Know Your Roots (2) American Evangelicalism Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

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See Part 1 here – Know Your Roots (1) American Evangelicalism Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This is part 1 & 2 of 4 in a series produced at Trinity International University, an event that took place at the Carl F. Henry Center.

The speakers are Carl F. Henry and Kenneth S. Kantzer, who both happened to be editors for Christianity Today before this lecture/debate took place (which I am estimating to be in the early or mid 1990’s), and who are considered to be deans of the American Evangelical Movement. Some of the topic discussed in this Christian Thought Lecture Series:

  • What is evangelicalism?
  • What is fundamentalism?
  • How do we distinguish between the 2 movements?
  • What is the future of evangelicalism in an age so manifestly pluralistic and secular?
  • Have evangelicals conformed their lifestyles too closely to the ethical and moral standards of their culture?
  • How can they witness for Christ more effectively?

Dr.’s Henry and Kantzer will address:

  • Turning points within evangelicalism during the previous 50 years and the resurgence  of American Evangelicalism since the 1940’s
  • Later on they assess the prospects of the evangelical movement as the year 2000 approaches.

Know Your Roots, part 3

Know Your Roots is a four-part video series that originates in a 1991 lecture at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, addressing the (then, as now) pressing questions surrounding Evangelical identity. This 1991 lecture, jointly sponsored by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Intervarsity Christian fellowship, features Carl Henry and Kenneth Kantzer. These two prominent Evangelicals were not merely observers of an emerging movement, but key participants in its development. In the lectures and discussions featured in this series, Henry and Kantzer share both their understanding of the “turning points” in the movement over the second half of the twentieth century and their sober hope for, in the words of Don Carson, a “useful, productive and god-glorifying future.”

Below is the video of the two interviews, accompanied with a brief description of the content of each discussion.

Part 3: Q&A-Evangelicalism

Following the lectures given by Kenneth Kantzer and Carl Henry, the second half of the lecture series is informal conversation, with Don Carson questioning these two distinguished evangelicals. In this session, the topics include the significance of the founding of the National Association of Evangelicals, the distinction between Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, internal disputes about the nature and authority of the Bible, the place of Evangelicalism within the global church movement, among others.

VIDEO by Henry Center

Know Your Roots, part 4

Part 4: Q&A-Evangelical Prospects

In this last segment, the conversation turns to the future of the movement: Where we go from here? What pitfalls and possibilities await the future? The conversation is eerie, sounding like they are talking about our future … despite the fact that the conversation took place over two decades ago. Topics include the ongoing significance of the term “evangelicalism,” the influence of Pentecostalism on Evangelicalism, Christian education, Evangelical accommodation, among many others.


Carl Henry: “The important thing right now is for Evangelicals to learn what the church truly is. Because if we are unsure of the nature and purpose of the church, we can get involved in all sorts of tasks trying to save the world or the culture that can miscarry us into a distortion of what Evangelical Christianity ought to be.”

Carl Henry: “We need to stop just firing sporadic scud missiles into the culture, trying to intimidate it at this point or that point. We need a ‘Dessert Storm’ logistics and strategy. Evangelicals have such immense potential. If they only could find a way to stand together and outflank and to outmaneuver and to penetrate.”

Carl Henry: “If only the body could learn what it is to move under the risen head. Remember that the head of this body lives not in Rome, or Geneva, or even Wheaton. He is the crucified and risen head, the returning Lord. And let us be sure to take our daily briefing from him.”

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