Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 142:565 (Jan 85) p. 75
“Editorials: One Hundred Years of Pot-Banging,” James M. Wall. The Chnstran Century. July 4–11. 1984. pp. 651-52.
This centennial issue The Christian Century fittingly reviews a century of one of the most influential religious magazines in the United States. Editor Wall tries to explain what the Century, which calls itself “an ecumenical weekly.” has tried to do during its first 100 years and will continue to seek to do.
Wall declares, “The tune we have been banging for 100 years and hope to continue playing throughout another century comes from Scripture, tradition and experience. It also arises from the society we seek to serve, for this magazine has insisted that its task is to stand poised at the intersection of religion and society…ready to report, analyze and propose solutions for the events occurring at that intersection” (p. 651). That statement paints a fairly accurate picture. It also describes the problem with the Century, which has largely become, in the opinion of this reviewer, a sociological and political commentary.
The magazine was founded in 1884 as the Christian Oracle and was renamed The Christian Century in 1900. This name change was significant, because it reflected the buoyant optimism of American modernism that this final century of the second millennium of the Christian era would Christianize the planet and usher in the kingdom on earth. As a result the name constitutes somewhat of an anachronism because Wall acknowledges that “this century has shown us that perfection will not come through kingdom-building” (p. 651).
Comments on “The Century’s Role—Past and Present” from such diverse individuals as Jimmy Carter, Carl F. H. Henry, Karl Menninger, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Michale Novak, Joseph Sittler, and Cynthia Wedel follow Wall’s editorial. Among the articles republished in this issue
BSac 142:565 (Jan 85) p. 76
is the second part of Karl Barth’s contribution to the series “How My Mind Has Changed in this Decade” (published originally on September 20, 1939). This series launched in 1939–40 and repeated in 1949–50 in the judgment of this reviewer was significant. Subsequent reprints of the series failed to measure up to the first two.
As the voice of American religious liberalism for the past 100 years, the Century has had an impact and has been a molding influence. As it completes its first and begins its second century of publication, the unanswered question is, will its impact and influence continue?
“The Proofs, Problems, and Promises of Biblical Archaeology,” Edwin M. Yamauchi, Jo...
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