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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2011, 03:30:40 PM »

Thanks for the articles HisDaughter. D. L. Moody is one of my favorite authors. I have a good selection of his writings and really enjoy them.
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« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2011, 10:35:59 AM »

April 22, 254
Origen

Have you ever known a teenager who loved Christ so much that he was eager to die for him? A man so brilliant that he kept seven secretaries busy recording his torrent of thought? Somone so eager to walk close to the Lord that he fasted every Wednesday and Friday? Origen was such a person, a saintly man of rare brilliance, an author of thousands of works.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt about 185, Origen was reared in a Christian home. His father, Leonides, sent him to the best teachers in town and had his son memorize Scripture every day. When Leonides went to prison for his faith about 202, Origen encouraged him not to deny Christ. He planned to surrender himself to the authorities so that he could join his father in prison, but his mother hid his clothes. Leonides was martyred and his property confiscated, leaving the family destitute.

A wealthy woman assisted Origen; he was able to teach the Greek language and copy manuscripts for a living. When the young man was about 18, the Bishop of Alexandria made him head of a church school in Alexandria. Origen was responsible to instruct new converts. He soon found that he needed to answer the arguments of heretics, Jews and pagans. He studied with a leading philosopher in order to learn how to refute pagan arguments against the Christian faith.

To remove any hint of scandal as he taught young women their catechism, Origen castrated himself, literally following Matthew 19:12. He later realized that his action was ill-advised and not to be taken as an example. Origen also strictly followed Christ's words in Matthew 10:10--he had only one coat, no shoes, and took no thought for the next day. He refused gifts or pay from his pupils, ate no meat, drank no wine, and slept on the bare floor. Much of the night he spent in prayer and study. He helped friends and pupils when they went to prison for their faith.

During his early years at Alexandria, Origen wrote On First Principles, the first systematic theology ever produced. For 28 years he worked on another book, the Hexapla, a massive work of Old Testament textual analysis. He was one of the few churchmen before the Reformation who learned Hebrew to assist his study of the Old Testament. Origen's method of interpreting Scripture tremendously influenced the Middle Ages. He found three levels of meaning in it: the literal, the moral and the allegorical. He used allegory to reveal Christ in the Old Testament.

Paradoxically, Origen can be called both a father of orthodoxy and a heretic. He wrote at a time when the church was defining its basic doctrines. His contributions have helped theologians for centuries. But his active mind also led him into speculations that the Church rejected. In fact, church councils held in 231 and 232 enacted motions against Origen, and excommunicated him.

Origen found refuge in Palestine and Arabia. The faith was still dear to him. During a third century persecution, pagans threw him into prison. Tortured and condemned to die, only the death of Emperor Decian saved him from execution. But Origen's health was broken. He was close to 70 when he died in 253 or 254.

Though he made serious mistakes, Origen's contribution was inestimatable. One of his students, the church father Gregory of Nazianzus, aptly summed him up as "the stone that sharpens us all." Because no definite dates are associated with Origen's life, we have chosen this day, April 22, to recognize his contribution to the church.

Bibliography:

1.Adapted from Christian History Institute's Glimpses #54.
2.Aland, Kurt. Saints and Sinners; men and ideas in the early church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970.
3.Ante-Nicene fathers: translations of the writings of the fathers down to A.D. 325. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American reprint of the Edinburgh edition. Revised and chronologically arranged, with brief prefaces and occasional notes, by A. Cleveland Coxe. New York: Scribner's, 1926.
4.Crouzel, Henri. Origen. Translated by A.S. Worrall. San Francisco : Harper & Row, 1989.
5.Curtis, Ken, J. Stephen Lang and Randy Petersen. Dates with Destiny; the 100 most important events in church history. (Tarrytown, New York: Revell, 1991).
6."Origen." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
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« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2011, 07:18:28 AM »

April 23, 1616
William Shakespeare

"To be or not to be -- that is the question."

