As the managing editor for news and online journalism at Christianity Today, I'm constantly watching out for religion news. As a church history fan, I pay particular attention when today's developments intersect with yesterday's.

We've recently finished putting together our list of the top news stories of 2009 (we haven't released our list yet, but Religion Newswriters Association, Baptist Joint Committee, Catholic News Service, and Time have.) I have to say, for pure news value, it seemed like a slow news year in religion news.

It was a bit of a slow news year in Christian history news, too, but I was able to put a list together of some notable events. Still, I can't help but feel I'm missing something rather significant. Consider this, then, a non-authoritative, preliminary list.

1. A year of anniversaries

The "restoration movement" celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding document of sorts, Thomas Campbell's "Declaration and Address of the Christian Association of Washington." Baptists celebrated the 400th anniversary of the first Baptist congregation by Thomas Helwys and John Smyth.  The 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth drew renewed attention to his "enigmatic" faith (Charles Darwin, born the same day, got similar treatment.) But, probably due to the growing popularity of the "young Reformed movement," the 500th birthday of John Calvin got the most attention.

2. Archaeologists find Israel's largest artificial cave near Jericho

University of Haifa Archaeologist Adam Zertal told reporters he thought the site might be Galgala (Gilgal)—or perhaps just a place where later Christians thought Gilgal might have been. But at the very least, the 31 cross markings on the pillars and the suggestion that the site ...

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