Profundity With A Flair

Faith at the Frontiers, by Carl F. H. Henry (Moody, 1969, 204 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by J. D. Douglas, British editorial representative, CHRISTIANITY TODAY, London, England.

The founding editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY has here brought together sixteen of his addresses, most of which have not previously appeared in print. Although prepared for specific occasions, chiefly campus, conference, or church, there is much that is relevant to a wider audience. Whether it is “Reality in a World of Illusions,” a look at the new morality or the divine demise, or a discussion of American religious journalism, Carl Henry writes not just with knowledge that can be obtained in the market place, but with wisdom and with flair. To theological profundity is added journalistic skill that can make a point refreshing merely by changing the word order in a sentence.

There is candor here. “Many of us have learned the long way around,” he admits, “that social justice is not dispensable.” In other areas Henry has misgivings: he does not think the institutional church ought to be “directly promoting specific political and economic programs and positions,” and he challenges Professor Lewis B. Smedes to say precisely “what institutional structures he wishes us to identify as Christian and to advance as the will of God for society in our generation.” Nevertheless, he makes clear his conviction that every believer has “a public duty to register his influence in public affairs, in school and community matters, and in state and national politics.” He dislikes intensely the tendency to transfer to scientific method and government funding “the role once held ...

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