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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, August 20

651
Murder of King Oswin, who had renounced his throne to save bloodshed, but was betrayed.
684
Death of St. Philibert of France, abbot and monastic founder, particularly associated with Jumi
1384
Death of Gerhard Groot, founder of the Brethren of the Common Life. This movement invited laymen to a life of spirituality and simplicity.
1553
Protestant reformer John Calvin wrote in a letter: 'Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.'
1580
Death of Jerome Osorio, a Portuguese prelate and author, respected for his piety and charity and famed for his elegant Latin.
1804
Death of Pitambara Singha from an asthmatic complaint. He had first read about salvation in a Baptist tract printed at Serampore and had immediately visited the mission there, becoming a faithful convert, Christian author, and evangelist.
1843
Death from cholera of Ganga Narayan Sil, a learned convert from Hinduism, who had become a street preacher to Hindus and Muslims.
1886
Birth of Paul Tillich, German philosophical theologian. Tillich advocated "myth" as a signpost, participating in the reality to which it points. Evangelicals generally criticize Tillich today for his pantheistic views of God.
1913
Death in Winnipeg of Robert McDonald, who had been an Anglican missionary and gifted linguist, evangelizing among First Nation peoples of Canada, particularly in the northwest Arctic.
1952
Death in Jacksonville, Florida, of J. Frank Norris, a controversial fundamentalist Baptist pastor, radio speaker, and editor, who at various times had been charged with arson, perjury, libel, and murder - the last for killing an opponent in his church office, claiming self defense.

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