Christ and Culture in Moscow

Article by Robin Lovin

Almost every American seminary student knows H. Richard Niebuhr’s typology of five ways of relating Christ and culture. I have often used Niebuhr’s book Christ and Culture in the classroom. Presenting these ideas to students at the Russia United Methodist Seminary however, was a new experience. Since Christ and Culture has been translated into good …

Churchgoers From Elsewhere

Article by John Dart

Before the American Unitarian Association merged with the Universalist Church of America in 1961, the former group ran an ad campaign suggesting, "I was a Unitarian all along and never knew it." The Unitarian Universalist Association could revive such a slogan today in view of recent surveys. Two polls indicate that only 10 percent of …

Common Roots, Divergent Paths: The Disciples and the Churches of Christ

Article by W. Clark Gilpin

Despite common ancestry in an American religious movement which knew itself as the “Reformation of the 19th century,” the Churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) today exhibit only faint family resemblances. For a century the congregations of the Christian Church have moved steadily, if at times hesitantly, toward life as one …

Denominations: Surviving the ‘70s

Article by Martin E. Marty

In 1944 the then “undenominational” Christian Century published several articles under the heading “What’s Disturbing the Churches?” Nineteen years later, in 1963, the now “ecumenical” weekly took another turn and had numerous writers ask, “What’s Ahead for the Churches?” By that time, according to Editor Kyle Haselden: the earlier question was no longer apropos. The …

Fractures in the Future

Article by Douglas W. Johnson

The dream of uniting the U.S. Protestant religious community has hit a snag. Splintering rather than unity appears to be the theme of the 70s and may be this decade’s legacy for the ‘80s. The fragility of denominational unity is evident as some bodies are unable to overcome internal divisiveness. The cracks in the church’s …

Is Theological Pluralism Dead in the UMC?

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

“Liberalism” has many meanings in contemporary theological usage. Chiefly it has come to name something the speaker dislikes. But the liberal spirit has continued in an affirmation of theological pluralism — an appreciation and attentive acceptance of a variety of theological programs. Sometimes this has meant that various historic Christian traditions have affirmed the legitimacy …

Moderates Unite? The Future of Southern Baptist Dissidents

Article by Jim Jones

Should moderate Baptists, now fragmented into various groups, consolidate their forces into a full-fledged national denomination and try to provide a compelling alternative to the conservative Southern Baptist Convention? That was the most intriguing question brought up when more than 3,000 moderates gathered in Fort Worth in June for the annual general assembly of the …