The Christian Century

TheChristianCentury-logo The Christian Century is a progressive, ecumenical magazine based in Chicago. Committed to thinking critically and living faithfully, the Century explores what it means to believe and live out the Christian faith in our time. The Century continues to inform and shape mainline Christianity and remains a voice of generous orthodoxy, both loyal to the church and open to the world.

Christian Century, in print publication (also printed on-line):

Living by the Word (a column in the print edition)
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Genesis 22:1–14
A father told about the tornado that hit his home in April. Racing to his son’s room as it approached, he had just touched his son when suddenly the tornado ripped off the side of their house and pulled his eight-year-old son out into the night. The father and mother held on to their other children and cried out prayers to God.

Living by the Word (a column in the print edition)
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Genesis 1:1–2:4a; Matthew 28:16–20
My church was celebrating a re­affirmation of baptism, and the pastor encouraged us to ask people who were present at our baptism to tell us about it. I called my mom and asked what she remembered. “I don’t think you were baptized,” she said. “Really?” I responded. “Could you check with Dad? It’s kind of important.” She did, and they decided that I hadn’t been baptized. I was 37.

Christian Century, on-line publication:

The following are from the series called Blogging Toward Sunday, posts exploring biblical texts:

Some angles on the binding of Isaac
Jun 20, 2011: Genesis 22:1–14
Violence. Danger. Fear. Trust. Betrayal. Salvation. Ethics. They’re all invoked in the story of the binding of Isaac. Here are a couple different points of entry into this difficult passage.

God in spirit
Jun 13, 2011: Genesis 1:1–2:4a; Psalm 8; Matt. 28:16–20
In my church we’ve been exploring the idea that God is fully present in each person of the Trinity. Recently our focus has been on the Holy Spirit. On Trinity Sunday, a week after Pentecost, it might be fruitful to consider the implications of this full presence of God in the Spirit.

Beauty in balance
May 19, 2008: Matthew 6:24-34
When Jesus talks about making wealth our “master,” sometimes he is speaking to the peasants who may not have bread to eat, and at other times he is speaking to the collaborators with the Roman Empire who are able to accumulate wealth for themselves. Somehow he addresses both groups simultaneously and leads them all toward the justice and peace of the kingdom of God.

It’s not about Jezebel
Jun 07, 2010: 1 Kings 21:1-10, (11-14), 15-21a; Galatians 2:15-21; Luke 7:36-8:3
Jezebel has become a cultural symbol for treachery, seduction, immorality and idolatry. A Google search for her name brings up four million hits—more than twice the hits for “Ahab.” Why so much focus on Jezebel?

Tough questions
Jun 01, 2010: 1 Kings 17:8-16, (17-24); Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17
Biblical narrative evokes the emotional depth of human experience and brings forward core questions about life. In this week’s Old Testament reading, the widow fully expects to die—and soon, because of a drought in the land.

When I was a boy
May 11, 2008: Genesis 1:1-2:4
Biblical language about God often reflects the patriarchal cultures in which that language was crafted, but every once in a while we get a glimpse of a God who transcends male identity. In Isaiah, God comforts us like a nursing mother comforts her child. Jesus said that he wished to gather up the people of Jerusalem like a mother hen gathers up her chicks.

Euphoric with hope
May 05, 2008: Acts 2:1-21
A pastor was having a difficult time reading the book of Acts because she kept thinking about the imperial context in which it is set. How is her/our understanding of the story changed if we keep in mind that Jerusalem falls well within the bounds of the Roman Empire?

Cloud rider
Apr 28, 2008: Acts 1:1-11; Luke 24:44-53
After Jesus has been taken up in a cloud , the “men in white” convey a message of hope to the disciples: this Cloud Rider will return in the same way they saw him go. The cloud that carried Jesus away was the power and presence of God, the Ancient of Days. It is a powerful metaphor for God, and reminds us of other metaphors, and other encounters.

A majestic and intimate God
Apr 20, 2008: Acts 17:22-31
In his speech at the Areopagus Paul proclaims:
God is the creator of everything.
God is not limited by (does not live in) human-made things.
God does not need anything from human beings.
Humans all come from one ancestor (or one blood) and are all God’s offspring.

How do I love thee?
Apr 13, 2008: John 14:1-14
Jesus’s words of comfort at the last supper are love language, not meant to exclude people of other faiths, but meant to comfort his beloved disciples.