Month Archives: January 2013

Change Watch: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

by Family Research Council

January 29, 2013

POSITION: Secretary of Defense

NOMINEE: Chuck Hagel

Born: North Platte, Nebraska, October 4, 1946. (1961-08-04)

Family: Second wife, Lilibet Hagel, two daughters.

Occupation: Sergeant, US Army 1967-1968 (awarded Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Army Commendation Medal and two Purple Hearts); co-founded Vanguard Cellular, President of the McCarthy Group LLC and CEO of American Information Systems Inc. Senate 1996-2007. Served on the Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Select Committee on Intelligence and Committee on Rules and Administration.

Education:Brown College and University of Nebraska, Omaha


Opposes Abortion Except in Life of the Mother Cases and Opposed Taxpayer Funding

I am pro-life with one exception — the life of the mother. I oppose taxpayer funded abortions. We must promote adoption and support the strengthening of American families. I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature, according to the Omaha World Herald.

As I looked at those numbers, if I want to prevent abortions, I don’t think those two exceptions are relevant,” Hagel said, according to the Omaha paper.

Voted against overseas military abortions..

Click here to view his voting record as U.S. Senator.

Parental Consent on issues of abortion

Voted for stopping ne’er-do-well adults taking minors across state lines for an abortion: S.Amdt 4335 to S.Con.Res. 70, Roll Call 08-S71, March 13, 2008. Source:

Voted for parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions: S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006. Source:

On taxpayer funding of abortion

Voted against increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation:  S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007. Source

Voted against increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million:  S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005. Source:

Opposed subsidizing international abortion agencies

S.Amdt. 2719 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-319, September 6, 2007. Source:

Opposed funding for the United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA)

(Evidence shows UNFPA subsidizes coercive abortions)

S. Amdt. 2708 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-320, September 6, 2007. Source:

Supports Expanding Taxpayer Funding for Abortions in the Military

On January 14, 2013, Hagel sent a letter to Barbara Boxer assuring her he would “fully implement all laws protecting women service member’s reproductive rights” and that they would be “afforded the same reproductive health care options as women in the civilian population.”


No Vote” on the Marriage Protection Amendment: S.J.Res. 1, Roll Call 06-163, June 7, 2006. Source:

Voted against the Federal Hate Crimes Act:

Thought crimes amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization that would establish federal “hate crimes” for certain violent acts based on the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation of any person. S. Amdt. 3035, Roll Call No. 07-350, September 27, 2007. Source:

Apologized for “Aggressive Gay” Remark, supports DADT repeal

The Omaha World-Herald reported in 1998: “Ambassadorial posts are sensitive, Hagel explained. ‘They are representing America,’ he said [in an interview]. ‘They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.’”

Then, Dec. 2012: “My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights. I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.”

Fully Supports Military Benefits for Homosexual Couples

In his January 14, 2013 letter to Barbara Boxer, Hagel reiterated his support for repealing DADT and promised he would “do everything possible to the extent permissible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all service members.”


Urged “direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran

Criticized GOP Senators seeking to Repeal Healthcare as Irresponsible

Called Pentagon Budget “Bloated”

From a September 2011 interview: “The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has been bloated,” he responded. “So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.” 

Opposed Sanctions in Countries including Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba and Syria

Hagel did not sign a letter to the EU calling on it to designate Hezbollah a terror group       Hagel defended this by saying, “I didn’t sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counter-productive and didn’t solve a problem.”

In 2006, Hagel referred to the Israel lobbyists as the “Jewish lobby Hagel said, “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here… I have always argued against some of the dumb things they do because I don’t think it’s in the interest of Israel.”

Hagel opposed the ultimately successful troop surge in Iraq

China’s Population Decline

by Chris Gacek

January 29, 2013

Last week, FRC had the privilege of hosting Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers who talked about China’s forced sterilization and forced abortion policy.  She also discussed the use of abortion to end pregnancies for female babies (“gendercide”) as an expression of preference for boy children.  Follow this link to watch her presentation.

