Jan. 25 in Christian History

Jan 25, 2010 02:23 PM EST

1534 - German Reformer Martin Luther gave his understanding of "conversion" in a sermon: 'To be converted to God means to believe in Christ, to believe that He is our Mediator and that we have eternal life through Him.'

1841 - The Oxford Movement in England reached its apex with the appearance of John Henry Newman's Tract No. 90. The storm of controversy which ensued brought the series (begun in 1833) to an end. Later, Newman resigned his Anglican parish and in 1845 converted to Roman Catholicism.

1861 - Missouri Synod Lutheran founder C.F.W. Walther wrote in a letter: 'The church, as a fellowship...of those who are born again... corresponds to the nature of living Christianity, whereas...the church as a fellowship of the orthodox, whether converted or unconverted, will necessarily lead to a dead Christianity.'

1944 - In the Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong and South China, Florence Tim-Oi Lee of Macao was ordained a priest in Kwangtung Province, China. Although considered an emergency wartime measure (owing to the lack of male priests in Macao), it nevertheless made Florence Tim-Oi Lee the first-ever ordained female Anglican clergyperson.

1959 - Pope John XXIII, 90 days after his election, announced his intention to hold an ecumenical church council. (The Vatican II Council officially opened October 11, 1962 and closed December 8, 1965.)

© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church