Today in Christian History

August 19

August 19, 1099: Three years after setting out, the First Crusade armies defeat the Saracens at the Battle of Ascalon, a Palestinian city. For more than a century afterwards, Christians controlled the Holy Land (see issue 40: The Crusades).

August 19, 1662: Blaise Pascal, French scientist, polemicist, and Christian apologist, dies at the age of 39 after an extended illness. In 1654, he experienced his "definitive conversion" where he discovered the "God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and not of the philosophers and men of science" (see issue 76: Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution).

August 19, 1843: C.I. Scofield, dispensationalist creator of the Scofield Reference Bible, is born near Clinton, Michigan (see issue 61: The End of the World).

August 19, 1886: Richard G. Spurling, a Baptist minister, founds the Christian Union in Tennessee. In 1923 the organization took the name the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee, a Pentecostal denomination that now has hundreds of thousands of members.

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July 21, 1773: Pope Clement XIV dissolves the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which was founded in 1534. Clement did not condemn the Society, but explained it was an administrative move for the peace of the church. Pius VII restored the society in 1814.

July 21, 1925: Biology teacher John T. Scopes is fined $100 for teaching evolution. He lost his trial, but because of it fundamentalists lost respect (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and The Rise of Fundamentalism).

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