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.


One Comment to “Karl Barth and Carl Henry”

  1. Reblogged this on Apologetics and Agape and commented:
    Barth was what is called ” neo-Orthodox”, and I greatly respect his stance against Hitler in the 1930s, but later, the more details I find out, he was just a softer form of liberalism.

    Carl F. Henry, editor of Christianity Today, had a news conference with Karl Barth in the 1960s reveals just how liberal Karl Barth was, because the way he responded to Henry shows he really did not believe in the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead:
    This reveals that Karl Barth really was a liberal, though he tried to save the Bible from the classic liberalism with his “neo-Orthodoxy” movement which said the word of God is not the word of God until it becomes an existential feeling of experience in the heart and mind – then it “becomes” the word of God to “me”. It totally guts the truth of the reality and history of it.

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