for me to think that I'm being a good pastor. Of course, people also leave churches. I confess that over the...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, September 27 James 5:13-20; Mark 9-38-50 ONE DAY a few years ago, when I realized that my hair was falling out from chemotherapy treatment, I leaned against a wall and sobbed, "This is too much." In the silence I heard, "Where does my...
Religious Foes of Torture Want Culprits Pursued
Religious antitorture groups said the release last month of a partially declassified 2004 CIA report on treatment of terrorism suspects justified their critique of Bush administration policies on detainee treatment. But they also said the decision...
Study Process Aided ELCA Gay Breakthrough
Close on the heels of a similar decision by the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lifted its ban on calling gay and lesbian pastors and approved of supporting committed, same-sex relationships of church members. The 4.6-million-member...
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