"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Catholics, Evangelicals, and National Review

You know Catholics and Evangelicals have ceased hostilities when you read National Review's list of 15 Unsung Conservatives and find:

Carl F. H. Henry (1913–2003): Billy Graham was the greatest evangelical preacher of the 20th century; one of the greatest evangelical thinkers was Henry. An ordained Baptist minister, he gave the evangelical movement its intellectual heft through his books and, most notably, his editorship of Christianity Today, a magazine that he and Graham founded in 1956 to counteract the influence of the more liberal Christian Century. Although he defended traditional understandings of Scripture, he rejected fundamentalist rigidity and urged evangelicals to engage the wider world rather than to retreat from it — an encouragement that continues to motivate serious Christians to occupy the public square.

CFHH is one my personal heroes, but he wouldn't have been on the radar of NR twenty years ago. The fact that he is included now shows the religious interpenetration of the two camps and how well Henry's legacy is wearing.

3 comments:

Francis J. Beckwith said...
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Francis J. Beckwith said...

Hunter. I don't entirely agree. I think the Henry was a great journalist and an important mover and shaker. He was, in my judgment, an average theologian who contributed no new insights or useful arguments. He was a nice man, and a towering and pivotal figure in the history of evangelicalism. But he was not a great theologian.

I think that the real genius from that era and generation was Edward John Carnell.

FJB

Hunter Baker said...

Hey, I didn't say he was a great theologian. I said he was my evangelical hero and that he left a legacy that is lasting.

The substance of that legacy is that he planted the seeds of greater evangelical engagement with the culture, particularly intellectually. He also helped promote the academic side of evangelicalism. Without Carl F. H. Henry, I'm not sure Baylor would be fighting over the 2012 vision at all.