Essay / On This Day

Karl Bahrdt, Worst Theologian Ever

Today (August 25) is the birthday of Karl Friedrich Bahrdt (1741-1792), a theologian so bad that it is hard to find anything good to say about him. (He liked tolerance. There, I said one good thing about him.) He was, says one encyclopedia, “a caricature

Essay / On This Day

Bultmann and Tillich: Same Birthday, Same Problem

Two of the most influential academic theologians of the twentieth century share today, August 20, as their birthday: Paul Tillich (1886-1965) and Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976). What an odd coincidence. I wonder if they ever celebrated it together. Both men were prolific, and their theological projects

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Happy Birthday, Cyrus Scofield

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield was born this day (August 19) in 1843, and died in 1921. A confederate veteran, Scofield had a shameful life (alcoholism, prison for forgery, divorce, etc.) before his conversion and call to pastoral ministry. His fame is linked to his 1909 Reference

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Trinitarian Gallstones of Clare of Montefalco

What you need, as a Christian, is Jesus in your heart and the Trinity in your guts. At least that’s what Clare of Montefalco had. Today (August 18) was the day that Clare of Montefalco (1268-1308) died. Clare entered the Augustinian convent at age nine.

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William Carey's Birthday, and India's

Today (August 17) is the birthday of William Carey (1761-1834), whose name is “synonymous with the heroic age of the Protestant missionary movement” (according to Timothy George). And the birthday falls two days after Indian Independence Day (August 15, 1947). The case for William Carey’s

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Happy SchlatterDay

Today (August 16) is the birthday of Adolf Schlatter (1852-1938), a great conservative New Testament scholar from a few generations ago. If you haven’t heard of Adolf Schlatter, it’s time to update your notes. You’re missing out on the Schlatter revival! It’s in full swing,

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Jeremy Taylor Died Today, Having Written A Book About How To

Jeremy Taylor (born 1613, died today, August 13, in 1667) was a Cambridge-educated Anglican bishop whose most famous books are Holy Living (1650)and Holy Dying (1651). Both are classics, but there are many other books available that are similar to Holy Living: It reads a

Essay / On This Day

Happy Birthday Bernard Nieuwentyt

Bernard Nieuwentyt was born this day (August 10) in 1654. You’ve never heard of him, but he was a mathematician, a natural philosopher, a medical doctor, and mayor of his town. He also wrote some theology, including this classic bit from 1718: …let us suppose

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The Cane Ridge Revival, 1801

Today (August 6) was the day in 1801 when a Presbyterian communion service in Bourbon County, Kentucky, turned into a major revival. The service grew and grew, carrying on until August 12 and attracting pehaps 25,000 people. The results of the Cane Ridge revival, America’s

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Up-Biblum God by John Eliot

The little Hertfordshire church registry says: Anno dm. 1604. John Elliott the sonne of Bennett Elliott was baptized the fifte daye of August in the yeere of our Lord God 1604. What a wonder this John Eliot was. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, Eliot was

Essay / On This Day

Horatius Bonar Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Today (July 31) is the day in 1889 when Horatius Bonar died at the age of 81. Bonar (1808-1889), Scottish pastor and author, was from a long line of clergymen and was brother to the equally famous Andrew Bonar (1810-1892) with whom he is sometimes

Essay / On This Day

Thomas Hooker and the Poor Doubting Christian

The colonial Puritan Thomas Hooker died on this day (July 7) in 1647, in the Connecticut that he was instrumental in founding. History books have always had a hard time placing Hooker in the flow of American history. They would like to portray him as