It was timely that the January 18 edition of the Financial Times published an important article entitled “Chinese Labo[r] Pool Begins to Drain.”  Jamil Anderlini (Beijing) and Ed Crooks (New York) relate that China’s working age population declined by 3.45 million in 2012.  They note, “Many analysts fear … that China’s ageing workforce could become a big drag on future growth.”  (The FT article is available without charge, but free registration at is required.  Look up “Jamal Anderlini” once you get access to the site if the link doesn’t take you to it.)

Roughly the same story was carried online by the News Network of India.  In this account,China’s one-child abortion policy was discussed:

Earlier, a government think-tank China Development Research Foundation said in its latest study that Chinese population is heading for negative growth and blamed the one child policy for ultra-low fertility rate resulting in related problems of ageing population, gender imbalances, urbanisation and an expanding shortage of migrant workers.

The China Development Research Foundation has an English language website, but it appears that the paper just referenced is only published in Chinese.

Perhaps, the most thought provoking aspect of Littlejohn’s talk was her linkage of the one-child policy to the police-state terror network that enforces it.  That massive network, she notes, is essential to keeping the Chinese Communist Party in power.  One can conclude that this linkage will make it especially difficult for the Party to reverse its abortion policy.

Clearly, the Chinese have unleashed forces that they can no longer control and which is devouring their civilization.  Demographic decline combined with massive gender imbalance of newborns 

FRC in the News: January 28, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

January 28, 2013

The Most Important Policy Issue of Today

In his recent article in Religion Today, FRC Senior Vice President Rob Schwarzwalder reflects on the recent March for Life and the anniversary of the decision of Roe v. Wade. He presents abortion as the most the most critical and important issue of today, comparable to the issue of slavery in the 1860s. Schwarzwalder also shows how those who are pro-life must go beyond just belief in the pro-life movement. We must put our beliefs into action. As Schwarzwalder points out:

Adoption clearly is essential. So are public education efforts and legislative initiatives at every level of government. The more than 2,000 pregnancy care centers around the country offer practical hope to countless women who feel trapped in a pregnancy they do not want. Shelters and clothing orchards and ultrasounds and medical care and stay-in-school programs and being taken-in by caring Christian families: these and all things related to them should be advanced by believers in Christ with energy and love”

Why Women in Combat is a “Dangerous Social Experiment”

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is allowing women in the military to go into combat roles. Certainly women have been in combat roles already after the horrific events of 9/11 and many have already lost their lives. They are to be acclaimed for their courage and capabilities. So, should the new policy be commended? Absolutely not, according to Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.), Executive Vice President at FRC, who has served in the Army for 36 years and was an original member of the Delta Force. He says that, “Under the policy, women may end up being placed in infantry and Special Forces battalions and other front line combat units.” Boykin goes on to state in his recent article for CNN that:

This combat environment — now containing males and females — will place a tremendous burden on combat commanders. Not only will they have to maintain their focus on defeating the enemy in battle, they will have to do so in an environment that combines life-threatening danger with underlying sexual tensions. This is a lot to ask of the young leaders, both men and women, who will have to juggle the need to join and separate the sexes within the context of quickly developing and deadly situations.”

The “1 Percent” of Abortions Speak Out and Making a Difference

Bob Morrison, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, highlights the life of Ryan Bomberger, a key speaker at the recent pro-life gathering at the Virginia State Capitol. Bomberger was conceived through rape. Because of a brave and loving mother, he is alive, well, and exposing the lies of Planned Parenthood. As Morrison states:

Ryan’s life is dedicated to life. He and his wife have adopted some and given birth to some. They are the model for how God’s love transforms lives. Planned Parenthood says unplanned means unwanted and unwanted means unloved. And if you’re unloved, it’s better for you never to have lived at all. This is what my friend, the late Rev. Richard Neuhaus, called their ‘lethal logic.’”

You can read more of Ryan’s incredible story and how he exposes Planned Parenthood’s lies in Morrison’s recent article in National Review.

Ken Blackwell Comments on the GOP Message

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at FRC, comments on the message of the GOP as well as the need to keep the principles of limited government.  You can view his video here.

