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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April 22, 1418: The Council of Constance ends, having finally ended the Great Western Schism. When the schism began nearly 40 years earlier, three men had reasonable claims to the papacy. The council deposed all three and elected Martin V. (Martin then turned around and rejected further councils' right to depose a pope.) Though that part of the council is regarded as a triumph, the council also hastily condemned Jan Hus, a Bohemian preacher and forerunner of Protestantism, and sentenced him to execution ...

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