Today in Christian History

February 4

February 4, 856: Rabanus Maurus, a theologian and educator mentored by Alcuin, dies at age 80. His "retirement" from school administration at age 66 was followed by a career as archbishop of Mainz, Germany.

February 4, 1555: English reformer and theologian John Rogers becomes the first Protestant martyr under "Bloody" Mary I when he is burned at the stake for heresy (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

February 4, 1906: Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is born in Breslau, Germany. Author of The Cost of Discipleship (1937) and Letters from Prison (1944), he opposed the Nazis as one of Germany's Confessing Church leaders. Believing that Hitler was like a madman "driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders," he joined a plot to kill him, but the plot was discovered and Bonhoeffer was arrested and eventually hanged—just days before Allied troops liberated the concentration camp where he was held (see issue 32: Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

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June 26, 1892: Pearl S. Buck, Presbyterian missionary to China and author of the bestselling The Good Earth (1931), is born.

June 26, 1932: Francis Schaeffer attends a Presbyterian church meeting where a Unitarian spoke out against the truth of the Bible and its teachings. A young lady named Edith had prepared a rebuttal, but before she could speak, Francis stood up and shredded the speaker's arguments. Edith was impressed, and after she read her remarks, Francis was impressed as well. He walked ...

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