In the World

Church door from inside

Steve Thorngate on public life and culture

I didn't refer to my godson as my godson until I heard one of his parents do it first. They asked me to be a baptismal sponsor but didn't use godparenting language at first, so I wasn't sure what name(s) they were giving the relationship. I was glad when, just before the baptism, the baby's mother said to him, "These are your godparents!" It's pretty awkward calling a kid your "baptismal sponsee." Really drains the cute right out of the moment.
September 20, 2011
Our August 23 cover story on monogamy and Dan Savage has gotten a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. Benjamin Dueholm offers a nuanced take on the ways the popular sex columnist is beating pastors at their own game--and the ways Savage's ethical worldview falls short. Some readers seem too stuck on the first point--"the Christian Century believes we should be instructed by an advice columnist," crows Joe Carter at First Things--to hear Dueholm out on the second.
September 16, 2011
The LA Times has an interesting article about evangelical pastors' involvement in political mobilization. Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold don't do enough to prove their now-more-than-ever hook--that pastors whipping votes in Iowa and elsewhere are "part of a growing movement of evangelical pastors who are jumping into the electoral fray as never before"--but it's still an important story to follow as we slog through yet another election season in which the religious right is still not dead.
September 14, 2011
The new poverty numbers came out today, and they aren't pretty. The Census Bureau reports that more than 15 percent of Americans are living in poverty--a number that's gone up for three consecutive years and is the highest it's been since 1959.
September 13, 2011
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning ceremonies for the 9/11 anniversary without the participation of clergy. Jay Sekulow et al. think this is an attack on religion. Jim Wallis et al. are criticizing both sides of this debate and also calling for less criticism of others, or something like that.
September 9, 2011
With consumers focused on thrift, the Dollar Palace is to Wal-Mart what Wal-Mart once was to Sears: the bargain alternative for folks with less to spend.
September 2, 2011


In the magazine

Review of Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option

Christmas picks 2016

Why and how I bless my children

Death-penalty abolition and life without parole

Review of Steven Brill's Obamacare book

Baptism and place

What I want to get/give for Christmas

Liturgy nerds and their weddings

What's funny on TV

Alternatives to the common lectionary

Should churches alter copyrighted worship texts?

Welcome to the middle class, population everyone.

It's not about the role of government.

Whither the Century's Amazon links?

Church music after the worship wars

A nontraditional church introduces member rolls

Pay your taxes; get a receipt.

The Democrats' proxy debate about abortion

Music reviews


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