October 17: Today in Christian History

October 17: Today in Christian History

October 17, 108

According to tradition, Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was martyred on this date. The Apostolic Father closest in thought to the New Testament writers, Ignatius wrote seven letters under armed guard on his way to Rome—some asking that the church not interfere with his "true sacrifice"

October 17, 1480

The Spanish Inquisition is activated

October 17, 1532

Pope Clement VII orders humane treatment of the Jews.

October 17, 1552

Death in Konigsberg, Prussia, (now Kaliningrad, Russia) of Andrew Osiander, a Lutheran theologian who had helped introduce the Reformation to N├╝rnberg. Fellow Lutherans had rejected his insistence on the need to be indwelt by Christ as essential for justification.

October 17, 1586

Death of Sir Philip Sidney from a wound recieved while fighting beside Dutch reformers. He had loaned his armor to a soldier without any. Tradition has it that, aflame with thirst from bleeding, he nonetheless gave his last water to a dying soldier on the battlefield.

October 17, 1703

William Burkitt, a Church of England clergyman, is taken ill with a violent fever during church services at Dedham, Essex, and has to go home. He will die seven days later, patiently enduring his sickness, praying, and rejoicing to hear testimonies of people who had converted under his teaching. He had been noted for helping refugees and for encouraging relief of the poor during a particularly bad winter. His notes on the New Testament were highly regarded.

October 17, 1760

John Fletcher is inducted into the Vicarage of Madeley. A Methodist of deep faith and purpose, he is designated to be Wesley’s successor, but precedes him in death.

October 17, 1895 

Peter Cameron Scott's Africa Inland Mission team arrived in Mombasa, Kenya. Scott pressed inland to share the gospel and plant missions. Peter contracted blackwater fever. He died on December 8, 1896. After his death, his teammates also died one by one. Others came to replace them, some carrying their supplies in coffins! Such dedication eventually opened the hearts of the Africans.

October 17, 1937

Martyrdom of Alexander Ivanovich Shchukin, Archbishop of Semipalatinsk, shot by the Soviets for preaching against destroyers of churches.

October 17, 1949

Singer Stuart “Stew” Hamblen is converted to Christianity in Billy Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles Crusade. He will go on to write two popular Christian hits, “It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)” and “This Old House.”

October 17, 1979

Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

October 17, 2005

Death of Yokana Mukasa Balikudembe, Anglican bishop of Mityana in Uganda. At the time of his ordination, Mityana Diocese had only eight poor parishes but by his retirement had thirty rich parishes largely through his zealous efforts. In addition to organizing parishes, he had written Christian works in the Lugnanda language of his people and had won respect by urging all denominations of Christians to treat one another with respect.

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