This year I’ve been reading Carl Henry’s massive six-volume set “God, Revelation, and Authority”. To be honest I haven’t done very well reading it thus far. I’m still in volume two but I am enjoying it. Reading it slowly has helped me to understand this great man of God and how he approached the doctrine of Scripture. Carl Henry is rightly considered one of the most influential twentieth-century leaders of modern evangelicalism. Recent years have seen a resurgence of his thinking.
In a new book about him, Essential Evangelicalism The Enduring Influence of Carl F.H. Henry edited by Matthew J. Hall and Owen Strachan seeks to help us understand the legacy that Henry left behind. Along the way the contributors to this volume highlight Henry’s unshakable confidence in the truth of God’s Word, demonstrating how a renewed commitment to theology will lead to a greater love for God and others.
The book’s contributors each look at an aspect of Dr. Henry’s life. Chapter one by Dr. Mohler looks at Dr. Henry’s vision for evangelical life in the twentieth century. Chapter two by Dr. Mouw explores the contributions of Dr. Henry. Dr. Strachan looks at Henry’s vision for a university called Crusade University. Chapter four by Dr. Woodbridge examines Carl Henry through the prism of a biblically faithfully theologian-evangelist. Chapter five by Dr. Carson explores the missional vision of Henry. Chapter six looks at the motives, methods, and manners of Henry by Dr. Paul House. Chapter seven by Dr. Thornbury looks at Dr. Henry’s plea for a philosophically informed ministry. Chapter eight by Dr. Ben Beays walks the reader through Henry’s the modern mind and the uneasy conscience. The last chapter of the book by Dr. Moore looks at the social ethics of Dr. Henry.
There is so much in this book that is worthy of consideration. First, as I read this book I particularly enjoyed Dr. Woodbridge’s and Dr. Moore’s chapters. We are living in challenging times where many men and women are wondering about what life is all about and other worldview questions. As Dr. Henry talked about in his works, Christians have a superior lifeview. Our worldview is built on the Word of God. Our lives are ever before His face. God has called us to love Him with all of our hearts, minds, and strength. This is why we should we need again men like Henry who will thoughtfully help guide God’s people deeper into the truth of the Word of God. We need again steady, godly, and faithful men who will help lead and equip the Church in the work of the Great Commission.
Whether you are new to Dr. Henry or you have read Dr. Henry’s work, or somewhere in-between, I highly recommend this volume. The chapters are thoughtful, the scholarship is outstanding, and will help readers understand how Henry’s vision for the Christian life applies to today. The contributions that make up the chapters in this book portray a picture of evangelicalism that will call readers to a renewed commitment to theology which is grounded in the Great Commandment to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, and strength.