Today in Christian History

July 17

July 17, 180: Seven men and five women who had been captured carrying "the sacred books, and the letters of Paul" are tried before Roman proconsul Saturninus. Since none would renounce their Christian faith, all 12 were beheaded (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

July 17, 431: The Council of Ephesus adjourns, having rejected Nestorianism (the idea that Christ had two persons, not two natures) and condemned Pelagianism (a doctrine refuting human depravity) (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).

July 17, 1505: Martin Luther enters the Augustinian monastic order at Erfurt, Germany, at age 21 (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

July 17, 1674: Isaac Watts, author of about 600 hymns, is born in Southampton, England.

July 17, 1917: American Baptist radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller accepts Christ as his savior. Fuller was ordained in 1925 and in 1937 began the pioneer program The Old Fashioned Revival Hour. He also helped found Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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April 20, 1139: The Second Lateran Council, led by Pope Innocent II and attended by 1,000 church leaders, opens in Rome. The council focused on reforming the church in the wake of the East-West schism (1054) and preserving the temporal possessions of the clergy.

April 20, 1233 (some say 1232): Pope Gregory IX appoints full-time papal inquisitors and gives the Dominican order authority to carry out the Inquisition. For their vigilant and persistant work, the order won the moniker "Domini canes" or ...

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