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. 131, No. 24, November 26

Benjamin A. Reist
Benjamin A. Reist, professor emeritus of systematic theology at San Francisco Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., died September 15 of complications arising from Alzheimer's disease. He was 87. Reist began his career at Wellesley...
Bonds of Affection: How Do We Love When We Disagree?
WHAT DOES IT take to hold people together despite disagreements and differences? It seems a very basic question, but it is hard to answer. This past summer witnessed various church bodies wrestling with weighty and divisive issues. The Presbyterian...
Doctrine's Many Lives
Theology and the End of Doctrine By Christine Helmer Westminster John Knox, 248 pp., $35.00 paperback Christine Helmer's important book has an unusual literary feature. Its titular character, Christian doctrine, is killed off not once, but...
Dressed for the Moment
AFTER SPENDING seven years in the American South swathed in Methodist and Baptist glories, I moved to London and changed my clothes. I resumed the practice of wearing a clerical collar. Historically the collar was simply the dress of an educated...
East African Church Leaders Respond to Climate Change Locally, Globally
As the effects of climate change devastate communities in Kenya, church leaders are helping address the crisis locally while calling on industrialized nations to own up to their responsibilities for spewing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere....
Gold
Gold By Barbara Crooker Cascade, 80 pp., $11.00 paperback I find myself reading Gold at the height of October. Wind whips maple leaves and false sunflower petals into the sky, the colors as bold as fingerpaint. As the beauty intensifies, the...
Greek Orthodox Break Ground on Rebuilding Church Destroyed on 9/11
Leaders of a church that was destroyed during the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City broke ground on a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that will overlook the 9/11 memorial. The domed building is scheduled to open in 2016--the...
Imperial Missionaries?
Whether we like it or not, the world's religious landscape owes much to the long history of European imperialism. But the story of empire and missions is much more complex than we might assume, and some common assumptions need debunking. In the case...
Iraqi Christians Ponder Their Future
Basima al-Safar retouches a painting of Jesus outside her house overlooking the flat Nineveh plains, 30 miles north of Mosul. The murals she paints tell the story of her people, Christians in Iraq. But with Islamic State militants nearby, she is...
Is Compromise Always Good?
At the national level, there was only one real question going into the November 4 elections: Would the Democrats keep the Senate? They didn't. For the next two years, it's essentially President Obama against Congress. The Senate minority party does...
Mapping Exile and Return: Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future
Mapping Exile and Return: Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future By Alain Epp Weaver Fortress, 176 pp., $39.00 paperback Every author who has written critically about the conflict between Israel and Palestine...
More Than 30 U.S. Cities Restricting Food Programs for Homeless People
A 90-year-old man and two clergy received citations on November 2 after Fort Lauderdale, Florida, became the latest city to place restrictions on feeding the homeless. Arnold Abbott, who founded Love Thy Neighbor in 1991, has been providing food...
Narcissism Is Normal
The Americanization of Narcissism By Elizabeth Lunbeck Harvard University Press, 384 pp., $35.00 You Are Not Special ... and Other Encouragements By David McCullough Jr. Ecco, 352 PP- $21.99 THE QUESTION OF whether we once again find...
North Dakota Oil Boom Offers Mission Field
SVEN HAUGE goes every Thursday to the "man camps" surrounding the oil fields near Williston, North Dakota, and holds worship services that feature preaching, praying, and singing. Sometimes a few men show up, and sometimes nobody does. "That can...
Pastor on Two Wheels: The Winter I Gave Up My Car
LAST WINTER the heater in my car went kaput. It was a terrible time for the heater to stop working. I am a pastor in Minneapolis, where winter is a six-month teeth-chattering battle for warmth. And did I mention that this past winter was the ninth...
Reflections on the Lectionary
Sunday, November 30 Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 FOR YEARS, whenever I encountered a biblical text about God's anger, I ignored it. I kept reading until I found something I liked, something about God's love, forgiveness,...
Secret Holes
EVERY FAMILY has a secret hole. Every family has more people at the table than you can see. If we set the right number of plates for all the people at the table, we would have to build way bigger tables. No one talks about these holes, and you can...
Sex in the Lab
We are scientists, after all," says Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) as she removes her blouse and bra and places Bill Master's (Michael Sheen) hand on her breast. The Showtime series Masters of Sex follows the sex researchers from the late 1950s through...
The Boat That Carries Us
The Boat That Carries Us Peter Himmelman (Himmasongs) Peter Himmelman is a rock 'n' roll anomaly: an observant Jew who has long declined to play any shows on the sabbath. But this serious commitment to his faith gives his songs heft. He's...
The Court after Hobby Lobby: Religious Freedom Expert Brent Walker
J. BRENT WALKER is executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, an organization committed to "defending the free exercise of religion and protecting against its establishment by government." Walker routinely speaks in churches,...
The War against Rest: Sabbath Piety and Sabbath Politics
MARIA FERNANDES died for the sake of a nap. The 32-year-old held three part-time jobs, and between shifts at two different Dunkin' Donuts locations she stopped in a parking lot in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to sleep in her car. Fumes from a spilled fuel...
Toxic Politics
THE ILLINOIS gubernatorial election was important. The state is in dreadful shape, with huge debt and underfunded pension liabilities. But during the campaign, debate on these economic issues was overshadowed by low-minded attacks. Televised ads charged...
True and Holy: Christian Scripture and Other Religions
True and Holy: Christian Scripture and Other Religions By Leo D. Lefebure Orbis, 224 pp., $30.00 paperback Engagement in serious, respectful conversation with other religious traditions is increasingly urgent. Leo Lefebure of Georgetown University...
West African Methodists in U.S. Mourn
At Spencer Memorial United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, nearly nine out of ten members are Liberian; another 10 percent are from Sierra Leone. Since the Ebola outbreak began, every Sunday one or more members of the congregation reports...
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