Did Fundamentalists Invent Inerrancy?

John Woodbridge | August 3, 2017


Editors’ note: This is an adaptation of chapter 4, “Evangelical Self-Identity and the Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy, in Understanding the Times: New Testament Studies in the 21st Century: Essays in Honor of D. A. Carson on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday (Crossway, 2011). For a PDF version, click here.


Carl F. H. Henry—Fundamentalist?

One late afternoon in the early 1990s, Dr. Carl F. H. Henry shuffled along to his next appointment on the grounds of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. He appeared deep in thought. I was walking toward my car and caught up with him on the sidewalk. I’d known Dr. Henry since my boyhood days. My father and Dr. Henry had been colleagues at Fuller Theological Seminary in the 1950s.

Henry heard my footsteps and turned around and warmly greeted me, and yet he didn’t seem his normal buoyant self. Sensing something amiss, I asked him what was the matter. He replied that he’d recently experienced an unpleasant conversation with an evangelical colleague from off campus. This person had accused Dr. Henry of being a “fundamentalist.” Henry expressed how perplexed he was by the charge. He was apparently upset and saddened by the way the…


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