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Christian History

Today in Christian History

July 5

July 5, 1439: Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics sign the Decree of Union at the Council of Florence, creating an official union between the two churches. Popular sentiment in Constantinople opposed the decree, and when the Turks captured the city, the union ceased. However, the council's definition of doctrine and its principles of church union (unity of faith, diversity of rite) have proved useful in subsequent church talks (see issue 54: Eastern Orthodoxy).

July 5, 1962: H. Richard Niebuhr, theologian, Yale professor, and author of Christ and Culture (1951), dies at age 67.

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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 ...

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