Today in Christian History

April 21

April 21, 1109: Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury and one of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages, dies around age 76. He attained fame for his argument that faith is the precondition of knowledge ("credo ut intelligam"), his "satisfaction theory" of the atonement ("No one but one who is God-man can make the satisfaction by which man is saved") and for his ontological argument for God's existence.

April 21, 1142: Medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian Pierre Abelard dies. Though well-known for his writings on revelation and the relationship between faith and knowledge, he is probably most remembered for his love letters to Heloise, a nun (see issue 30: Woman in the Medieval Church).

April 21, 1855: Edward Kimball, a Sunday school teacher in Boston, leads 18-year-old shoe salesman Dwight L. Moody to Christ at the Holton Shoe Store. Moody went on to become the most successful evangelist of his day (see issue 25: D.L. Moody).

April 21, 1897: A.W. Tozer, devotional writer (The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy) and influential pastor in the Missionary Alliance Church, is born.

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June 17, 1703: John Wesley, founder of Methodism, is born in Epworth, England, to parents Samuel and Susanna. Though Methodism's emphasis on grace and instantaneous (often emotional) conversion marked a radical departure from high church tradition, Wesley always considered himself an Anglican (see issue 2: John Wesley and issue 69: The Wesleys).

June 17, 1963: The U.S. Supreme Court rules 8-1 that states cannot require the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools.

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