"My words go up, my thoughts remain below Words without thoughts ne'er to Heaven go."

uotes and phrases of William Shakespeare, the greatest of all English writers have become part and parcel of our culture and speech, but much about the man's life and beliefs remains mysterious. Even the date of his death is not certain, although it is generally thought that he died on this date, April 23, 1616. This would have been almost on Shakespeare's 52nd birthday (he was baptized the 26th of April, 1564 probably a few days after his birth).

Was Shakespeare a true Christian? Some of the anecdotes about his life make that doubtful. Nonetheless, a month before his death, he wrote his will, which he concluded by saying, "I commend my soul into the hands of God my Creator, hoping and assuredly believing through the only merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour to be made partaker of life everlasting."

He instructed that his tombstone to be inscribed:

"Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones."

Shakespeare also seems to have been a faithful member of the Church of England. Though he never wrote a play on a Biblical story, the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer were the most frequently quoted sources in his work. He quotes or alludes to passages from at least 42 books of the Bible; and phrases from the morning and evening prayers in the Book of Common Prayer are frequent. Of the books of the Bible, Shakespeare quoted from Matthew 151 times and from the Psalms 137 times.

Some have speculated that the King James Version of the Bible contains a cryptogram for Shakespeare. If you look at the 46th psalm in the King James translation, the 46th word from the beginning is "shake" and the 46th word from the end is "spear." Interestingly, Shakespeare was 46 when the translation was made in 1610! Did Shakespeare help with the translation work? There is no serious basis for such conjecture.

Indeed, there is serious scholarship that argues that Shakespeare did not even author the works attributed to him. One way or the other, Shakespeare took his secrets (spiritual and otherwise) to the grave with him when he died around this date almost 400 years ago.

Bibliography:

1.Adapted from an earlier Christian History Institute story.
2.Garrison, Webb. Strange Facts About the Bible. Nashville: Abington Press, 1968.
3.Michell, John. Who Wrote Shakespeare? London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
4."Shakespeare, William." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968.
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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2011, 12:49:41 PM »

Quote from: HisDaughter
April 23, 1616
William Shakespeare

Very Interesting - thanks!
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« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2011, 12:01:47 PM »

April 24, 1514
Reuchlin Found Not Guilty

To Johann Reuchlin, Luther owed the Hebrew grammar for his Bible translation. A man of lowly birth, Reuchlin's talent for singing brought him to the attention of the Margrave of Baden who made him a companion of his son. In love with learning, the singer seized every opportunity his new position afforded to educate himself. Languages were his forte. He wrote the first Latin dictionary to be published in Germany and a Greek grammar. Hebrew was his dearest love. He ferreted out the rules of Israel's ancient language by study of Hebrew texts and converse with every rabbi who appeared within his range. His authority became widely recognized.

Reputation was nearly the cause of his ruin. A converted Jew and a Dominican inquisitor extracted from Emperor Maximilian an order to burn all Hebrew works except the Old Testament, charging they were full of errors and blasphemies. Before the edict could be carried out, the Emperor had second thoughts and consulted the greatest Hebrew scholar of the age: Reuchlin.

Reuchlin urged preservation of the Jewish books as aids to study, and as examples of errors against which champions of faith might joust. To destroy the books would give ammunition to the church's enemies, he said. The emperor revoked his order.

The Dominicans were furious. Selecting passages from Reuchlin's writings, they tried to prove him a heretic. Possibly he was. He seemed to expect salvation through cabalistic practices rather than relying totally on Christ's atoning blood. The inquisition summoned him and ordered his writings burnt. Sympathetic scholars appealed to Leo X. The Pope referred the matter to the Bishop of Spires, whose tribunal heard the issue. On this day, April 24, 1514, the tribunal declared Reuchlin not guilty. It was a great victory for freedom of learning.

