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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July 18, 64: The Great Fire of Rome begins, and to direct suspicion away from himself, young Emperor Nero blames the city's Christians. A persecution followed in which Christians were (among other punishments) burned alive (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

July 18, 1504: Henry Bullinger, Ulrich Zwingli's successor as chief pastor of Zurich and a close associate of Cranmer, Melanchthon, Calvin, and Beza, is born in Switzerland (see issue 4: Ulrich Zwingli).

July 18, 1870: The ...

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