Today in Christian History

January 28

January 28, 814: Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, dies. He was, in his day, not only one of the greatest political rulers of all time, he was, in his day, more influential in church matters than the pope. He saw his task as secular ruler "to defend with our arms the holy Church of Christ against attacks by the heathen from any side and against devastation by the infidels.

January 28, 1547: England's Henry VIII, who split the church of England from Rome and presided over the founding of the Anglican church, dies (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

January 28, 1769: Thomas Middleton, first Anglican bishop of Calcutta, is born in England. While he oversaw a vast diocese covering all the territories of the East India Company, the church made some great advances, including the establishment of Bishop's College in Calcutta(a training college for missionaries in Asia).

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September 24, 787: The Second Council of Nicea begins under Pope Hadrian I. The council condemned iconoclasm. The Roman Catholic Church considers this as the seventh of the 21 ecumenical councils; the Eastern Orthodox churches consider this the last of the ecumenical councils (see issue 54: Eastern Orthodoxy).

September 24, 1757: Jonathan Edwards, perhaps America's most brilliant theologian and a father of American revivalism, becomes president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton). He served ...

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