Rob Schwarzwalder Quoted in Article Commending New March for Life President

Rob Schwarzwalder is quoted in a National Catholic Register article about his former co-worker, Jeanne Monahan, who is now president of March for Life.

FRC’s MARRI Program is Cited in Steven Crowder Article on Fox News

Read this humorous and informative Fox News article that cites the research conducted by FRC’s own MARRI program.

FRC in the News: January 25, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

January 25, 2013

The Pro-Life March Continues

Jessica Prol, FRC’s Managing Editor for Policy Publications, wrote about the history and the dangers of legal abortion in an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Times. She celebrates life on the day of the famous March for Life today in Washington, D.C. and tells the story of a sweet baby girl, Naomi, who will prayerfully experience one of God’s greatest gifts—life.

Robert Morrison, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, wrote an op-ed that appeared in Human Events today about abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, and the future of the pro-life movement.

General Boykin in the NY Times and on Fox News Sunday

This Sunday, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA), Executive Vice President at FRCwill be featured on Fox News Sunday and was recently quoted in the New York Times with his expertise concerning women in combat roles. Boykin, whose long career includes much time in the Special Forces Operations, made the statement that “the people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment.” Read Boykin’s response on the FRC website and op-ed that appeared in USA Today about women in frontline combat.

You Can Fight for the Country’s Freedom, But be Denied Your Own

FRC President Tony Perkins commented on a story done by Fox News Radio that explained how the Army ordered a cross and steeple to be taken off of a chapel in Afghanistan. Tony stated that “Under this Administration, the military has become a Christianity-free zone. As a veteran, there’s an irony here. You put on the uniform to defend freedom — chief among them is freedom of religion. And yet, you are stripped of your own freedom to practice your faith.”

Nori has a Story

by Robert Morrison

January 24, 2013

Captain Nori Endo was a Navy combat pilot inVietnam. He would spend hours before each mission visualizing the attack that he would lead with his squadron, the “Barn Owls.” On each dangerous mission, someone would toss into one of the squadron’s cockpits a bag containing “Hootie,” the barn owl mascot. They say that Hootie flew more combat missions than any bird in U.S. history.

Nori Endo lived a wonderful life. This active member of the Naval Academy Protestant Chapel community was a fixture at all our events. He passed away January 11th of this year. His memorial service brought hundreds to the impressive Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis this week.

Nori was one of the first Japanese-Americans to attain the rank of Captain in the Navy. His joining the Navy seemed at the time almost an accident. Nori had sailed through Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 1956. Planning to go on to medical school, Nori met a Navy Chief Petty Officer and Marine Sergeant at the Baltimore Post Office. He quickly found himself in training for a Navy officer program in Florida.

When the Vietnam War heated up in the mid-1960s, Nori was “in the pipeline” to be sent overseas. His attack squadron, the Barn Owls, was assigned to the USS Hancock for action over North Vietnam.

Nori rarely used his radio to give direction to his fellow fliers. Instead, he would order them with hand signals. With his thick aviator gloves, some of his fellow fliers were not always sure what Nori’s signals meant, but they had only to follow him into combat to learn. “Hey, I’m taking a lot flak,” one pilot radioed Nori excitedly, as he saw tracer bullets whizzing past his cockpit. “Me, too,” Nori replied laconically. When that pilot was hit, he went to bail out. Stepping out on the wing, he found there was no wing. Nori circled the downed pilot as he parachuted to ground. That pilot gently patted Nori’s flag-draped casket, assuring the congregation that he would not be here but for Nori’s protection and comradeship.

Nori was the program manager for the Navy’s F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, a supersonic, twin-engine two-seat, variable sweep-wing weapons system of infinite complexity. Nori knew it all. Nor surprisingly, he was recruited by the Grumman Corporation when he retired from the Navy.

Grumman sent Nori to Tokyo. Although Nori didn’t speak Japanese, he quickly established a bond with the people of his ancestors’ homeland.

