Essay / On This Day

J. H. Sammis

Today (July 6) is the birthday of John H. Sammis (1846-1919). Sammis is the author of one of the most famous gospel songs, Trust and Obey: When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our

Essay / On This Day

Cranmer Prays to the Trinity

Can you pray to the Trinity? Of course, the very definition of Christian prayer is that it is trinitarian: We pray to God the Father, in the name of Jesus the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the logic of mediation that’s

Essay / Literature

Czeslaw Milosz’ Birthday

Czeslaw Milosz, the Polish poet who lived his last decades in California, was born on this day, June 30, in 1911. I am told on good authority that we should pronounce his name “Chess-wov Mee-woash,” but I can’t get used to saying those L’s as

Essay / Literature

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Was One Theological Poet

Elizabeth Barrett Browning died on this day, June 29, in 1861. She was the most famous female poet of the Victorian age, easily outpacing other luminaries like Christina Rossetti and Jean Ingelow (who?). During her lifetime, the rumor was that she only missed the post

Essay / On This Day

Cyril of Alexandria

June 27 is the day Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) is remembered in the Western churches. For many years, he wasn’t widely remembered in the Western churches at all, at least in English-language theological circles. For example, in the 48-volume set of patristic writings of

Essay / On This Day

Doddridge Day

Philip Doddridge (born this day, June 26, 1702; died 1751) is remembered today, if at all, for his book The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul. This book was very famous in its time, and was translated into seven languages. William Wilberforce pointed

Essay / On This Day

Bernard Founded Clairvaux

June 25 is the day, according to tradition, that Bernard (1090-1153) founded a new Cistercian monastery in Clairvaux in the year 1115. The monastery was such a success, and he was so linked with it, that “of Clairvaux” is now his last name. He was

Essay / On This Day

Beza's Birthday is Worth Celebrating, Too

Not long ago, theology fans celebrated Calvin’s 500th birthday. But let us not overlook the birthday of Theodore Beza, born this day, June 24, 1519. Sure, a 490th anniversary isn’t as festive as a 500th, and Beza’s not Calvin. But since it’s his day, consider

Essay / On This Day

Ernest Renan's Life of Jesus

According to the Christian History Institute, June 23 was the very day in 1863 when French philosopher Ernest Renan (1823-1892) published his Vie de Jesus. Renan’s book was not the first attempt at a critical biography of Jesus, but it was the first best-seller in

Essay / On This Day

Jonathan Edwards, You’re FIRED

June 22 is the anniversary of Jonathan Edwards’ dismissal from his pastorate in 1750. The great awakening had gone through his town a few years before, but once it was over, plenty of people wanted to go back to sleep. Edwards had tried to raise

Essay / On This Day

Otterbein's Birthday

Today (June 3) is the day Philip William Otterbein was born in 1726. Otterbein was a German Reformed pastor who moved from Prussia to the American colonies in 1752, where he ministered until his death in 1813. Otterbein presided over a conference of ministers in

Essay / On This Day

Alexander Cruden, Not Quite Correct

Alexander Cruden was born this day (May 31, 1700) and made his mark in history by producing a concordance of the Bible. Cruden’s Concordance was a revolutionary research tool in its day, as attested by the great excitement with which Jonathan Edwards ordered a copy