Today in Christian History

December 20

December 20, 1552: Former nun Katherine von Bora, Martin Luther's wife from 1525 to Luther's death in 1546, dies (see issue 39: Luther's Later Years).

December 20, 1560: The Scottish Reformed Church, organized with the help of John Knox, holds its first assmbly (see issue 46: John Knox).

December 20, 1576: Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, sends a letter to Queen Elizabeth protesting her order that he tell preachers throughout England to stop speaking so often. She felt three or four sermons per year were sufficient. Grindal's refusal to enforce her wishes earned him house arrest.

December 20, 1787: The Shakers, a millenarian communal society in New Lebanon, Indiana, experience a revival. The religious fervor continued throughout the frontier, crossing denominational barriers.

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April 27, 1667: Blind, bitter, and poor, Puritan poet John Milton sells for ten pounds the copyright for Paradise Lost—a book that would influence English thought and language nearly as much as the King James Version and the plays of Shakespeare. The theme of the epic appears in its opening lines: "Of man's disobedience, and the fruit / Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste / Brought death into the world, and all our woe, / With loss of Eden.

April 27, 1775: Moravian minister and missionary ...

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