Karl Barth and Carl Henry

Carl F.H. Henry recalls in his autobiography the time he engaged Karl Barth during a news conference:

Identifying myself as ‘Carl Henry, editor of Christianity Today,’ I continued: ‘The question, Dr. Barth, concerns the historical factuality of the resurrection of Jesus.’  I pointed to the press table and noted the presence of leading religion editors or reporters representing United Press, Religious News Services, Washington Post, Washington Star and other media.  If these journalists had their present duties in the time of Jesus, I asked, was the resurrection of such a nature that covering some aspect of it would have fallen into their area of responsibility?  ‘Was it news,’ I asked, ‘in the sense that the man in the street understands news?’

Barth became angry.  Pointing at me, and recalling my identification, he asked: ‘Did you say Christianity Today or Christianity Yesterday?’  The audience – largely nonevangelical professors and clergy – roared with delight.  When countered unexpectedly in this way, one often reaches for a Scripture verse.  So I replied, assuredly out of biblical context, ‘Yesterday, today and forever.’

Carl F. H. Henry, Confessions of a Theologian: An Autobiography (Waco: Word, 1986), 211.

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