The Dominicans were not so easily brushed off. They instigated the faculties at Cologne, Erfurt, Louvain, Mainz and Paris to condemn Reuchlin's writings. Thus armed, they approached Leo X. Leo dithered. Should he win applause from scholars by protecting the Jewish books, or placate the clerics? He appointed a commission. It backed Reuchlin. Still Leo hesitated. At last he decided to suspend judgment. This in itself was a victory for Reuchlin. The cause of the embattled scholar became the cause of the innovators. Reuchlin's nephew, Melanchthon, rejoiced. Erasmus praised him.

In 1517 Luther posted his 95 theses. "Thanks be to God," said the weary Reuchlin. "At last they have found a man who will give them so much to do that they will be compelled to let my old age end in peace." Thanks to Reuchlin, the Talmud and Kabbala were preserved. Although he died a broken man, freedom for academic production was strengthened because of his ordeal. Soon his studies formed the basis for better translations of the Old Testament. Furthermore, his influence assured Melanchthon a position among the learned and a place in the Reformation.

Bibliography:

1.Hirsch, Samuel A. Book of Essays. Macmillan, 1905.
2.Loeffler, Klemens. "Johannes Reuchlin." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1914.
3.Manschreck, Clyde Leonard. Melanchthon, the Quiet Reformer. New York, Abingdon Press, 1958), especially 24, 25.
4.Mee, Charles L., jr. White Robe, Black Robe. New York: Putnam, 1972; p. 154ff.
5."Reuchlin, Johannes." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
6.Rummel, Erika. The Case against Johann Reuchlin: religious and social controversy in sixteenth-century Germany. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.
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« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2011, 09:26:55 AM »

April 26, 1806
Duff Defied Shipwrecks to Disciple India

On this day, April 26, 1806, Alexander Duff was born in Perthshire in Scotland. The boy, who would win such a name for patient and enthusiastic faith as a man, grew up on a small farm. His father farmed but also had a heart for the things of God. He was among those influenced by Charles Simeon, the evangelical chaplain of Cambridge. Through reading a poem about "Judgment Day," young Alexander Duff also saw his need for a Savior and learned to hope for salvation in Christ.

Duff got an inkling of his future when he nearly drowned in a creek that graced the landscape near his home. Afterwards he experienced a vision in which he understood his life was to be spent for Christ. A good student, he made preparations to become a missionary. With a new bride, he sailed from London for Calcutta on October 14, 1829. Alexander was twenty-three years old.

Their ship wrecked near Cape Town, South Africa. The two lost everything they owned, except the clothes on their back, their Bible and a psalm book. This included eight hundred books which Duff had planned to use in educational work. Undaunted, the two boarded another ship for India. It would be eight months and another shipwreck before they arrived at their oriental home, praising God all the more fervently for having been thwarted.

Duff had come planning to educate Indians, but had been instructed to do so somewhere other than in Calcutta. Calcutta had advantages, however--including a population of half a million people. Duff was convinced it should be the center of his work. Although he had no building, he opened school with five pupils under a Banyan tree. By week's end, he had three hundred applicants. Within two years, he had over a thousand students. He determined to teach every useful branch of knowledge and to saturate his instruction with Scripture. "Our maxim has been, is now and ever will be this: wherever, whenever and by whomsoever Christianity is sacrificed on the altar of worldly expediency, there and then must the supreme good of mankind lie bleeding at its base." To put all of his pupils on an equal footing--they represented several different languages--he made English the medium of instruction. His mighty vision compelled him to produce a series of text books.

When the Church of Scotland split, Duff sided with the more evangelical Free Church. The established church confiscated the buildings he had labored so long to erect, and he had to begin afresh. Despite such setbacks, Duff persisted. He took only three furloughs in thirty-five years, and those only because of ill health. In his last term as a missionary, he surprised his Hindu hosts by demonstrating that girls also were teachable.

Although his schools were widely imitated, conversions were hard to obtain. The Indians who did turn to Christ were mostly of the lowest castes and were held in contempt by other Indians.

