Today in Christian History

October 28

October 28, 312: According to tradition, on this date the 32-year-old Roman emperor Constantine defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge. Before the battle, Constantine had seen the symbol of Jesus, chi-rho, in a vision, accompanied with the words "By this sign conquer." He is considered Rome's first Christian emperor (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

October 28, 1646: At Nonantum, Massachusetts, missionary John Eliot preaches the first worship service for Native Americans in their native language.

October 28, 1949: Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador's Auca Indians, writes in his journal the most famous of his sayings: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

October 28, 1958: The Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, is unexpectedly elected pope, taking the name John XXIII. Expected to be a mere caretaker in office, he became one of the Catholic church's most activist popes, convening the Second Vatican Council in 1962 (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

October 28, 1992: The Korean Hyoo-go (Korean for "rapture") movement, led by prophet Lee Jang Rim, predicts that this is the day of the rapture (see issue 61: The End of the World).

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June 21, 1607: English settlers found the first Anglican (later Episcopalian) parish in America at Jamestown, Virginia.

June 21, 1892: Reinhold Niebuhr, American neo-orthodox theologian and ethicist, is born. He rejected some of the optimism of Christian liberalism, arguing for origional sin and for a prophetic, culture-challenging Christianity, but his liberal views on politics, the Bible, and the nature of Christ (he believed Jesus was a moral exemplar, but not fully God) distanced him from conservatives. ...

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