Gregory Alan Thornbury wants to make Carl F. H. Henry cool again. The newly elected president of Kings College in New York City, he sees Henry as a cipher for Evangelicalisms future. Though Evangelicals face challenges from all sides”fundamentalists on the right, liberals and neo-orthodox on the left, Thomists behind, and postliberals, postconservatives, and postmoderns in front”Evangelicals are, he suggests, a self-loathing and philosophically trendy lot, who tend to neglect the classical Evangelicalism of their forebears in favor of postmodern or otherwise revisionist forms of inquiry. Recovering Classical Evangelicalism is not a lament for a bygone era but a call for ressourcement .
In The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism , published in 1947, Henry rebuked fundamentalists for their social apathy, separatism, and lack of engagement with the world, which he insisted did not square with biblical teaching. Those who agreed with him came to be called Evangelicals, and he served as their theological sage and voice during the latter half of the century. In God, Revelation and Authority , his six-volume magnum opus published from 1976 to 1983, he espoused a brand of theological realism in which Scripture is a reservoir and conduit of divine truth and in which God communicates rationally to human beings using comprehensible ideas and meaningful words.