Bibliography:

1."Duff, Alexander." Encyclopedia Britannica. Britannica, 1911.
2."Duff, Alexander." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
3.Hampton, Henry Verner. Biographical Studies in Modern Indian Education. Indian Branch, Oxford Univ. Press, 1947.
4.Holcomb, Helen Harriet Howe. Men of Might in India Missions; the leaders and their epochs. New York: Fleming H. Revell company, 1901.
5.Mackay, William M. "Alexander Duff and the Principles of Missionary Endeavour." http://www.pcea.asn.au/alexduff.html.
6.McLean, Archibald. Epoch Makers of Modern Missions. New York: Fleming H. Revell company, 1912.
7.Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. The Pelican History of the Church #6. Hammondsworth, Middlesex, England: Pelican Books, 1964.
8.Paton, William. Alexander Duff, Pioneer of Missionary Education. London: Student Christian Movement, 1923.
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« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2011, 09:26:53 AM »

April 27, 1570
Pius V Excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I

During the Reformation, England broke away from the Roman Church. Mary Tudor briefly reestablished the connection, but when Elizabeth came to the throne, she saw that it was politically expedient (and perhaps morally preferable) to uphold the reformed church and did so. Like her father before her, she headed the English church through an act of Parliament, although her private chapel services remained more Catholic than Protestant.

On this day, April 27, 1570, Pope Pius V issued a bull against her. He claimed that there was no salvation outside the Roman Church and that the pope alone was successor to Peter and head of the earthly church. The ungodly had grown in power and "Elizabeth, the pretended queen of England and the servant of crime, has assisted in this."

The pope went on to excommunicate Elizabeth. "...we do out of the fullness of our apostolic power declare the foresaid Elizabeth to be a heretic and favorer of heretics, and her adherents in the matters aforesaid to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the body of Christ."

In his fourth point, he said "And moreover (we declare) her to be deprived of her pretended title to the aforesaid crown and of all lordship, dignity and privilege whatsoever."

He forbade all nobles, subjects and people to obey Elizabeth on pain of excommunication. This, of course, placed England's Catholics in a trying position. While most were loyal to the throne, some used the papal statement as an excuse to plot against Elizabeth for the purpose of replacing her with a Catholic. Elizabeth cracked down on these opponents with vigor. Innocent Catholics suffered alongside the guilty.

The bull concluded with the words, "Given at St. Peter's at Rome, on 27 April 1570 of the Incarnation; in the fifth year of our pontificate.

Elizabeth survived this blast and maintained high popular approval during much of her reign. She is admired by historians as one of England's greatest monarchs, and according to Thomas Fuller, was also admired by Pope Sixtus the Fifth.

Bibliography:

1."Elizabeth I." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
2.Fuller, Thomas. "The Life of Queen Elizabeth." The Holy State and the Profane State, Volume II. New York: Columbia University Press, 1938; p. 312ff.
3.Lataste, T. "Pope St. Pius V." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1914.
4.Neale, J. E. Queen Elizabeth I. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1957.
5."Pope Pius V's Bull Against Elizabeth (1570)." http://tudorhistory.org/primary/papalbull.html.
6.Various encyclopedia and internet articles on Elizabeth, Pius V and the excommunication.
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« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2011, 09:08:14 AM »

April 28, 1948
Prisoner Number One: Richard Wurmbrandt

One beautiful Sunday morning--it was on this date, February 29, 1948--pastor Richard Wurmbrand of Rumania set out on foot for church. He never arrived. For eight and one half years his wife and son did not know where he was or even whether he was alive or dead. "Ex-prisoners" assured Sabrina Wurmbrand they had witnessed her husband's funeral in a Communist prison. Sabrina was heartbroken and yet she had her doubts. The men might be government stooges.

Wurmbrand's disappearance was expected. Anyone who acted contrary to the regime could expect imprisonment or death. At a "Congress of Cults" held by the Communist government, he had asked for it. Religious leaders stepped forward to swear loyalty to the new regime. Sabrina asked Richard to "wipe the shame from the face of Jesus." Richard replied that if he stepped forward, she would no longer have a husband. "I don't need a coward for a husband," she answered. And so Richard stepped forward and told the 4,000 delegates that their duty as Christians was to glorify God and Christ alone.