In 1984, Nori was staying in the fashionable Okura Hotel. He noticed a reception being given for then-Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. The Japanese leader and close friend of President Ronald Reagan, was being honored by Johns Hopkins University with an honorary doctorate.

Nori, a JHU alumnus, crashed the reception. He quickly encountered JHU’s Ross Jones and their conversation turned to sports. Ross said he hoped to interest young Japanese in the sport of lacrosse.Hopkins’s lacrosse program has always been a national leader in the U.S.“I’ll get it done,” said Nori.

Nori soon adopted the slogan, “Lacrosse makes Friends.” At the time, there were fewer than 100 lacrosse players in Japan, a nation of ninety million people. Today, thanks in large part to Nori’s tireless efforts, the Japanese Lacrosse Association numbers more than 100,000. The JLA made a point of sending three representatives from Tokyo to Nori’s memorial service.

I was fortunate to know Nori and his wife Ruth from the Fisherman’s Table. Nori and Ruth and their friends, Glenn and Becky Murashige, initiated this program to bring the members of the Protestant Chapel Community closer together over monthly meals at the Naval Academy. My friend Glenn is also a brave Navy aviator. It was there that I got to talk to Nori and heard his amazing stories—but not enough of them.

Nori has a story” was almost his slogan. Only this week did I learn that California-born Nori and his Japanese-American family had been interned in a camp in Arizona after Pearl Harbor. Nori never mentioned it to me and I never heard a word of bitterness from him about the government that had done this grave injustice to him and his fellow Americans. Instead, I saw only the positive, affirming side of this Christian man’s amazing life.

Sitting at Nori’s service, hearing Nori’s story, I could not help but reflect that it was in this very Chapel, from this pulpit, that Rev. Peter Marshall had preached on “How a Christian Dies” that fateful Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. Those thousands of Midshipmen would learn only as they filed out of the service that quiet morning that the United States had been attacked at Pearl Harbor. Hundreds of them would die in the world war that began for America on that day.

Former President George H.W. Bush came to the Academy several years ago. He noted the most underreported story of the second half of the last century was the reconciliation between the people of Japan and the American people. “You cannot imagine the hatred we felt for all Japanese,” the veteran of aerial combat against the Japanese in the South Pacific said then.

Surely, our friend Captain Nori Endo, American patriot, highly decorated combat pilot, and faithful Christian, deserves his own chapter in that Book of Friendship between two nations, two Pacific neighbors. His embrace of the Japanese people through sports was an inspired act. As we filed out of the reception after Nori’s service, it was good to see a figure of “Hootie.” Nori had carved the wooden bird with his own hands. Nori’s hand of friendship was extended to all.

FRC Experts in the News: January 24, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

January 24, 2013

Pro-Life Group Honors Unborn with Flags, but Vandals Tear Them Down

With permission from the university, pro-life students erected 500 blue and pink flags around DePaul University’s campus to honor the victims of abortion on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. During the night, a group of twenty students tore the flags down and threw them away in trash cans. It was an attack of vandalism on the free expression of pro-life students and their freedom of speech. Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at FRC responded in this Fox News article stating that, “The abortion lobby and their defenders increasingly run away from debate and try to shut down debate,” and “Destroying this display is just one example (assuming abortion supporters are behind the destruction).” She also states that, “Peaceful public displays like this one, using pink and blue flags to represent the individual girls and boys whose lives were taken unjustly but legally, are classic free speech: they invite discussion and debate, and that is all to the good.”

What the polls really say about Roe V. Wade

FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Anna Higgins, exposes the truth concerning a recent poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal. The poll shows that 70% of people don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade. However, what is Roe and the ruling?  According to Anna, “The question asked in the poll states that Roe “established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy.” What the Roe decision actually legalized was abortion-on-demand in all nine months of pregnancy, as a result of the “health exception,” defined in Doe v. Bolton.

Planned Parenthood is Abandoning “Choice”

Cathy Ruse explains why Planned Parenthood is abandoning the word “Choice” in their PR campaigns. Parents can now see their children in each developmental stage and know what happens to mothers who have abortions.  The campaign word “choice” is losing in the so-called “war on women.” Click here to read Ruse’s article!

