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Carl F H Henry, Billy Graham, Evangelicalism, Bible, Christianity


Carl F.H. Henry was a leading theologian of American Evangelicalism and prominent voice in the Neo Evangelical movement of the twentieth century. His prominent book The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (1947) persuaded conservative evangelicals to avoid the separatist inclinations of fundamentalism. He, instead, championed a biblically based brand of cultural engagement rooted in the kingdom theology found in the Gospels. Harnessing the “Already, but not yet” view of the kingdom popularized by Herman Ridderbos and George Ladd, Henry effectively engaged culture during a tumultuous twentieth century. This paper will begin with a survey of the historical legacy of Carl F. H. Henry’s social ethics. It will then analyze those ethics within the context of the kingdom of God as described in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. This paper will end with a critical evaluation of those kingdom ethics from a cultural engagement perspective. Carl Henry’s most significant contribution as a public theologian was his ability to keep the best of both arguments from the modernist and fundamentalist positions. His “already, but not yet” or “Kingdom Now, Kingdom Then” approach to God’s kingdom provided an accessible philosophy of ethics that remained faithful to scripture and encouraged him an appropriate and compassionate form of cultural engagement.



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