He returned home to pastor an underground church and promote the gospel among Rumania's Russian invaders. He smuggled Bibles into Russia, disguised as Communist propaganda. And then he disappeared.

What had actually happened? As Richard walked to Church, a van full of secret police stopped in front of him. Four men jumped out and hustled him inside. He was taken to their headquarters and later locked in a solitary cell where he was designated Prisoner Number 1.

His years of imprisonment consisted of a ceaseless round of torture and brainwashing. For seventeen hours a day, repetitious phrases were dinned into his ears: Communism is good. Christianity is stupid! Give up. Give up! Over the years, his body was carved in a dozen places and burned. "I prefer not to speak about those [tortures] through which I have passed. When I do, I cannot sleep at night. It is too painful." His jailers also broke many of his bones, including four vertebrae. Miraculously, he survived. Other martyrs did not.

Eight and one half years later, in 1956, Wurmbrand was released. Sabrina herself was brutalized for three years in prison. The Wurmbrand's nine- year-old son Mihai was orphaned during this time. Released, the Wurmbrands immediately recommenced secret church work. Wurmbrand was returned to prison, not released again until 1964.

In 1965, Western churches ransomed Wurmbrand from Rumania for $10,000. Richard and Sabrina immediately spoke out for those still suffering in Communist hands. Wurmbrand was asked to testify before the US Senate. He displayed eighteen holes cut in his body. Afterward, he was invited to speak before hundreds of groups. By 1967, "Prisoner Number 1" had incorporated the mission organization that is now known as Voice of the Martyrs, dedicated to assisting those who suffer for Christ throughout the world.

Richard and Sabina were able to survive their ordeal through the power of love. "If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ," wrote Wurmbrand, "and if the heart loves him, you can resist all tortures. What would a loving bride not do for a loving bridegroom? What would a loving mother not do for her child? If you love Christ as Mary did, who had Christ as a baby in her arms, if you love Jesus as a bride loves her bridegroom, then you can resist such tortures. God will judge us not according to how much we endured, but how much we could love. I am a witness for the Christians in communist prisons that they could love. They could love God and men."

Bibliography:

1.Wurmbrand, Richard. Tortured for Christ. Middlebury, Indiana: Living Sacrifice Books, 1976.
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« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2011, 09:12:58 AM »

April 29, 1607
Cape Henry, 1st Anglican Church in America

The English first attempted to settle the New World in Virginia. The first Anglican worship ceremony of the Jamestown party in the new world was held on this day, April 29, 1607. "The nine and twentieth day, we set up a Crosse at Chesupioc [Chesapeake] Bay, and named that place Cape Henry," wrote Captain John Smith. Reverend Robert Hunt led them in a service. The colonists would soon establish a place of worship.

If Christians erect a facility to worship in, what should it look like? The Virginia sanctuary was not a typical church building. It was a simple shrine in the forest covered with a tattered sailcloth. The altar was a plank nailed between two trees.

By the end of that summer, however, the colonists had built a wooden church inside the Jamestown fort. John Smith said it looked more like a barn than anything else. By January of the next year it had burned down.

The colonists built a new sanctuary to take its place. This is where Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married in 1614.

Three years later, yet another wooden church building was erected, this one outside the walls of the fort. Virginia's House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in America, met in this church in 1619; obviously the much talked-about wall of separation between the church and state had not yet been erected!

Virginia itself was a parish of the Church of England, an overseas extension of the diocese of London. Robert Hunt was the first chaplain of the Jamestown settlement. His task was difficult, because most of the early colonists to Virginia were more interested in this world's riches than in spiritual treasures. Rev. Hunt held regular services in the Jamestown church while also working diligently for the physical well-being of the colony. It was he who built the first colonial grist mill. Much of his time, however, was spent caring for the many sick and dying in the colony and defusing quarrels among the settlers.

