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Today in Christian History
Death of Anselm of Canterbury, English theologian, author of the ontological argument for the existence of God, and a father of medieval scholasticism.
Death at Cluny of theologian Pierre Abelard, whose "conceptualism" changed the development of philosophy. He will be remembered for seducing his student Heloise. Although often accused of heresy, he remained a popular teacher.
A stroke leaves Roman Catholic mystic Catherine of Siena paralyzed from the waist down.
Maryland issues an act defining and forbidding blasphemy and making it an offense to rail publicly against another person's faith. It promises toleration to anyone who professes Christ.
Birth of English churchman and hymnwriter Reginald Heber. Heber published his first hymn at 28, and among his best remembered today are: "Holy, Holy, Holy," "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
Sunday school teacher Edward Kimball visits the Holton Shoe Store in Boston, Massachusetts, where Dwight L. Moody works, finds him in a stockroom, and speaks to him of the love of Christ. Shortly thereafter, Moody is converted and devotes his life to serving God, becoming a notable American evangelist.
Thomas Huxley first publicly uses the word "agnostic" at a meeting of the London Metaphysical Society to describe intellectuals who, like himself, are unable to come to certain conclusions on big issues such as the existence of God.
Leo XIII published the encyclical, "Inscrutabili dei consilio." It outlined a program of reconciling the Catholic Church with modern civilization, many of its details reversing policies of his predecessor, Pius IX.
Birth of A. W. Tozer, one of the most popular and influential pastors to come out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Tozer was also a prolific writer, and his best- known publications include "The Pursuit of God" (1948) and "The Root of Righteousness" (1955).
While rushing to assist a dying man in Labrador, missionary-doctor Wilfred Grenfell is trapped on an ice-pan (a small flat sheet of ice) and almost loses his life when it floats into the ocean.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"