Owen Strachan will lead the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced last month.
“Owen Strachan is one of the finest young scholars and leaders serving the church today,” Mohler said. “He is also a veteran observer of the culture and a faithful theologian of the church. That is a powerful combination, and that explains why Owen Strachan is now the right leader for the Henry Institute. I look forward to seeing what Owen will do with this strategic platform and research center. Carl Henry would be very proud of this appointment.”
The Henry Institute, established in 1998, takes its name in honor of the life and work of Carl F. H. Henry, who is widely regarded as the most important 20th century evangelical theologian.
The institute is “a think tank, an intellectual gathering place sympathetic to the plight of modern evangelicalism and interested in the renewal of the evangelical movement through biblical doctrine anchored in confessional faith,” said Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Boyce College. The mission of the institute is to “equip modern Christians to understand their times and engage them from a historically attuned and theologically informed perspective,” he added.
Henry’s connections to Southern Seminary go back to when current seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. was a student, Strachan said, noting the close friendship between the two.
“While Mohler was a SBTS student in the 1980s, Henry influenced his theology and ministry in profound ways, a connection that is vitally felt on the seminary’s campus today through Mohler’s own theological program and sense of ecclesial mission,” he said.
Strachan said he plans to feature materials and opportunities that reflect the institute’s mission to produce “theological resources on a wide range of questions in order to help churches engage the culture.”
“I am thrilled to lead the Henry Institute in a time of momentous cultural change,” Strachan said. “I want to lead the Henry Institute in such a way as to help the church to identify and respond to worldview challenges from non-Christian sources on the one hand and biblical and confessional challenges from professing Christians on the other. We will do so not simply by recognizing what is at hand, but by anticipating what is to come.”
Imitating Henry’s “broad theological program, the institute will address such topics as theology proper, the doctrine of revelation, the question of epistemology, worldview issues, and cultural developments, always grounding its ministry to church and culture in the cross of Christ,” he said.
Strachan, who was named recently president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said the Henry Institute also plans to host events for the Southern Seminary community and for a broader evangelical audience.
One of the initiatives sponsored by the Henry Institute is the Commonweal Project. The project, funded in part by the Kern Family Foundation, equips “students to understand basic principles of economics, business and entrepreneurship, the biblical and theological principles that ground and shape a theology of work, and how the intersection of faith, work and economics relates to ministry in the church and through the church to the community,” Strachan said.
In order to accomplish these goals, Strachan said, the Kern Family Foundation will sponsor talks, film discussion nights, an economics conference and workshops.
The Commonweal Project will host its first conference, Thrive — The Hard Work of Human Flourishing, Sept. 26, 2014. Speakers will cover topics on faith, work and human flourishing.