Case in Point


This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Carl F. H. Henry/Frank Brock Covenant College Dinner (speech: Covenant College alumni)

Master of Ceremonies Script

Columbia Tower Club
Seattle, WA
October 30, 1988

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and welcome to the 1988 Reformation Day Banquet honoring Covenant College and Covenant President Frank Brock at the beautiful Columbia Tower Club. My name is Bob Case and I’d like to welcome you on behalf of the Seattle group who is sponsoring this event. The names of the group are printed in the program and we’ve tried to place ourselves throughout the room so that we can get to know all of you better. But I would like each of the group to stand for identification.

Frank and Dottie Brock

All of you are special guests of the Seattle group. Most of you are either Covenant College graduates or members of congregations or pastor of congregations in the Presbyterian Church in America. There are some of you, however, who are “special special” guests who have no current organic relationship to Covenant. The sponsoring group wanted especially to acquaint you with the mission and story of Covenant College and Frank Brock. So we asked you to be our guests, as well. We’d like to recognize you by reading your names and the organizations you represent. When I read your name, just raise your hand so we know who you are.

A brief note on how this evening came about. Several months ago some of us, who would eventually form the sponsoring committee, began to talk about the need for us to get involved in the future of Covenant College. It was about this time last year that Covenant was looking for a new president. Se we saw an opportunity to make a difference in that process. Also, some of us were looking for a college to educate our children in five or ten years. Also, Carl Henry’s autobiography (The Confessions of a Theologian) had just come out and he was lamenting the lost opportunities of evangelical to seize the moment in order to radically effect our culture.

Carl F. H. Henry

When the name of Frank Brock was surfaced as a potential president of Covenant College, several of us actively promoted his candidacy because we believed his family background and personal qualifications (which are printed in the program) commended him to lead the college onto a higher plateau of distinctive excellence and influence in helping shape the minds and lives of young people, specifically our young people. And, if Brock had our support perhaps Carl Henry’s plea for a truly great Christian university committed to the inerrant Scriptures, which proclaim our Savior could be formed on Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

So, when Covenant chose Mr. Brock to be its new president we were delighted and we believe it was firmly providential. We began to seek to have Frank come out to the Puget Sound area and present himself and his vision to our people. We further believed there was no more appropriate date than Reformation Weekend, 1988, when change would be in the air, and no more fitting guest of honor than the reigning evangelical theological in the world, Dr. Carl F. H. Henry to accompany President Brock.

Thus, here we are.
As I mentioned before, in casting about for someone suitable to be with Frank Brock this weekend and then to share this program with him, the sponsoring committee started with the best. And the best we knew was Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, who is widely considered to be the most important evangelical theologian in the last half of the 20th century.

The fact that Dr. Henry pays great honor in his own personal development to such Covenant legends as Dr. James Buswell and Dr. Gordon Clark, and counted as close friends such Covenant men as Dr. Laird Harris and Dr. Francis Schaeffer only endears him to us as one of our own.

A summary of Dr. Henry’s accomplishments are given in the program, but perhaps an analogy is appropriate in summarizing his accomplishments. In l970 the Pulitzer Price for History was won by ex-Secretary of State Dean Acheson for his book on the history of the United States State Department entitled, Present at the Creation. It is not an exaggeration to say that Carl Henry has been present and an animating force behind the creation of also every major evangelical ecumenical movement in the last 45 years, whether it was NAE, ETS, Fuller Theological Seminary, Billy Graham Crusades, Christianity Today, or World Congress on Evangelism, besides many less public efforts to bring articulate evangelicals together in order to influence our culture for the honor of our Savior.

And yet for all his scholarly achievements on behalf of our risen Savior, and they are legion, he had not lost sight of the warmth and love of humanity that salvation must bring. Yesterday, he put his arms around my 14-year old daughter, Karissa, as she was leaving to go home and he whispered in her ear,

“If you love Jesus with all your heart and want to serve him with your life then whisper these words back to me.”

And she, in faith, responded.

If gives the sponsoring committee great pleasure and honor to introduce your friend, our brother and our father in the Lord Jesus Christ, Dr. Carl F. H. Henry.


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