Essay / On This Day

Happy Birthday James Orr

Scottish theologian James Orr (1844–1913) was born on this day, April 11. He was a prolific author and an important figure in conservative evangelicalism at the very beginning of the twentieth century. Orr wrote at a time when everything seemed to be flying apart: historical-critical

Essay / On This Day

Swinburne vs. The Pale Galilean

Today (April 5) is the birthday of Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), an English poet who was famous in his day but hardly remembered in ours. One of his best-remembered lines is about this very changing of times, in which mighty figures of one age are

Essay / Misc.

Ambrose Read Silently

Today (April 4) is the day when Ambrose of Milan died in 397. Ambrose is one of the biggest names in the history of the early church, one of the traditional “Four Doctors of the Western Church.” He was the bishop of Milan when Augustine

Essay / On This Day

Happy Birthday, A.T. Pierson

Today (March 6) is the birthday of A. T. Pierson (1837-1911), one of the most influential figures in the history of conservative Protestantism. An American evangelical, Pierson had an extensive teaching ministry throughout the English-speaking world; the most famous post he held was that he

Essay / On This Day

Corrie Ten Boom: "Where Are You Hiding the Jews?"

In an age when Hitler has become a punch-line, a youtube “downfall” meme, and the barometer of when an argument has reached its limits (reductio ad hitlerum), it’s hard to feel the weight of the armed anti-semitism of the mid-20th century. After decades of classroom

Essay / On This Day

Cajetan's Birthday

Today (February 20) is the birthday of Thomas Cardinal Cajetan (1469-1534), an Italian Dominican cardinal active during the Renaissance and early Reformation era. His birth name was Giacomo de Vio, but when he became a Dominican he took the name Tomasso (perhaps after the famous

Essay / On This Day

Cotton Mather, the Cistern of Nature, and Pressing After Piety

Cotton Mather, American Puritan, was born yesterday and died today. That is, he was born on February 12 in the year 1663, and died February 13 in the year 1728. Mather kept a voluminous diary which would be worth reading just for its historical value,

Essay / On This Day

Lawrence of the Resurrection on Practicing the Presence

Today (February 12) is the day in 1691 that Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection died. He is remembered for the spiritual writings which have been published as The Practice of the Presence of God, and he is famous for describing how to commune intimately with

Essay / On This Day

Wycliffe’s Day

Today (December 31) is the day that John Wycliffe died of natural causes in 1384. He was an all-around scholar, excelling in philosophy, theology, and languages. His doctrines and his agitations for the reform of the church got him in trouble with the authorities, but

Essay / Culture

Happy Birthday, Rudyard Kipling

Question: “Do you like Kipling?” Answer: “I don’t know, I’ve never kippled.” Today (December 30) is the birthday of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the enormously popular writer who was the first English author to win the Nobel Prize in literature (1907) in his early 40s. But

Essay / Culture

Gladstone: The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture

Today (December 29) is the birthday of William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), who has been called “the most eminent of the eminent Victorians.” Gladstone the politician dominated British history throughout the bulk of the nineteenth century: He became a Member of Parliament in 1832, and remained

Essay / On This Day

“Jesus is Victor” (Blumhardt)

Today (December 28) in 1843, an unclean spirit cried “Jesus is victor!” as it departed from a young girl in Möttlingen, Germany. The possessed girl was Gottliebin Dittus, and the presiding pastor was Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880). An account of the conflict can be read