Essay / On This Day

Constantine at the Milvian Bridge

Today (October 28) is the day in the year 312 that Constantine defeated his rival Maxentius at Pons Milvia, the Milvian Bridge outside of Rome. This decisive victory (in which Maxentius himself drowned in the Tiber) put Constantine on the path to consolidating Roman power


Essay / Literature

War is Swell: Crispin’s Day

Okay, war is not really swell. But today (October 25) is the anniversary of two battles that live on in our memory because of the martial virtues conspicuously displayed in them. These battles conjured poetry from two of the greatest poets in the history of

Essay / On This Day

Cyrus! “Slap into the Bible”

Who was God’s anointed one more than 500 years before the coming of Christ? Who was the Lord’s own shepherd, the conquering servant who carried out God’s plan to bring his chosen people back into the land of promise? Who took a giant leap forward

Essay / On This Day

Martyrdom of Latimer and Ridley

Today (October 16) is the day when Hugh Latimer (born 1487) and Nicholas Ridley (born around 1500) were burned at the stake in 1555. These Cambridge-trained men are called, with Cranmer, “The Oxford Martyrs,” because they were killed in Oxford under Queen Mary as she

Essay / On This Day

Aimee Semple McPherson's Penchant for System

Today (Oct. 9) is the birthday of Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), the bombastic and showy Pentecostal evangelist who made her mark on Los Angeles in the early decades of the twentieth century. At various times in my life, I’ve lived in the shadow of McPherson

Essay / On This Day

Saints Sergius and Bacchus, Martyrs

Today is the feast day of Sergius and Bacchus. When it comes to saints, I try not to underbelieve or overbelieve. And it’s a hard balance, sometimes. What do you with the story of Saint Sophia and her three daughters Faith, Hope, and Love? It’s

Essay / On This Day

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Edwards!

Today (October 5) is the birthday of America’s greatest theologian, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). Here are some major events from Edwards’ life, as chronicled here at Scriptorium in the last few years. Before 1723: He wrote a treatise on spiders: “Of all Insects no one is

Essay / On This Day

Happy Birthday Homer Rodeheaver

Homer Rodeheaver (1880-1955) was born today, October 4. He started out as the songleader for William Biederwolf, but rose to fame when he accompanied Billy Sunday on preaching tours. The role of song-leader for a big-name evangelist was well-defined by the time “Rodie” stepped into

Essay / On This Day

Robert Barclay

If you want a theological introduction and orientation to the Quaker tradition, then Robert Barclay (1648 – 1690) is your man. Barclay (who died on this day, October 3) was born in Scotland, educated in Paris, and governed a colony in America before returning to

Essay / On This Day

Allen Chatfield Translates Some Really Old Hymns

Slow day for church history? Yes indeed. The most interesting thing I could find that happened on October 2 is the birth of Allen W. Chatfield (1808-1896), the 19th-century Anglican vicar and translator of Greek hymns. Chatfield studied classics at Cambridge and then got ordained,

Essay / On This Day

Marburg Colloquy

Today (October 1) was the first day of the Marburg Colloquy, a 1529 conference that attempted to bring together two streams of the brand-new Protestant movement. On one side were the Germans, led by Luther and his right-hand man Melanchthon, and on the other side

Essay / On This Day


For St. Jerome (347-420). His full name was Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus, and he died on this day (September 30); A bit of jangly rhyming from Phyllis McGinley’s Saint-Watching: God’s angry man, His crotchety scholar, Was Saint Jerome, The great name-caller, Who cared not a dime