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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, July 5

Consecration of Pope Martin I, known for his opposition to Monothelitism, the teaching that, although Christ had two wills - the human and the divine - the divine will was so dominant that it deprived the human of any ability to act.
(tentative date) Death of Athanasius the Athonite when the cupola of his church collapses. He had been notable for bringing monastic order to the hermits of Mt. Athos, Greece.
The hermit Peter de Murrhone becomes Pope Celestine V. Unfit for the position, he will resign within six months.
At the Council of Florence, the Decree of Union ('Laententur Coeli') was signed, creating an official theological union between the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Catholic) churches. Unfortunately, the Eastern Church at large never accepted the document and a full working unity between these two major
Balthasar Hübmaier publishes On the Christian Baptism of Believers in which he takes issue with Zwingli's handling of baptism and Anabaptists.
At the request of the States of Holland and Zealand, William of Orange assumes "entire authority, as sovereign and chief of the land" as long as war with Spain shall continue. The conflict pitted Protestants vs. Catholics.
Thomas Belson is hanged at Oxford, England, for assisting Catholic priests who were operating despite laws against the practice of their religion.
Death of ministerial student Michael Bruce at twenty-one years of age. He had written the hymn "How Happy is the Child Who Hears" and other poems showing some talent but did not receive credit for them for a hundred years, his literary executor having passed them off as his own productions.
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'We are reasonable creatures, and undoubtedly reason is the candle of the Lord. By enlightening our reason to see the meaning of the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit makes our way plain before us.'
Henry Wilson, the Anglican bishop of Calcutta, India, states that the caste system must be abolished in Anglican churches. “Those who belong to Christ must give proof of having really put off . . . the old, and having put on the new man in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
During the Kensington riots, Protestants wheel a brace of cannon to St. Phillip Neri's church in Philadelphia. The local militia defend the church, several people die, and Irish Catholics are indicted for murder and rioting.
Death of English theologian William Burt Pope, 81. His 'Compendium of Christian Theology' (1875-76) set forth the most powerful systematic arguments of his day for the holiness doctrine in Methodism.
Charles Pean, a Salvation Army worker, sails as a misisionary to notorious Devil's Island.
Death of Helmut Richard Niebuhr, 67. Christian Ethics professor at Yale for 30 years, Niebuhr is better remembered for his popular and oft-reprinted 1951 classic, 'Christ and Culture' -- a work that explores available options of relating one's personal faith to the world's highest and noblest principles.
In an instruction given by the Holy Office, disposal of the dead by cremation was officially granted sanction by the Catholic Church. (Belief in the resurrection of the dead had previously made cremation repugnant to many Christians.)
Close of an exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring three hundred and fifty icons from thirty countries. At an opening address for the exhibit, Patriarch Bartholomew had said, "May the works in this exhibit lead us to the right path of true faith from which true spiritual power derives."
Unidentified opponents behead Rev. Pau Za Khen, a sixty-two-year-old Lutheran pastor in northeastern India's Manipur. Khen had been abducted from his daughter's home by four men the previous day. He was found with his hands tied behind his back and his eyes blindfolded.
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