Guest / Limited Access /

This article originally appeared in the April 5, 1993, issue of Christianity Today.

Fourth Presbyterian Church of Bethesda, Maryland, recently sponsored a celebration for the eightieth birthday of Carl F.H. Henry. It was a joyful occasion on which I and many other friends could thank God for Carl's life and witness.

Chuck Colson, who gave the opening address, reminded us that within Richard Nixon's inner circle he had come to know many brilliant minds. Yet, he said, he never met one who was Carl Henry's equal.

But the supreme compliment was voiced by many in different words: "Here is a man of God through whose transparent love for God shines a light from Christ that illumines and brightens the lives of all who know him."

Carl Henry is reckoned the evangelical theologian par excellence of the second half of this century. But Carl almost missed his calling. Like many gifted people, he had to make hard choices.

Carl could have been an entertainer. In college, partly for enjoyment and partly to support himself, he pulled bunnies out of a hat and sawed pretty ladies in two. Even today, if you invite him to your home, he may entertain your children by making coins disappear and then reappear in astonishing places. But, thank God, Carl chose not to be an entertainer.

Carl could have been a journalist. He has written over three dozen books and too many articles to count. As the first functioning editor of Christianity Today, he made it a banner under which evangelicals of all sorts could take their stand without shame or compromise. But thank God, Carl did not become a journalist—at least not the ordinary kind.

Carl could have become a politician—his son did, a good one. Carl used ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThey Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
Subscriber Access Only
They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
In the Muslim world, Christians have a complicated relationship with alcohol.
RecommendedIs It Time for Evangelicals to Strategically Withdraw from the Culture?
Is It Time for Evangelicals to Strategically Withdraw from the Culture?
Four evangelical thinkers consider what Rod Dreher's Benedict Option means for the church.
TrendingThe Real St. Patrick
The Real St. Patrick
A look at the famous saint, and his strategic missions.
Editor's PickMoral Relativism Is Dead
Moral Relativism Is Dead
Why outrage culture is good news for the gospel.
Christianity Today
The Carl Henry that Might Have Been
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.