Those who published their reflections on his influence earlier this week recognized that fact. Two of the most notable reflections were from Albert Mohler and Russell Moore, President and Dean at Southern Seminary. What struck me about these two is that both accurately captured essential elements of Henry's ideas and influence—but at the same time it seemed to me as though they could have been writing about two different men with drastically different primary concerns.
Mohler writes more broadly, acknowledging the influence of Uneasy Conscience among other pivotal aspects of Henry's life and ministry. But nearly half of his essay bears down on the need for and effects of Henry's God, Revelation, and Authority, completed in Henry's 70th year. In those volumes, Henry had attempted to present "a magisterial defense of Christian truth against the challenges of liberal theology, modern secularism, and contemporary philosophy."
I've read and heard enough from Moore and Mohler to sense that these distinct aspects of Henry's theology are the very aspects that have most gripped and shaped Moore and Mohler, respectively. But Henry expressed concerns late in life about the state and trajectory of the evangelicalism that he had helped create. I wish we could ask him today for deeper reflections on a number of points, Uneasy Conscience among them. But then I stumbled across a provocative and perhaps enlightening little snippet from Henry in the "Part 4" video at this link, quoted at the bottom:
“The important thing right now is for Evangelicals to learn what the church truly is. Because if we are unsure of the nature and purpose of the church, we can get involved in all sorts of tasks trying to save the world or the culture that can miscarry us into a distortion of what Evangelical Christianity ought to be.”That's all he said. Discussion turned to another topic. I don't know how to read that comment as anything less than a qualification of Uneasy Conscience, and perhaps something more. At the very least, it sounds like something these guys might have said.