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. 132, No. 9, April 29

A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology
A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology By J. Richard Middleton Baker Academic, 336 pp., $26.99 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In these days when moviegoers, gamers, and television watchers demonstrate a strong taste...
A Spool of Blue Thread
A Spool of Blue Thread By Anne Tyler Knopf, 368 pp., $25.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Anne Tyler's 20th novel is, like her previous 19, about a mildly dysfunctional Baltimore family of loyal yet infuriating people who love one another, but...
Best Sellers
Eerdmans Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams A Faithful Farewell: Living Your Last Chapter with Love by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre How (Not) to Be Secular: Beading Charles Taylor by James K A. Smith...
Books for the Dark Night
The Century invited people to reflect on a book that helped them at a low point in their faith journey. As an adult convert from a nonreligious background, I like to think I've reached journey's end--a room in the household of faith. Good, plain...
Books That Linger
ONE OF THE many blessings of being retired from pastoral ministry is that I get to read more books for sheer pleasure. Here are a few that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin...
Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics
Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics By Marie Gottschalk Princeton University Press, 496 pp., $35-00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On September 5, 1929, the day after a loss to the Philadelphia Athletics, the New York...
Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer
Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer By Jeanne Bishop Westminster John Knox, 184 pp., $16.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Nancy Langert dipped her finger in her own blood and drew a heart on her basement floor...
Church of England
The Church of England appointed Rachel Treweek, 52, as the next bishop of Gloucester in the southwest region of England. Treweek will be the first woman to run a diocese. She will be one rank below archbishop and will become the first woman bishop...
Coming out Christian in the Roman World: How the Followers of Jesus Made a Place in Caesar's Empire
Coming Out Christian in the Roman World: How the Followers of Jesus Made a Place in Caesar's Empire By Douglas Boin Bloomsbury, 224 pp., $28.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The "Fall of Rome ... is not a historical event; it's more akin to a...
Commencement Strategy
SEMINARY COMMENCEMENT services are overwhelming. The ceremony usually takes place in a jam-packed auditorium or large cathedral church; at our seminary it is held in a Gothic university chapel. As the music begins, the faculty process in their 40 different...
Disciples Leaders Join Call for Changes to Indiana's Religious Freedom Law
Leaders of the Indianapolis-based Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) spoke out against Indiana's religious freedom law, saying it could lead to discrimination against gays and others, and they voted to hold the denomination's biennial general assembly...
Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad
Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad By Eric Foner W. W. Norton, 320 pp., $26.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Demons harassed novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. At least that's how one artist of the 1850s caricatured...
Glimpse of the Holy
ONE OF MY pet peeves is the general addiction to the new book. It seems sometimes that we consider living writers only when they have emitted a fresh tome. This is understandable, I suppose, since a new book provides the natural impetus to look at...
God Help the Child
God Help the Child By Toni Morrison Knopf, 192 pp., $24.95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In her 11th novel Nobel Prizewinner Toni Morrison has returned to the foundation of most of her fiction: childhood and its traumatic effects. In God Help...
Interfaith Pair Wins Nigeria Election
When Nigerians talk of General Muhammadu Buhari, their newly elected president, they use words like strict and iron-fisted. These traits are ingrained in society's image of him from his days as Nigeria's head of state in the early 1980s. After leading...
Kenya's Christians Reel from Attack
We have to sing this song with a happy voice," George Owino urged the dozen or so worshipers gathered for Easter service, just days after al-Shabaab militants killed 147 people, mostly Christians, on a university campus in Garissa, Kenya. The congregation...
Latino Evangelicals Call for End to Death Penalty in Groundbreaking Vote
A leading group of Latino evangelicals has called for an end to state-sanctioned capital punishment, the first national association of evangelicals to do so. In a unanimous vote March 27, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition urged its 3,000...
Living by the Word: Reflections on the Lectionary
May 3, Fifth Sunday of Easter John 15:1-8 AMONG Orthodox Christians only three saints are designated as "theologian," and one of them is St. John the Evangelist. A quick reading of merely the opening verses of John's Gospel suffices for us to...
Muslim Group in Indonesia Challenges Reform Agenda
Over the past century, Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second largest Islamic organization, has risen to prominence by building thousands of schools and hospitals across the vast archipelago. And while it has long wielded political influence, it has in recent...
Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness
Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness By Richard B. Hays Baylor University Press, 172 pp., $34-95 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I remember arguing a historical point with a visiting New Testament scholar while...
Religious Rights and Wrongs
Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, was the first Indiana business to say it would claim a right under the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act not to provide services at gay weddings. The restaurant was quickly besieged by protests, but it...
Southern Baptist Summit Calls Pastors to Work against Racism
Southern Baptists did not mince words about their racist past during a two-day summit in Nashville devoted to making churches more diverse. During the first half hour of the conference, the Southern Baptist Convention's top ethics leader acknowledged...
Take & Read: Scholars Recommend the Best Recently Published Books in Their Fields
Old Testament Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible, by Amy Kalmanofsky (Fortress, 176 pp., $24.00 paperback). Scripture's dearth of accounts of interfemale relationships is one of its oft-lamented lacunae. Interpreters interested in ancient women's...
The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power
The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power By Steve Fraser Little, Brown, 480 pp., $28.00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It has become commonplace to refer to the last quarter of the 19th century...
The Body in Motion
A woman walks into the Sanctuary of the Arts, a dance studio in Oakland, California, and does something that we rarely see in church. Stressed and exhausted, she responds to her internal longing by folding herself up on the floor in the corner of the...
The Proust of Norway
My Struggle By Karl Ove Knausgaard (translated by Don Bartlett] Books 1-4 published in hardcover by Archipelago; Books 1-3 in paperback by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. I READ UNSELECTIVELY. Even the most extraneous book may one day be thrown...
"They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide
"They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide By Ronald Grigor Suny Princeton University Press, 520 pp., $35-00 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A century ago, at the height of World War I, the Ottoman Empire...
Unlikely Sage
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's new series for Netflix, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is a strange combination: it's a show about surviving religious and sexual abuse and also a relentlessly upbeat feminist comedy. Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and three other "Indiana...
Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice
Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice By Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Eerdmans, 167 pp., $14.00 paperback [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A friend tells me that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who post on Facebook and those who don't. She...
Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God
Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God By Lauren F. Winner HarperOne, 304 pp., $24.99 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Lauren F. Winner's Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of...
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