In 1639 the prospering colonists built a new brick church in Jamestown, and added a brick tower in the 1640s. The remains of this church tower can still be seen--one of the oldest English-built edifices standing in the United States today. The Anglican faith (now known as Episcopal) was in America to stay.

Bibliography:

1.Adapted from an earlier Christian History Institute story.
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« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2011, 10:54:54 AM »

April 30, 1892
Warner Sallman's Famous Head of Christ

You may not recognize his name off the cuff, but you've probably seen his work. Warner Sallman was the best-known Christian artist of the early twentieth century. Almost everyone has seen a reproduction of his Head of Christ. The yellow-brown picture with long flowing hair was an icon of the forties and fifties.

Born on this day, April 30, 1892, Sallman showed early artistic talent. His Swedish-born parents did all they could to develop his abilities. Going to New York City to make his living, he was thwarted when his trunk came up missing. Without the portfolio samples in it, no studio would accept him. He prepared to leave New York, but made one last check at the railroad station, insisting on seeing the storage area. His trunk was discovered far from sight.

Sallman was a Christian who had been converted at sixteen during evangelistic services in Chicago. "My burden of sin and guilt was removed and I shall never forget the thrilling joy of that moment of experiencing God's redeeming grace. Since that time my life has been based on that experience, and has been directed toward serving God in every way." He married a Christian girl, too--Ruth Anderson--but a year later he was told that he had just three months to live. His wife's faith was equal to the test; she said, "Let us pray about it and let the Lord have His way in the matter." In time he fully recovered from tuberculosis.

Eventually he achieved success as a professional illustrator. One day Sallman urgently needed to get a cover done for the February, 1924 issue of the religious magazine Covenant Companion. He wanted to do a face of Christ, but wasn't satisfied with his ideas. Hovering in the back of his mind was a statement by E. O. Sellers, the night director of Moody Bible Institute, "...make Him a real man. Make Him rugged, not effeminate. Make Him strong and masculine, not weak, so people will see in his face He slept under the stars, drove the money changers out of the temple, and faced Calvary in triumph." No small task! Little wonder Sallman was unable to find precisely the right idea at first.

With his deadline looming, he saw a vision early one morning of the face he must draw. He went up to his studio and made a sketch. Years later he converted that sketch to a painting--the best-known representation of Christ done in the twentieth century.

Sallman would do much other religious art--he was the artist for New Tribes mission, for example. But it was the Head people wanted. He sketched it over and over--more than 500 times--in public talks. He would make the sketch and invite people to meet the Christ he tried to portray. He made many other paintings about Christ, including the well-known Jesus, Our Pilot and Christ Knocking at Heart's Door (in which the light radiates from Christ and reflects off the house so that it forms the image of a heart).

Highbrow critics scoffed at the works. To them it was mere kitsch. But when one looks at the paintings that they approved, one cannot help but feel that the sensibility of the masses, while not perfect, was more satisfactory than the verdict of the smug art world.
With changing times, Sallman's ideal of Christ fell into disfavor. Minorities reject it because it makes Jesus too white. From the perspective of the twenty-first century it is safe to say that what appeared masculine to his contemporaries seems effeminate today. One can also take exception with his Head of Christ on the grounds that it makes Jesus too beautiful. The Bible says there was nothing comely in his appearance to make him desirable.

Bibliography:

1.Lundboom, Jack R. Master Painter; Warner E. Sallman. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1999.
2.Morgan, David. Icons of American Protestantism; the art of Warner Sallman. New Haven: Yale University, 1996.

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« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2011, 04:30:17 PM »

Hello HisDaughter,

Very Nice! - Thanks for sharing with us.
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2011, 09:22:14 AM »

May 1, 1939
Theodore Epp Aired 1st


In April 1939, a young preacher from Oklahoma approached the managers of two midwest radio stations. Theodore Epp later admitted he was quite afraid when he entered that Lincoln, Nebraska office. However, he boldly stated, "We note that you have everything in your broadcasts that people want except something from the heart." He asked for an opportunity to remedy that.

