Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, September 23

1122
Emperor Henry V of of the Holy Roman Empire renounces investiture of ring and crozier at the Concordat of Worms in a deal with Pope Callistus II (that is, he gives up his right to install bishops). He promises freedom of election of clergy and promises to restore church property.
1571
Death of John Jewel, English church reformer.
1595
Spain launched an intensive missionary campaign in the American Southeast. During the next two years, about 1,500 American Indians were converted to the Catholic faith.
1667
In Williamsburg, Virginia, a law was passed, barring slaves from obtaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.
1830
Death of Baptist hymnwriter Alice Flowerdew best known for her hymn "Fountain of Mercy, God of Love."
1840
Death in Franklin, Massachusetts, of Nathanael Emmons, an influential Congregational theologian and pastor who developed a modified Calvinism that placed more responsibility on individual choice than was usual in Calvinist systems.
1860
Death from cholera of the Russian theologian Alexei Khomiakov, while treating his peasants during an epidemic. A Slavophile and many-talented man, he had been subject to censorship during his life, but his writings will nonetheless influence Dostoevsky, Solovyov, Florensky, and others.
1888
Birth of Gerhard Kittel, German Lutheran Bible scholar. He was first editor of a 10-volume Greek lexicon which took 43 years to complete (1933-76). In its English edition (1964-76), the work is entitled, "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament" -- or "TDNT" for short.
1897
Death at Headington, England, of hymnwriter and hymn translator Frances Elizabeth Cox.
1960
While mourning the recent death of his wife Joy Davidman, English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'My great recent discovery is that when I mourn Joy least I feel nearest to her. Passionate sorrow cuts us off from the dead.'

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© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"