8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2007
This autobiography is an engrossing look into the world of the beginning days of American evangelicalism. Henry (who has been called the father of Evangelicalism) was a wonderful man of faith, and insisted on a level of honesty in all his dealings that makes him a credible historian of the early days of Christianity Today magazine, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and several seminaries. He is up front about the early desires of these organizations to reach out to their liberal associates in the Christian faith, and to tailor and tame the seeming inflexiblities and misunderstandings about American fundamentalism. However, the book takes on a somber and sad tone as the author recounts the shameless playing to the media of the above institutions, the grasping after print and media coverage, the wooing of politicians (to the point of strategically choosing office buildings of CT that would place them close to the nation's capital building!), the ever-present considerations of money, including the personal struggles of Henry himself to make ends meet with what he was paid, and the more sinister attempts to promote American evangelistic methods in such places as Great Britain, where crusade-style evangelism was hotly debated and critiqued by such men as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Sadly, it seems such criticisms were out of hand assumed to be irrelevant and obstructionist to the new evangelicalism that they were trying to promote abroad. Later in his life, Henry states that he wondered if perhaps such criticisms were well-founded after all. It seems to me that Henry fought for editorial integrity in his work, especially as senior editor of CT, but the board of the magazine was willing to sacrifice all that for what it percieved to be impact in the political and social life of America and beyond. The books ends with a somewhat sad note, Henry has all but been fired as editor of the magazine, and he laments that American evangelicalism had lost it's grand moment of possiblity, when it could have made a positive, lasting impact on the culture of America, but instead became embroiled in controversies of in-house debate over issues such as inspiration (understandly critical, to me!), and the moral collapses witnessed in the televangelist scandals of the mid-1980's. I highly recommend this book, along with "Evangelicalism Divided," by Iain Murray. Dr. Henry's book is a forthright, honest, often painful account of a remarkable life, and it is free of bitterness or antagonism toward those who contributed to difficulties in that life.