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Christian History

Today in Christian History

January 30

January 30, 1536: Catholic priest Menno Simons leaves the Roman Catholic church over his doubts about transubstantiation and converts to the Anabaptist movement, which he would soon lead (see issue 5: Anabaptists).

January 30, 1649: England's King Charles I, a devout Anglican with Catholic sympathies who staunchly defended the "divine right of kings" while oppressing the Puritans, is executed after being convicted of treason under a Puritan-influenced Parliament.

January 30, 1877: Responding to Henry Stanley's plea for "some pious, practical missionary" to follow up David Livingstone's missionary foray into Uganda, three members of Alexander Mackay's Church Missionary Society team arrive at King Mutesa's court. Though missions saw few immediate results, the Ugandan church quickly strengthened and grew after the missionaries' deaths (see issue 56: David Livingstone).

January 30, 1912: Evangelical missionary, philosopher, author, and lecturer Francis Schaeffer is born in Philadelphia. A leading figure in the resurgence of evangelicalism during the 1960s and 1970s, he blamed the rise of relativism for the decline of Western culture.

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May 24, 1089 (traditional date): Archbishop of Canterbury, scholar, and church reformer Lanfranc dies. Known primarily for his development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, in which the eucharistic bread and wine become Christ's body and blood, he also educated brilliant scholar Anselm and future pope Alexander II.

May 24, 1543: Polish astronomer and cleric Nicolas Copernicus dies in Poland. His heliocentric (sun-centered) concept of the solar system was radical, though not unheard of before ...

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