Anna Higgins to Planned Parenthood: Don’t Mess with Texas!

In her recent article on, Anna Higgins tips her hat to Texas and explains how the Lone Star state has defunded Planned Parenthood and still created a way to provide women’s health without discriminating against the taxpayers’ conscience. The Obama administration even threatened to take away Texas’ federal funding, but Texas won’t back down.

Join Us in Congratulating Tony Perkins on a Job Well Done!

Dr. James Dobson commended FRC President Tony Perkins in his recent newsletter for Perkins’ contribution of faith, family, and freedom to the Republican Platform.  Dr. Dobson stated:

The Republicans’ Platform, by contrast, was one of the finest conservative documents of this era. It was strongly pro-life, pro-marriage, and contained other components that conservatives cheered. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, chaired the writing committee and he is to be commended for his work.”

Should Women be allowed in Combat?

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s decision to intentionally allow women in direct combat positions raises the question as to whether or not it is in the best interest of the military and women. Lieutenant General (Retired) Jerry Boykin, FRC’s Executive Vice President, states this is not in the military’s best interest and “has nothing to do with [women’s] courage or capabilities.” He states that, “The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit.” You can read Lt. General Boykin’s full response to Panetta’s decision here. He has also been featured in articles such as Fox News, Talking Points Memo, and the Star Tribune.

Debt Doesn’t Take a Holiday

by Chris Gacek

January 24, 2013

I don’t think we are even approaching the point at which American government’s love of debt will shatter, but a couple of noteworthy events took place this week that may indicate that a new day is dawning.

First, the New York Times article described a bond-ratings agency’s actions this way:

Standard & Poor’s removed the United States government from its list of risk-free borrowers for the first time on Friday night, a downgrade that is freighted with symbolic significance but carries few clear financial implications.

If this had happened ten years ago, this announcement would probably have meant more and produced a greater effect.  Maybe.  Unfortunately, the bond-rating agencies’ credibility was shattered after their complicity in the mortgage debt debacle of the late-2000s was exposed. Now, so much of what they say sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher: Wah-wah-wah-wah…. That will change eventually.

The second event was described in an AP article by Justin Pope:

Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday downgraded its outlook for the higher education sector to negative across the board, saying even prestigious, top-tier research universities are now under threat from declining enrollment, government spending cuts and even growing public doubts over the value of a college degree.

There has been a great focus on student indebtedness, but much less attention is given to the decades-long binge of building and bureaucracy construction that has taken place at institutions of higher learning.  That doesn’t appear to be Moody’s focus either – or the article’s.  That is why did tuition increases need to exceed inflation for decades?  Moody’s is looking at revenue shortfalls as if spending levels were set atop Mount Sinai.  That’s OK, we will figure it all out, and many schools are going to go broke.  To borrow a phrase: Academia’s chickens are coming home to roost.

It just may be that debt is not so harmless as the Keynesian ethos would lead us to believe.

ProLifeCon Features Lila Rose

by Krystle Gabele

January 24, 2013

Have you registered for ProLifeCon yet?  If not, you will be missing out on a great day filled with awesome speakers.  On Friday, January 25, 2013, you will be hearing from speakers, who will no doubt leave you energized to make a difference in your community and even more passionate about standing strong for life.

Lila Rose, President of LiveAction, will be one of the speakers at ProLifeCon, and there is no doubt that she will empower you through her experiences as pro-life activist.  At the age of fifteen, Lila founded LiveAction, an organization that works to expose abuses in the abortion industry and advocate for human rights for the pre-born.  Lila has led numerous undercover investigations through LiveAction, exposing corruption and illegal activity at Planned Parenthood.  A graduate of UCLA, Lila has been featured on several nationally syndicated programs and her writings have appeared in several magazines and newspapers.

Below is an example of Lila’s most recent work.

Click here to register today and learn how you can spread the pro-life message to others.

I Can Make a Difference in One Life…

by FRC Media Office

January 24, 2013

This is the last video in a series that FRC has produced to help bring awareness to the different programs that pregnancy resource centers offer expectant mothers, who might not be prepared for their child’s birth. For more information on pregnancy resource centers, read our report, “A Passion to Serve.”

