Are you going to change the name of the magazine in the year 2000? That’s a question we’ve heard often in recent months. The questioners have been eager to remind us of the large hopes that gripped the editors of this magazine a hundred years ago, and to remind us also—in case we hadn’t noticed—that those hopes were unfulfilled. The Christian century? It didn’t turn out that way, did it?
We might allow for some conscious hyperbole on the part of those editors of 1900 who renamed their magazine the Christian Century. Victorians were fond of grand, earnest gestures which today, for better or worse, could not be made without irony. If the editors were overreaching with the Christian Century, consider the name of the predecessor magazine: the Christian Oracle.