Know Your Roots: Evangelicals Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (part 2)
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (co-sponsored with Intervarsity Christian fellowship)
Carl Henry defines American Christianity, or neo-evangelicalism against the historical backdrop of Modernism and orthodox Christianity’s slide from cultural credibility. Henry emphasizes Liberalism’s and Neo-Orthodoxy’s failure not only to give a credible account of Christianity in the face of the Modern world, but also its inability to maintain its Christian bearings. In contrast, Evangelicalism arose in the twentieth century as a credible intellectual account to the enduring truth of biblical Christianity.
“Our century has comprised one of the most dramatic turning and churning times in the history of humanity. Nowhere in the religious history of the West have the control beliefs of society changed as swiftly and as radically as in our twentieth century struggle between theism and naturalism; that is, between the view that the universe owes its being to a supernatural creator and judge and the contrary view that existence as a whole is reduibile to impersonal processes and events.”
“Secular humanism, unable to sustain the elements of humanitarianism that distinguish it from blatant naturalism, is declining toward cultural nightfall and end-time. The century that began with unbridled optimism, rising from flawed assumptions of the essential goodness of man and the inevitability of progress, is now ending with an anti-theistic gridlock on the influential cultural centers.”
“Today Evangelical Christianity recognizes – and fortunately so – the legitimacy and necessity of both evangelism and social concern, even if it may not as of yet coordinated them in a universally acceptable way.”
“Whatever mistakes were made – and there were many – whatever opportunities had been missed – and these too were many – Evangelical Christians had carried to the nation the sure confidence that all biblical realities remain in place, that God’s promises have not been nullified, and that the life-transforming dynamic of the gospel of Christ is as powerful as ever.”
“Whereas what passes for Modernity soon calls for Postmodernity, the truths of the bible remain an unrivaled and abiding stimulus for constructive cultural engagement and for a personal walk with God.”