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. 130, No. 4, February 20

Abortion Views Unchanged 40 Years after Roe V. Wade
In the past four decades, American attitudes have changed markedly on gay marriage, smoking, bullying and a host of other cultural issues. But on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, public opinion today looks much...
Adaptive Faith: Religion in Evolutionary Perspective
THE EXPLOSION of research in evolutionary biology and other sciences is challenging older understandings of human nature as well as theological accounts of the human condition. As part of a yearlong project on evolution and human nature, the Center...
Bangor Seminary Ending Degree Programs
Bangor Theological Seminary plans to give degrees to about 45 students this spring--a large graduating class for a school that had only 13 graduates the year before. But it will be the last commencement in the seminary's long history of serving rural...
Campus Giveaway Is in Hands of Foundation
Christian institutions hoping to win a free campus in western Massachusetts might soon face competition from others who are willing to pay for it, according to terms of a year-end donation from the property's billionaire owners. Hobby Lobby Stores...
Catholic Hospital Argues Fetuses Aren't 'People'
A Catholic hospital in Colorado has argued in court documents that it is not liable for the deaths of twin seven-month-old fetuses because those fetuses are not people under state law. So far, courts have sided with the hospital. But the hospital's...
Face-to-Screen Learning: Seminaries Go Online
AS DOUGLAS STUART'S online survey course on the Old Testament begins, the lecture hall fills with students from a previous year. He himself looks some years younger than he is now. "All right," says the longtime professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological...
God at Hand
When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God By T.M. Luhrmann Knopf, 464 pp., $15.95 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying," Lily Tomlin once quipped,...
Longing for Home: Aging and the Promises of God
MY PARENTS, 88 and 89, celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary by sharing a milkshake at the Union Dairy in Freeport, Illinois (rated 4.5 stars on yelp.com), which they had frequented when they were in their twenties. They seem to have followed each...
Lutherans Warn Vatican against Luring Their Unhappy Members
Lutheran leaders have warned the Vatican that the creation of a structure to welcome conservative Lutherans into the Catholic Church would harm dialogue and damage ecumenical relations. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI created a special church structure,...
Making Ministry Difficult: The Goal of Seminary
SEE OUR big buildings?" asked the dean of the medical school as he swept his hand across the panorama of the Duke Medical Center. "Their purpose is to produce a handful of doctors who can be trusted to be alone with a naked patient. Takes us four years."...
Praying for Unity at National Cathedral Inaugural Service
President Obama started his second term with a traditional worship service and a challenge to help heal the nation's divides. "We find ourselves desperately longing to find common ground, to find a common vision, to be one nation indivisible with...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, February 24 Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Philippians 3:17-41; Luke 9:28-36 TODAY WE HAVE a theophany of light in which the Lord reveals what he is going to do and indicates that equality with God is not a thing to be grasped. This is in contrast...
Revisioning Seminary
IN THIS ANNUAL theological education issue, Will Willimon observes that the most effective clergy he knows are finding creative ways to start new communities of faith--but seminaries are not teaching them how to do it ("Making ministry difficult,"...
Roommates and Friends: A Seminary Does Disability Ministry
ON A SUNDAY MORNING in the spring of 2005, Deb and Bob Sterken went as usual to church in Holland, Michigan. But this Sunday they arrived with a special mission: to talk to Matt Floding, the dean of students at Western Theological Seminary. The Sterkens'...
Scientific Literacy
Five different bills have popped up in four different states designed to challenge the teaching of evolutionary biology and global climate change. These bills display similar language, which suggests a common source. Indeed, behind each is the work...
Suit Opposes Tax Credits That Fund Religious Schools
Three civil liberties organizations have filed a lawsuit challenging New Hampshire's new school-choice bill which provides scholarships funded by tax credits for underprivileged students to attend private schools. The three--Americans United for...
The Three Faces of Guanyin
Any tour of the modern world's Seven Religious Wonders would include a stop on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. Here since 2005 has stood a colossal statue of Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. The figure astounds not just by its sheer...
The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus
The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus By Robin Meyers Jossey-Bass, 288 pp., $24.95 The whole time I was reading Robin Meyers's The Underground Church, I couldn't shake the presence of Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann,...
This Is 50
AT THE END of the fall semester I turned 50. My birthday always arrives just as the push to finish the semester fades into the beginning of the week before Christmas, so it tends to sneak up on me and to pass quietly. But this year I began to feel...
We're Still Family
I avoided Modern Family for as long as I could. I've never had a taste for family sitcoms. Maybe it's bad memories of people my grandparents' age trying to get me to laugh at Archie Bunker or the awful laugh track that accompanied even good programs...
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