Carl Henry at 100

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 23, 2013

Yesterday was the 100th birthday of arguably the most profound Evangelical Protestant theologian of the 20th century, Carl F.H. Henry. A number of fine tributes have been published about him, and one more outline of his life and ministry is unnecessary. Yet honoring a man whose contributions to Evangelical Christianity, in the United States, in Europe, and throughout the world, have been so pronounced is not undue.

It was my privilege to meet Dr. Henry thirty years ago while a student at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He spoke both to the student body and, at the invitation of my friend and mentor Dr. Gerry Breshears, a smaller group of young seminarians of which I was a part.

I was raised among the born-again, and have heard more sermons, studies, and Bible lessons than I possibly can remember. But I recall the moving, arresting opening of one of the messages Dr. Henry preached in our seminary chapel. As he began, Dr. Henry said something like this: “If ever you feel alone or small or unimportant in the universe, read John 1.” As the first chapter of John’s Gospel teaches, since the God of the universe became a man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, it should be clear that our worth to him is inestimable. And I remember when it came time for prayer, Dr. Henry did not simply slightly bow his head but bent his frame with his elbows on his knees, a look of intense seriousness crossing his face. That was, for me, a sermon in itself.

Dr. Henry came and lectured to my class in Christology, as well. He read from what looked like a large piece of butcher paper on which he had handwritten his notes. He told us he had stayed up all night drafting his remarks, and after completing his delivery of them asked if anyone would like to have his text. Either I sat dumbly and failed to raise my hand or one of my colleagues beat me to it. Either way, the memory of him holding up a sheet of what probably were among the most careful reflections on Jesus given during my lifetime and my not getting it still causes me a bit of heartache.

On another occasion, I caught Dr. Henry sitting by himself in a quiet place on the seminary grounds. As I approached, a look of pain came over his face: It was obvious he only wanted some private time to read (I fear that I give this same look to people sometimes, and only hope I recover as graciously as he did with me). After a moment, he talked about sending me, at cost, his magisterial multi-volume God, Revelation and Authority and recommending that I get the text of a debate in which I was going to participate published in Christianity Today. That was tall cotton for a skinny kid in jeans; I’ve never forgotten his quick, sweet generosity of spirit.

When I was writing my graduate thesis, Dr. Henry was also so kind as to send a handwritten response to the survey questions I was posing to a number of Evangelical leaders. His comments were incisive and eminently quotable. And, unlike some of his peers in the world of Evangelical theologians, he took the time to respond to my questions and treat them seriously.

Finally, I think I’ll never forget the evening in Dr. Breshears’ home with Dr. Henry. He asked us what we thought was the greatest crisis facing the Evangelical church. I piped up, “A creeping ecumenism.” He said, “Eh-kyou-menism.” Not sure what he meant, I said, “Yes, a creeping ecumenism.” Again he said, “Eh-kyou-menism. The emphasis is on the second syllable.” I took the point.

The most memorable part of the evening, for me, was his closing prayer. We gathered around and, as I was next to him, he put his arm around me and prayed something like this: “Heavenly Father, I pray that these young men won’t try to gather to themselves a group of followers who will elevate their egos, but that they faithfully would serve You all their days.” It convicted me to the core of my being, and was a defining moment in my young life and ministry.

Carl Henry gave me and many younger Evangelicals a great gift: The understanding that one need not compromise his intellectual integrity to be a believing Christian and that, in fact, a rigorous intellectual life was not just consistent with but also strengthened by diligent interaction with the inspired text of Scripture. As a young man grappling with a theological tradition that historically had been rich and deep but that had, in some ways, turned inward and even intellectually fearful during the early to mid-20th century, Dr. Henry showed me that one could hold two doctorates (as he did) and still believe that the Bible was God’s self-revelation and that the Person of Jesus of Nazareth was the atoning, risen Savior. For that alone, I am in his debt. He, being dead, yet speaketh.

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