Monday, September 26

retro heroes: Kenneth Kantzer

Why am I a retro-evangelical? Meet some of the men that began the movement. Hero #2 is Kenneth Kantzer.

The best online bio are found at the CT obituary and the TIU tribute and timeline, while his entry in the wikipedia is needs some serious help. His online contributions from Christianity Today include this article and this evalutation of Evangelicalism written with Carl F.H. Henry. Other articles can be found here. Printed resources are found on Amazon.

Born in 1917 in Detroit, Kantzer received four degrees between 1938 and 1943: a BA from Ashland College in secondary education (1938); a MA from Ohio State University in modern history (1939); and two degrees from Faith Theological Seminary – a BD (1942) and a STM in Old Testament Hebrew (1943).

From 1946-1963, Kantzer served as professor of Bible, philosophy, and Christian education at Wheaton College. He soon becomes chairman of the department, and among his students, in 1963, is John Woodbridge (now professor of Church history). In 1950, he received a PhD at Harvard in philosophy and religion, the history of Christian thought.

From 1963-1978, Kantzer served as dean of the seminary and professor of biblical and systematic theology. His first suggestion of changing names (from Trinity Theological Seminary to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) also receives approval. His years brought numerous scholars to TEDS, including Gleason Archer, David Bushby, Oliver Bushwell, D.A. Carson, Douglas Culver, Robert Culver, Walter Kaiser, Walter Liefield, Richard Longnecker, Paul Little, John Warwick Montgomery, Elmer Towns.

From 1977-1982, he served as the fourth editor of Christianity Today, by the request of Billy Graham. He continued to serve as dean, part-time, during 1977.

Kantzer served as president of Trinity College (in Deerfield, IL) from 82 till 84, then became chancellor from 84-92 and served as professor of biblical and systematic theology till 94. In 1985 his 1963 vision of offering a PhD in theology is approved by the board, and students begin enrolling two years later. He, of course, became director of PhD programs from 1986-1990. From 1994-2002, he became professor emeritus and cares for Ruth before completing the great race on June 20, 2002.


HERO #1: Carl F.H. Henry
HERO #2: Kenneth Kantzer

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