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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, November 21

1526
Francis I, King of France, sends the Provost of Paris to forcibly remove De Berquin from the conciergerie where he is held by enemies of the Reformation. De Berquin seeks reformation without rupture from Rome, but three years later his enemies will use an absence of the king to burn De Berquin to death.
1706
Rev. John Williams returns to a hero's welcome in Massachusetts on this day, one of the last released of 109 captives taken from Deerfield two and a half years earlier. He will write a bestseller The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion.
1852
Union Institute was chartered by the Methodists in Randolph County, NC. Renamed Trinity College in 1859, the campus moved to Durham in 1892. Tobacco magnate James B. Duke endowed the school with $40 million in 1924, upon which its name was changed to Duke University.
1866
Tiyo Soga, an African Christian leader, completes a translation of Pilgrim's Progress into the Xhosa language.
1873
Pope Pius IX condemns the "Old Catholic" movement that rejects the decree of papal infallibility, excommunicating by name their bishop, Joseph Humbert Reinkins, and all other adherents of the movement, labeling them "miserable sons of perdition."
1920
Wang Ming-Dao writes out a list of his sins, vows to leave them, and receives assurance of forgiveness. He has already been a Christian for many years.
1943
German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter: 'A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes...and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.'
1964
The third session of Vatican II approves a "Decree on Ecumenism" that declares both Catholics and Protestants to blame for past divisions and calls for dialogue, not derision, in the future.
1979
Death in Beijing of Zhao Zichen, who developed an influential but anti-supernatural theology and eventually lost his faith entirely, but not before suffering for it at both the hands of the Japanese and the Communists.
1984
Rev. David Ernesto Fernandez is murdered in El Salvador. He had served ten congregations in the eastern portion of his country and was greatly beloved by fellow Christians.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"