Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, December 4

749
Death of Greek Orthodox theologian and poet John of Damascus near Jerusalem. The last great doctor of the Greek church, he had been a strong defender of the use of icons.
963
A Roman synod deposes wicked Pope John XII. He had been just eighteen years old when elected.
1093
St. Anselm is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. He had fashioned the ontological argument for God's existence and is often credited with being the father of scholasticism.
1154
Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear) is elected Pope, the first Englishman to hold the position. At the beginning of the twenty-first century he will still have been the only English pope.
1532
Drops of molten silver injure the Shroud of Turin during a fire.
1674
French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette erected a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan, in present-day Illinois. His log cabin became the first building of a settlement that afterward grew to become the city of Chicago.
1809
The International Bible Society was founded in New York City as an interdenominational agency for translating, producing and distributing the Scriptures. The I.B.S. has since distributed the Bible to over 150 countries in the world.
1854
Birth of Mary Reed, American Methodist missionary. She died in 1943, having spent the last 52 years of her life ministering to the lepers of India.
1942
Death of Roland Victor Bingham, who persistently attempted to evangelize the Sudan between 1893 and 1902, and co-founded the Sudan Interior Mission.
1966
Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote in a letter: 'The good Lord, in spite of reports to the contrary, is not dead.'

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