December 10: Today in Christian History

December 10: Today in Christian History

December 10, 1270

The Bishop of Paris condemns Averroism through the efforts of Thomas Aquinas and other theologians. Averroism taught the eternality of the world, denied providence and free will, and set philosophy above faith and Scripture.

December 10, 1520

German reformer Martin Luther publicly burns Pope Leo X’s bull Exsurge Domine, which demands that Luther recant his “heresies,” including justification by faith alone.

December 10, 1524

Henry van Zutphen, an Augustinian monk who had become a Lutheran minister, is burned to death in Holstein by a drunken mob incited by religious and secular authorities.

December 10, 1561

Death of Polish-German reformer Kaspar Schwenkfeld, who rejected infant baptism, said that conversion must produce a regenerated character to be real, and taught that Christ had two natures but became progressively more divine. He also held that true believers eat the spiritual body of Christ in Communion.

December 10, 1569

Death in Wittenberg of Lutheran hymnwriter Paul Eber. Some of his hymns were written for his own children.

December 10, 1593

Italian archaeologist Antonio Bosio makes his first descent into Christian burial chambers located under the streets of Rome and is almost unable to find his way back out, having forgotten the turns he had taken and used up his candles. Bosio will be dubbed the “Columbus of the Catacombs,” and his books will long remain the standard works on the underground tombs of the early Roman Church.

December 10, 1679

Two hundred and fifty seven defeated Scottish Covenanters are shipwrecked in the Crown of London off the coast of Scotland, their captors having earlier battened the hatches to prevent their escape. After the ship breaks up, only a few survivors reach shore.

December 10, 1854

Hector Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ receives its first public performance at the Salle Herz, Paris, with Berlioz conducting and soloists from the OpĂ©ra-Comique. Berlioz himself had written the words. It will remain a popular Christmas piece into the twenty-first century.

December 10, 1860

Peru promulgates a constitution that makes Roman Catholicism the national religion and obligates the State to protect it, while denying the public exercise of any other religion.

December 10, 1960

Marriage of Ruth Magongo to Enoch Litswele. The two will serve as Nazarene missionaries and educators in various African countries, learning several languages in order to communicate with the tribes among whom they work and translating hymns into local tongues.

December 10, 1968

Death of the influential Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, best known for his commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Romans and for his stand with the Confessing Church against the Nazis.

December 10, 1968

Death of Thomas Merton in Bangkok, Thailand. The Trappist monk was famed for writings such as The Seven Storey Mountain and had been an outspoken critic of American involvement in the Vietnam War.

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