Naturally, the managers wondered how the program would be financed. Epp at the time had only $65. The pastor replied that the same Partner who had underwritten his ministry costs for the last 12 years would handle the broadcast expenses. That partner, of course, was God.

Epp had gone in expecting to buy a 30-minute daily slot. Instead, he was offered a daily 15 minutes at $4.50 a program. He accepted. On this day, May 1, 1939 Back to the Bible aired for the first time. It is one of Christian radio's venerable programs.

Epp's short devotionals attracted a wide audience as more and more stations signed on for them. In a typical lesson, Epp described how Jacob undermined his testimony with Esau by pretending he would meet him in Seir when he had no intention of doing so. Said Epp, "Words that are not supported by actions turn many people away from the Gospel. This is one reason the present-day church has lost rapport with the world. We are not direct in making our position with God known, and because of half-truths and timidity we are not winning people to the Lord as we should."

Many notable Christians have been associated with Back to the Bible, including Elisabeth Elliot and Warren Wiersbe.

Indeed, Warren Wiersbe became General Director after Epp's retirement, a position he held until 1990. Although generally in the mainstream of conservative and fundamentalist Christianity, Back to the Bible's adoption of new ministry methods in the last two decades has led to criticism that it has sold out to ecumenism and psychology. Conservatives have complained about changes in its theology and its use of modern translations.

Theodore Epp's vision lives on, however. As the 21st century began, Back to the Bible's broadcasts were heard in 22 languages around the world, and it continued to produce and distribute Christian material in many formats in its efforts to reach the world for Christ.

Bibliography:

1.Erickson, Hal. Religious Radio and Television in the United States. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, c1992.
2.Hill, George H. Airwaves to the soul : the influence and growth of religious broadcasting in America. Saratoga, California: R & E Publishers, 1983.
3."Our History." Back to the Bible. http://www.backtothebible.org/aboutus/history.htm.
4.Various internet articles.
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« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2011, 09:46:12 AM »

Quote from: HisDaughter
May 1, 1939
Theodore Epp Aired 1st

Fascinating, and I thank you. I still get materials from Back To The Bible almost every day. I think that you'll find devotionals from all of the people mentioned in this article in the "Completed or Favorite Threads" area. I remember materials from Back To The Bible all the way back to my childhood. They have been good and faithful servants of God.
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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2011, 09:16:17 AM »

May 2, 1740
Boudinot, Bible Society Founder

Do you know all of the presidents of the United States? Does Elias Boudinot ring a bell? He was chosen President of the United States "in Congress assembled" on November 4, 1782. It was in his capacity as president that he signed the peace treaty with England that brought an end to the Revolutionary War. But his importance to Christian history lies in another direction.

Elias Boudinot was born on this day, May 2, 1740 in Philadelphia. One of his ancestors was a French Protestant who had fled from France when King Louis XIV took protection away from these Huguenots.

Boudinot studied law and became a respected lawyer in New Jersey and made a fortune, much of which he gave away to charity. Because he was an energetic Patriot, his neighbors elected him as their delegate to the Continental Congress. After the Revolutionary war, they elected him as their representative to the new Federal Congress. He served three terms.

But Boudinot's real interests were not political as much as religious. An Episcopalian, he served on the board of directors of the College of New Jersey (Princeton). This school had been founded to train clergymen. Boudinot helped establish and pay for its Department of Natural Sciences, but he was even more concerned that the resurrection of Christ be taught.

Widely read in Bible literature and a lifelong student of the scriptures, Boudinot wrote a reply to Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason. His response was called The Age of Revelation. He also wrote a life of William Tennent, the man who started a "log college" to train preachers.

Boudinot thought the American Indians were the ten lost tribes of Israel (DNA studies have since proven him wrong). He wrote a book about that, too, titled A Star in the West. His concern for the Indians (he is not to be confused with the Elias Boudinot who sold out the Cherokee Nation) led him to find ways to educate them.

