Today in Christian History

December 8

December 8, 1691: English Puritan minister Richard Baxter dies in London. One of England's most renowned preachers and author of nearly 200 works (including several hymns), he was known as a peacemaker who sought unity among Protestants.

December 8, 1934: American missionaries John and Betty Stam are beheaded by Chinese communists. The couple had met while attending Moody Bible Institute and married just the year before their death. Publication of their biography prompted hundreds to volunteer for missionary service (see issue 52: Hudson Taylor).

December 8, 2016: American United Methodist minister and theologian Thomas C. Oden dies. Oden was a leading proponent of the Social Gospel movement in the mid 20th century until study of the writings of the church fathers, especially Anthanasius, Augustine, and Aquinas, convinced him of the need to return to classical Christian orthodoxy. This return to traditional theology, which he dubbed “paleo-orthodoxy,” became his main focus for latter half of his life and he became a leading voice in conservative evangelical theology.

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August 20, 1153: Bernard of Clairvaux, French theologian, monastic reformer, and hymn writer (O Sacred Head Now Wounded), dies. His motto was "To Know Jesus and Jesus Crucified" (see issue 24: Bernard of Clairvaux).

August 20, 1745: Francis Asbury, one of the two first Methodist bishops in America (the other was Thomas Coke), is born in Birmingham, England (see issue 45: Camp Meetings and Circuit Riders).

August 20, 1912: William Booth, founder and first General of the Salvation Army, dies (see issue ...

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