Thursday, August 23, 2007

Carson, Henry, and Kantzer: Historic Video

D. A. Carson, in Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (p. 58), writes:

Several years ago I was asked to interview Dr. Carl F. H. Henry and Dr. Kenneth S. Kantzer for a videotaping. These two American theologians have been at the heart of much of the evangelical renaissance in the Western world, especially, but not exclusively, in America. Each was about eighty years of age at the time of the videotaping. One [i.e., Henry] has written many books; the other [i.e,. Kantzer] brought to birth and nurtured one of the most influential seminaries in the Western world. They both have been connected with Billy Graham, the Lausanne movement, the assorted congresses on evangelism, the influential magazine Christianity Today, and much more. The influence of these Christian leaders extends to the countless numbers of younger pastors and scholars whom they have helped to shape not only by their publications and public teaching but by the personal encouragement at which both have excelled. Both men gave lectures for the video cameras before several hundred theological students, and then I interviewed them. Toward the end of that discussion, I asked them a question more or less in these terms: “You two men have been extraordinarily influential for almost half a century. Without wanting to indulge in cheap flattery, I must say that what is attractive about your ministries is that you have retained integrity. Both of you are strong, yet neither of you is egotistical. You have not succumbed to eccentricity in doctrine, nor to individualistic empire-building. In God’s good grace, what has been instrumental in preserving you in these areas?”

Both spluttered in deep embarrassment. And then one of them [i.e., Henry] ventured, with a kind of gentle outrage, “How on earth can anyone be arrogant when standing beside the cross?”

That was a great moment, not least because it was so spontaneous. These men had retained their integrity precisely because they knew their attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:5). They knew that they had been called not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him. If their Master had viewed equality with God not as something to be exploited for personal advantage but as the basis for the humiliating path to the cross, how could they view influential posts of Christian leadership as something they should exploit for personal advantage?

Ever since first reading this I've wanted to watch this historic video. Now, thanks to The Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, this four-part, 120-minute video is available online for free.

You can also listen to more audio messages at the site, and more will be forthcoming.

(HT: Andy Naselli)