Today in Christian History

February 27

February 27, 280: Constantine, the first Roman emperor converted to Christianity, is born. Though some scholars question the authenticity of Constantine's conversion (which came after he saw a vision on the battlefield), the emperor did seek to settle church controversies by calling the Council of Nicea in 325 (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

February 27, 380: Roman emperor Theodosius makes Christianity the official law of the land. "It is our will," he decreed, "that all the peoples we rule shall practice that religion that Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans" (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

February 27, 1773: Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, is completed after six years of construction at a cost of about $4,070. George Washington purchased a pew for himself and his family for $100.

February 27, 1871: Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, is born. His eight-volume Systematic Theology (1947) is one of the most detailed analyses of dispensational premillenial Protestant theology.

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February 21, 1109: Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury recognized as the "founder of Scholasticism," dies. One of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages, his treatise Why Did God Become Man was the greatest medieval treatise on the atonement. He is also known for his ontological argument for the existence of God.

February 21, 1142: Medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian Peter Abelard dies. Perhaps best known for his (chaste) love affair with nun Heloise, Abelard made his most ...

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