Carl Ferdinand Howard Henry (1913-2003) has largely been credited with “formulating the apologetic for a socially relevant evangelicalism.” The president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr., has written that Henry is “among the few individuals who can claim to have shaped a major theological movement.” Associate Dean and Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Paul R. House has written that: “Though one can certainly critique his theological vision, it is historically untenable to ignore or dismiss Carl Henry’s role in shaping of twentieth-century American evangelicalism.” But the greatest assessment of Henry is from a former colleague who once shared an office with him, Kenneth S. Kantzer, who wrote: “In summary, Carl Henry is truly a man of God. He has many talents and gifts, but he has truly understood that all of his talents and gifts are to be used for the glory of God and the advancement of the church in the service of his fellow human beings.” It is no wonder then that Henry continues to be studied today and is a worthy subject for this paper.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the theology of Carl Ferdinand Howard Henry. This goal will be accomplished in the following three ways. First, a brief biography of Henry’s life will be given. Second, in order to highlight his theological emphases, a survey of Henry’s theology will be made. Third, a comparison with another Baptist theologian of a previous century, James Petigru Boyce, will be offered.
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