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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carl F. H. Henry and Kenneth Kantzer Lectures on Evangelicalism

Dr. Carl F. H. Henry
The following links are at the Henry Center website of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  Please click on these links to see the videos of the lectures:

Know Your Roots:  Part 1:  Kenneth Kantzer

Know Your Roots:  Part 2:  Carl F. H. Henry

Know Your Roots:  Part 3:  D. A. Carson:  Q & A

Know Your Roots:  Part 4:  Discussion Continued


Unfortunately, the lecture of Kenneth Kantzer is overly optimistic about Neo-Evangelicalism and centers on a doctrinal minimalism that reduces Evangelicalism to an ecumenical unity that even includes Roman Catholics as having "Evangelicals" in the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church.  Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church still officially condemns the Gospel in the canons of the Council of Trent. 

Kantzer also confuses civil religion with biblical Christianity as if being a Christian is more about opposing abortion and pornography and homosexual marriage than promoting the law/gospel distinstinction and the ordinary means of grace.  Kantzer's lecture is typical of the theology of glory and social transformation rather than the eternal consequences for souls who reject the theology of the cross.

Carl F. H. Henry, a student of Gordon H. Clark believed that the Bible is literally the Word of God and consists of binding propositional truth claims in logical form.  Carl Henry's critique of Evangelicalism is much more pointed and biblical and Reformed in nature.  He does not give a blanket endorsement to any and every claim to be "Evangelical" but focuses on the doctrinal issues at stake.  See lecture number 2.  Yet, even Carl Henry was a bit too optimistic.  Cultural involvement is not necessarily a sure way to transform society. Henry himself overlooked the dangers of the Neo-Evangelical ecumenicalism that reduced the distinctions between Arminianism and Calvinism, Reformed and classical Protestant theology and the neo-paganism of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, and the differences between Rome and Geneva to merely issues of degree rather than absolute differences that separate true Christianity from false Christianity.

Henry's warning at the end of the lecture concerning the postmodernist view is applicable to Michael Horton's new systematic theology, which in my opinion gives away the bank to the postmodernists and the neo-orthodox view.

In Christ,

Charlie

Addendum:  After carefully listening to all four of these sessions, I have to say the entire thing is overly optimistic, particularly in light of the open hostility between Arminians and Calvinists and particularly the open hostility between Pentecostal/Charismatics and the Reformed side of things.  Evangelicalism is indeed a meaningless term and so is the term "Calvinist" these days.  The internecine theological and cultural wars within the Reformed traditon between the Clarkians and the Van Tilians, between the Federal Visionists and the more traditional Calvinists, and even the hostility between Lutherans and Calvinists all points to what is basically a facade of "unity" in Evangelicalism.  Basically, the only unity that exists is on the political front, a unity which is in name only as well.  As Westminster Seminary California likes to point out, any secularization of the church and accommodation to the culture is in the end detrimental to the Gospel.

I was particularly amused when Carl Henry called Jimmy Carter an "Evangelical".  If Carter is an Evangelical, then so is Barack Obama!  Carter was part of the "moderate" wing of the Southern Baptist Convention, which then left and started another denomination.  Basically, Kenneth Kantzer wound up being more honest in saying there is no real unity.  I think Carl Henry wound up being a Baptist and not a confessional Reformed theologian.  In the end his Baptist theology led him in the direction of a facade we call "broad Evangelicalism".  It is indeed 3,000 miles long and 1/4 inch deep.

Charlie

10 comments:

aztexan said...

Haven't gotten to Dr. Henry yet but, man!, is this Kantzer guy clueless or what!?! *facepalm*

Charlie J. Ray said...

Carl Henry is much better than Kantzer on this. But even he makes too many allowances for an ecumenicalism among Evangelicals. Neo-Evangelicalism is almost as liberal as liberalism. I think I prefer something like the Neo-Fundamentalism of J. Gresham Machen. I don't think compromising with Arminianism or Neo-Kuyperian common grace or Van Til's theology of Scripture as "analogy" is necessary. In fact, it leads to false religion. Mike Horton's systematic theology is a huge disappointment.

aztexan said...

I'm having trouble viewing all but the first installment. I think my antivirus software believes the videos to be malicious or otherwise buggy.

I was surprised to read of your high hopes for Horton's systematics; I know that Robbins and the TrinFoun have never been big fans of Horton or WHI. Surely you've read "Nonsense on Tap"?

Charlie J. Ray said...

The only thing good I can say about Horton, Scott Clark, and Westminster California is that they have at least upheld the law/gospel distinction. I can't say the same about Westminster Philadelphia. Westminster PA has gone over to the neo-legalists.

Horton and RS Clark do not realize it but their theology is only one generation from outright liberalism, imo. That's judging from Horton's views on Evangelicalism and his views in his systematic theology.

The naivete of Neo-Evangelicals is truly amazing. Since 1991 when those lectures were given things have only gotten worse.

In regards to the videos, you might have better luck at the Henry Center website. You have to scroll down to the four lectures.

Also, you should click on pause until the at least half the video downloads before listening. It tends to hang if the audio passes where the download is current.

The other 3 lectures are worth hearing.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Nonsense on Tap

Charlie J. Ray said...

Evangelicalism reminds me of a classic rock ballad by The Who: Teenage Wasteland. Only in this case it is Evangelical Wasteland. That would include the majority of Evangelical seminaries. Not only are they not fulfilling their mission to educate Evangelicals and give them a Protestant and Christian worldview but they are in fact merely creating a Neo-Evangelical form of liberalism and postmodernism..... Go figure!

Reformation said...

Thanks, Charlie, for the lead. Listening now.

Charlie J. Ray said...

You're welcome, Phil. The year after this was recorded I matriculated at Asbury Seminary. Ironic. Time flies. I think Asbury has shifted away from its original purpose when it was founded in the 1920's against modernism.

aztexan said...

I would that ol' Machen were still around today to put oversize Truth-boots in modernist asses. But I'm just a Caustic Calvinist meanie, so whadoo I know?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Amen, AZTexan. Too bad you ain't on Facebook. I'm have a whale of a debate with a bunch of semi-Arminian BaBdists. ahhahaha They pretend to be Reformed but their doctrine is more Van Tilian than anything else.

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