Given his interests, it is hardly surprising that Boudinot was all for Bible societies, whose purpose was to get the Bible into the hands of as many people as possible. In 1816, he pushed others to join him in forming the American Bible Society. He served as its first president and gave it $10,000 in a day when an annual salary of $400 was considered good money.

We've pretty much forgotten Boudinot's service as president. But his work with the Bible Society will never die. The American Bible Society is still with us to this day, and sponsors the work of Bible translation and distribution around the world.

Bibliography:

1.Boudinot, Elias. A Star in the West, or, a humble attempt to discover the long lost ten tribes of Israel, preparatory to their return to their beloved city, Jerusalem. Trenton, New Jersey: Published by D. Fenton, S. Hutchinson and J. Dunham,1816.
2."Boudinot, Elias." Encyclopedia Americana. Chicago: Americana Corp, 1956.
3.Boyd, George Adams. Elias Boudinot, Patriot and Statesman, 1740-1821. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952.
4.Klos, Stanley L., editor "Elias Boudinot, 4th American President." Virtual American Biographies. http://www.famousamericans.net/eliasboudinot/
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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2011, 08:57:22 AM »

May 3, 1721
Hans Egede To Greenland


On the west coast of Greenland, in the tundra zone about one hundred and fifty miles south of the arctic circle, a new colony was being built. Europeans had established a presence in Greenland as early as 980 under Eric the Red. Severe winters and the problems of maintaining trade caused the colony to perish 400 years later. Now, in 1722, the Danes were reestablishing their presence. The leader of the expedition was not a Dane, however. He was a tough-skinned Norwegian. More to the point, he was a Christian missionary.

Protestantism was slow to develop a missionary consciousness and commitment. The little nation of Denmark was among the first Protestant countries which recognized the urgency of spreading the gospel. It's leaders founded a mission school in 1714. Among the missions-minded was their ruler, the good king Frederick IV. Having come under the influence of Pietism, he strongly supported Danish missions, including the Greenland project. On this day, May 3, 1721, Hans Egede sailed with his wife Gertrude for the inhospitable regions of the world's largest island.

Greenland is a harsh land. No settlement is possible except along the coasts, for the interior of the world's largest island is ice-covered year round. In spite of all its ice, Greenland's northern regions are more arid than the driest Sahara, receiving less than five inches of rain a year. The southern coasts receive 30 inches a year. There grasses grow and some trees: alder, birch and willow. Hans Egede found both winter and summer beautiful despite the low average temperatures and pale sun that never rises high in the sky.

In 1722 he founded a colony and named it Godthåb. Known as Nuuk today, it is capital of the nation. From this base he preached to the Eskimos, but saw few indications of success. Superstition ran deep in these hardy Indians and they could not be weaned from the words of their angakut (soothsayers). The problems of teaching Christianity were compounded by Egede's difficulties mastering the Eskimo language. It seemed to have few words with which to express Christian concepts. Despite this, he attempted to produce a translation of the New Testament. Adding to all these barriers was his own temperament, which tended to be harsh and overbearing. He dearly loved the people, but like many Christians, did not know how to express this in human terms.

That changed in 1733 when a smallpox epidemic swept the island. Hans and his wife poured themselves heart and soul into caring for dying Greenlanders. "You have been kinder to us than we have been to one another," exclaimed one. Gertrude so exhausted herself in the effort that she died a short time later. Hans returned to Denmark in 1736.

His son Paul, raised among the Eskimos, took over the work, mastered the language, completed the translation, and witnessed revival. His father rejoiced to see him reap where he had sown.

Bibliography:

1."Egede, Hans." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
2.Lives of missionaries, Greenland: Hans Egede; Matthew Stach and his associates. London, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 186 -.
3.Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. The Pelican History of the Church #6. Hammondsworth, Middlesex, England: Pelican Books, 1964.
4.Fleisher, Eric W. & Jürgen Weibull. Viking Times to Modern; the story of Swedish exploring & settlement in America, and the development of trade & shipping from the Vikings to our time. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1954; p. 143.
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