True Grit has
a lot of competition in the upcoming Oscar award night, February 27. It's not
expected to win big, although it's been nominated for ten awards. Before
the attention fades, however, I want to cast one more vote for the western
remade last year by the Coen brothers.
Eugene Peterson's new memoir, The Pastor, will be out in February (Century subscribers can read the excerpt from the book
in the February 8 issue.) If any pastor has claimed the vocation, it's
Peterson, who has grounded and inspired pastors for many years with books that
include Under the Unpredictable Plant
and The Contemplative Pastor.
a new year, with new opportunities to banter around familiar clichés such as
"taking time on the journey," cultivating "spirituality but not religion" and
"going on retreat." Most of us agree that solitude is key to all of these
endeavors, and that solitude is a good thing.
to do the Advent thing, I thought last Saturday night as my husband and I
prepared to study the Annunciation passage with an adult ed class. My mind went
to the hope that I'd be able to get away for a day or two this Advent season and
do some hiking, reflection and prayer at a retreat center.
I'd like to see this award-winning journalist's book read by
all Christians--from evangelicals who believe that their life's calling is to save
souls to those Christians who, while denouncing proselytizing, feel called to offer
compassionate, practical aid to those who need help. For either of the above
missionary types, Griswold dispels illusions. She is fearless in following a story
into the most remote village, and wise in her understanding of how religions
collide and inflame and exacerbate volatile situations.
A few weeks ago I traveled to Detroit with
friends who wanted to show us their hometown of Wyandotte, Michigan, just south
of the city. We stayed in a former Navy officers club on Grosse Ile, walked
through Henry Ford's Greenfield Village, then drove in to see a baseball game.
Back in the '70s when Steven Apfelbaum told his mom he was
studying for a degree in ecology, his mother didn't know what to think. Unable
to accept or perhaps even understand this new specialty, she told friends that
"Little Stevie was going to be a veterinarian." She wasn't the only one
Walk along with Century contributor Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and her husband Andrew
Lars Wilson as they retrace the journey Martin Luther made from Erfut, Germany,
to Rome in 1510—500 years ago this year.
“Today, we live with this illusion that we know the world," says
William Dalrymple. "The reality, of course, is. . .that there's huge
parts of the world which we know absolutely nothing about, particularly
in areas of religion and philosophy." For most of us, India is one of
A friend of mine was dismayed when
Sunday school teachers at her church proposed a new Sunday school
schedule for fall: classes held weekly except for the third Sunday of
each month, when there would be no structured Sunday school classes.
The teachers and their kids would take a break from the 9 o’clock hour
Sunday school responsibilities and the Sun.
Lorrie Moore, whose short-story collections (Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Birds of America: Stories) are known for wit that sparkles and bites, has earned book-of-the-year status for her recent novel A Gate at the Stairs.
This winter I had the opportunity to observe a Caravaggio painting upclose and often: his Supper at Emmaus (1601) was on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago from its permanent home in London’s National Gallery. From the Century offices, it was only a few steps across Michigan Avenue to see this vibrant, dramatic painting.
In 1984 Ronald Reagan declared that no U.S. foreign aid money would be sent to organizations that perform abortions, provide counseling and referral for abortions, or lobby to make abortions legal or more available. This policy, often referred to as the gag rule, was rescinded by Bill Clinton, reinstated under George W. Bush, then canceled again by Barack Obama. As it’s swung back and forth for the last 25 years, this pendulum of policy on international family planning and women’s health has resulted in unnecessary tragedy. Many health clinics have closed, with women and children as the first to lose.
Something has spooked July Montgomery’s cows. As he scans the edges of the hayfield looking for the source of their fear, he reminisces about a morning 20 years earlier when he bought his farm in Words, Wisconsin.
When Rob Bell walks on stage at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, the 38-year-old sports chic black glasses and black jeans with a wide, white 1970s belt. His geeky, affable presence and energized speaking style warm up the room quickly and signal a seasoned performer. After you hear Bell speak, it’s not surprising to learn that his childhood hero was David Letterman or that as a college student he was lead singer in a band.
You think your church has problems? Imagine your church building closing and your denomination telling you that it can’t afford to fund a pastor. Imagine trying then to keep alive the vision of a vital congregation and taking on the cleaning and maintenance of the building while you wait—for 40 years.