Carl F. H. Henry, The Principled Patriot?
Evangelical Christianity is often portrayed as threatening liberty at home and fomenting violence abroad. Many critics suggest that an eschatological focus, evangelistic zeal, and a polarized view of life lead American evangelicals to a Christian nationalism, uncritically conjoining the cross of Christ and the stars and stripes. In contrast to this portrayal, the commentary on American foreign policy of Carl F. H. Henry expresses a thoughtful concern for the dangers of the arms race, a recognition of the limitations of government power, and conditional yet nuanced support of United States international goals. This lecture explores the theological and ideological foundations which enabled Henry to offer neither blanket support nor unqualified opposition to the American foreign policy agenda.
Originally from Nashville, TN, Timothy Padgett earned his MDiv 2007 from Covenant Theological Seminary where he worked with the Francis Schaeffer Institute. After moving to Trinity, he earned his MA in Church History in 2011 with a thesis focused on how evangelical magazines wrote about American military actions in the post-Cold War era. He and his wife and three children live locally while he is working on his dissertation at TEDS, analyzing evangelical responses to US foreign policy from the Second World War through the Persian Gulf War.