Skip to comments.'Bible Answer Man' Hank Hannegraaf Leaves Evangelicalism, Joins Greek Orthodox Church
Posted on 04/13/2017 2:49:59 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
An evangelical radio personality known as "The Bible Answer Man" and president and chairman of the Christian Research Institute was formally received into the Eastern Orthodox Church Sunday.
The Christian Post confirmed that Hank Hannegraaf was chrismated on Palm Sunday at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"What astounding news," said Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Benedict Option, in an interview with The Christian Post Monday.
"Many evangelicals seek the early church; well here it is, in Orthodoxy," he continued.
"I am sure some will be scandalized by Hannegraaf's conversion but I hope at least some will wonder how someone as knowledgeable about the Bible as Hank could convert to Orthodoxy, and go to a Divine Liturgy to taste and see what it's like."
Dreher humorously told CP that 11 years ago, he came to the "foreign country called Orthodoxy" and now cannot imagine being anywhere else.
"The richness of Orthodox theology and worship is incomparable," Dreher said, and Orthodox life is "sedimenting love for Christ into my bones."
To many evangelicals, Eastern Orthodoxy is indeed something of a foreign country.
The Rev. Father Patrick Cardine, priest at Saint Patrick's Orthodox Church in Bealeton, Virginia, explained in a Monday phone interview with CP that one of the main differences between Eastern orthodoxy and evangelical Protestantism is the nature of the Church.
The Orthodox view of the Church is that it is "an icon of Christ and the Body of Christ," he said. Just as Jesus had a physical body, so too, the Church; it is not a spiritual phenomenon as some evangelicals understand the Body of Christ.
Russian Orthodox Christians attend a Christmas Liturgy in the giant Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow, early Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, Russia and other Eastern Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants and commonly used in secular life around the world. (Photo: AP / Mikhail Metzel)
"And by physical we mean hierarchical and sacramental ... the expression of her concrete reality," he continued.
Cardine told CP he was not surprised that Hanegraaf was received into the Orthodox Church in light of his deep knowledge and study of the Scriptures.
Protestantism, he offered, "is actually much more philosophical and abstract and adheres to theological systems created by men, which tries to take the Scriptures as proof texts to prove those teachings."
Cardine, a former Baptist, noted that since he became Orthodox he was for the first time "able to actually embrace the Scriptures on their own terms and without reservation."
"The Scriptures say all kinds of things that Protestants don't really like or believe."
Hannegraaf is considered one of the foremost apologists for the Christian faith. Born in The Netherlands, but raised in the U.S. in the Christian Reformed Church, Hannegraaf was once strongly tied to D. James Kennedy and the ministry of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida.
In 1989, he became the president of Christian Research Institute, which was founded in 1960 as a conservative Protestant countercult and apologetics ministry.
He is best known as host of the nationally syndicated "Bible Answer Man" radio broadcast where Hannegraaf frequently answers questions on the air about Christian doctrine, Bible interpretation, and theological differences between denominations. According to his CRI bio, he is the author of more than 20 books, including Christianity in Crisis and The Apocalypse Code: What the Bible Really Teaches about the End Times and Why It Matters Today.
The Christian Post reached out to Paul Young, chief operating officer of the Christian Research Institute to inquire further but calls were not returned by press time.
Last month, a caller asked Hanegraaf to explain the Orthodox doctrine of theosis, which he answers in the video below.
Not worth reading.
Walter Martin wrote some great books on the cults.
Preterist at minimum.
I’m a Dispensationalist, pre-tribulation gathering of the Church as well.
You’re on the mark about the link b/w preterism and replacement theology.
Mixing up Israel and the church results in being mixed up.
I cant remember if hes Preterist or Dominionist.
“The Bible teaches that God can use an ass to speak to you.”
Well put! He can also turn us from being an ass too, as in my case :)
If God never changes or makes mistakes then what do you do with Genesis 12:3 or half of the OT, especially Isaiah, Ezekiel, & Zechariah?
I’ll never understand the replacement theologians.
Walter Martin was a treasure. A man who knew the Bible inside and out. His Book on the Cults influenced me to leave Mormonism.
Hank Hannegraaf, IMHO, was a fraud. A man whose theology was fluid and whose understanding of the Bible was dwarfed by most of the callers to his show.
His hostile takeover of the Christian Research Institute was a disgrace to the memory of Walter Martin. The Orthodox can have him. I think eventually they'll end up wishing they hadn't laid hands on him.
"Many evangelicals seek the early church; well here it is, in Orthodoxy," he continued.
RE: As far as I know, the Orthodox church holds orthodox Christian beliefs well duh!.
1) Orthodox Church believes the Apocrypha is inspired. Protestants do not.
2) Sola Sciptura: Protestants believe that their ULTIMATE authority is scripture alone. The Orthodox Church, like Roman Catholics, it is Scripture PLUS tradition.
3) The claim to be Christ’s one, true church remains the clear Orthodox position. This should trouble evangelicals (as well as other Protestants), especially when it is combined with the Orthodox idea of who constitutes the church and how one enters the church.
Indeed.....how he came into the Evangelical community was as questionable as what some think now of his leaving it.
However I am also seeing unfavorable changes in the Evangelical Community getting hijacked by the Emergent Church Movement, which reminds me of when the Charismatic Movement hit the church. Lots of mode setting and touchy feely preaching.
With that though... we were warned by Jesus to expect these things to happen as that day draws nearer..
.....” Just thankful this fraud is no longer associating as an Evangelical”.....
Me too...and Rick Warren is another one that needs to go...
I went to St. Nektarios once, years ago when Vlad was an infant. They were very polite.
We claim to be the ancient, original Christian Church. We don’t know about yours, other than it is not Orthodox. Our identity is not dependent on the dissection or over thinking of yours. Heaven on earth during each liturgy. Experience it.
RE: We claim to be the ancient, original Christian Church
The issue is on the words “We Claim” and “church”.
Does one have to be part of the Greek Orthodox Church to be really in “the church” of Christ? THAT is the issue.
Orthodoxy is much broader than just ‘Greek’. The question you ask is God’s business, not mine.
How on earth does that work? CRI published stuff a few years ago that systematically attacked every Catholic belief about the Virgin Mary. Now Hanegraaf has joined a church that dogmatically professes every one of those, except the Immaculate Conception. I don't get it. Mary wasn't a perpetual Virgin before, but now she is, but Hank's views haven't changed?
I think his Orthodox catechist and pastor maybe need to ask some more questions.
I think it is called acceptance. Sometimes the conversion process includes looking at religious practices in a new light, “with a contrite spirit and an open heart.” I understand the confusion of some wrt this, but then I have seen many accept the ‘new’ (to them), devotional practices that they then see can work. I vividly remember the condemnation of ‘worship of idols’ in the Church of my youth, but now see the icons as windows into heaven, and a demonstrable presence of the saints. YMMV
Sure, but I don’t think you’re claiming that your views “haven’t changed,” like Hank apparently is.
I will claim ignorance wrt Hank, since I had never heard of him before. Perhaps his concerns about ‘idolatry’ wrt Mary was an externalization of his spiritual struggle with it. Sounds like he resolved it internally. Sometimes the spiritual experience is an overcoming of the ego of the minds attempts to understand logically. I am aware of people who experienced physical healing, and cannot logically explain it, other than it has happened. Perhaps that is why it is called faith. Lord have mercy! +++
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