Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics (PhD)


Kevin King Sr.


Carl F. H. Henry, Presuppositional Theology, Education, Evangelical, Cultural Engagement


Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


In the mid-twentieth century Carl F. H. Henry was committed to articulating a cohesive theological understanding from an evangelical perspective. The primary feature of Henry’s theology was the ultimate authority of God’s Word. This presupposition impacted every area of his thinking and manifest itself in the practical outworking of theology. This dissertation argues that Carl Henry’s theistic presuppositions provide a workable framework for the practice of education. This thesis will be developed in three ways: establishing the consistency of revelational theism, demonstrating the irrationality of naturalism, and analyzing Carl Henry’s published perspective toward the American educational system. This study will be strictly limited to a theological view of presuppositions with application made to educational settings. It is an inquiry into Henry’s commitment to the authority of divine revelation in relation to a specific avenue of evangelical cultural engagement. This author is not attempting a pedagogical framework but a theological framework. No attempt will be made to synthesize a philosophy of education out of Henry’s words concerning education, but rather it will focus specifically on his theological presuppositions. This author is focusing on the qualitative implications of Henry’s theology, not a quantitative research model of educational practice or philosophy. Henry was a trailblazer within the evangelical movement who spoke often and plainly about the necessity of presuppositional foundations essential to evangelicalism. These foundations are the ontological necessity of God and the epistemological necessity of divine revelation. With these axioms as his foundation, Henry launched an offensive campaign against the presuppositions of naturalism. Henry’s passion for education is seen in his publications applying his theological position to educational situations for the sake of cultural engagement.