February 4 in Christian History

Feb 04, 2009 12:57 PM EST

1441 - Pope Eugene IV published the encyclical "Cantante domino." It asserted that the biblical canon of the Roman Catholic Church contains both the 66 protocanonical books (i.e., the complete Protestant Bible) and 12 deuterocanonical (aka "apocryphal") books 78 writings in all.

1810 - The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Tennessee as an outgrowth of the Great Revival of 1800. Standing between Calvinism and Arminianism, the denomination holds a "medium theology" which affirms unlimited atonement, universal grace, conditional election, eternal security of the believer and salvation of all children dying in infancy.

1873 - Birth of George Bennard, American Methodist evangelist. He penned over 300 Gospel songs during his lifetime, but is primarily remembered today for one: "The Old Rugged Cross."

1874 - English poet and devotional writer Frances Ridley Havergal, 37, penned the words to the popular hymn of commitment, "Take My Life and Let It Be [Consecrated, Lord, to Thee]."

1950 - American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot resolved in his journal: 'I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not.'

© 1987-2009, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church