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.
RE: Orthodoxy is much broader than just Greek.
Well, I’m glad to hear that. The above statement looks like you don’t have to specifically be a member of the Orthodox Church (Greek or otherwise) to be a member of Christ’s church.
And yes, God looks at your faith and what’s in your heart, not simply what you do outwardly.
RE: 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.
Here’s my view on this -— think about Martin Luther. Before he left the Roman Catholic Church, I believe he already held the view that Mary was not a perpetual virgin and that one does not need to venerate her or any saint to gain favor with God.
Yet, for a long period of time, Luther never left the Catholic church. He intended to reform it from within.
Maybe ( and that’s a guess which could prove wrong ), Hanegraaf might be thinking of doing the same.
If not, I am quite curious as to how he would defend the perpetual virginity of Mary and the veneration of her in his Bible Answer Man program.
WRT Sola Scriptura: I believe that those who claim that the Scriptures alone are justification, will also point out the ‘correct’ way to understand scripture. This, I think is also a ‘tradition’, albeit a shorter one, but tradition it is. It is like the issue of icons and what purpose they serve. This was resolved centuries ago by the early Church. I can somewhat understand the need to argue it in modern terms, but to what purpose? Your spiritual path does not need to be wrong in order to validate mine. I.E., if you see no devotional value of icons as part of your spiritual path, don’t do it.
RE: WRT Sola Scriptura: I believe that those who claim that the Scriptures alone are justification, will also point out the correct way to understand scripture. This, I think is also a tradition, albeit a shorter one, but tradition it is
If by “tradition”, one means that we take into account he teachings church fathers ( but do not necessarily take one or the other as the FINAL interpreter ), yes, I agree that this is one thing we have to consider, study and take seriously.
If by “tradition” one means that certain practices that are not written or taught in scripture itself are REQUIRED of Christians ( e.g. the veneration of saints and icons ), then no, Christians are NOT bound to follow these traditions.
RE: if you see no devotional value of icons as part of your spiritual path, dont do it.
Well, I’m glad we have Christian liberty on this. But this is “tradition” in the Orthodox sense of the word, and correct me if I am wrong, if by Scripture plus Tradition, one means that the above Tradition is also part of the ULTIMATE requirement one must abide by, then here’s where the doctrine of Sola Scriptura clashes with Scripture + Tradition.
Your above statement seems to be telling us that you don’t consider the devotion of icons ( an Orthodox tradition ) as BINDING to Christians. In what sense then is this not in support of Sola Scriptura?
By and large, a single personality does not change Orthodoxy. The opposite usually happens. Orthodoxy does evolve, but it is a very long process. In fact, the various ecumenical councils success depends on the level of acceptance by the faithful over time. That which is rejected is viewed as in error. My personal views: evangelicals like to be Biblically sound; Jews love to argue a point; Orthodox largely just pray.
I have no way of knowing, but perhaps Hank tired of thinking about it. If that was working for him, he would still be doing it.
RE: The opposite usually happens. Orthodoxy does evolve, but it is a very long process. In fact, the various ecumenical councils success depends on the level of acceptance by the faithful over time.
I’m not sure what you mean by “evolve”. If by that, one means that certain views and ideas will have to be rethought to accommodate views one encounters in the modern world ( e.g. genetics, political ideas, etc.), then yes, Christians ( not only Orthodox Christians ) will have to consider their theology to deal with these views.
However, there has to be an UNCHANGING ANCHOR by which one bases their thinking on. This ULTIMATE anchor must be relied on to deal with the present.
The question is this — what is that ULTIMATE ANCHOR? Scripture? Or Scripture plus Tradition?
For starters, I don’t really think that anyone really follows Sola Scriptura, even if they say they do. That is just a personal view. I avoid taking up the cross of defining what someone must do as a Christian. The most I will do is to say whether someone appears to be following Orthodoxy. And from the outside, I have no idea where that individual’s heart is.
The unchanging anchor is God/Christ.
RE: The unchanging anchor is God/Christ.
Agree. The next question then is this — How does He communicate His moral will to us?
From this, we can determine how we can deal with any issue.
RE: For starters, I dont really think that anyone really follows Sola Scriptura, even if they say they do.
No one really follows Scripture plus Tradition either.
The question is not what one follows, but what one SHOULD base his ultimate guide in faith and practice on.
Whether one can consistently follow what one SHOULD is another issue.
If you have interest in the Orthodox way, I would point you towards any of the books by Kallistos Ware. If you wish to argue theology, I would point you towards most anyone else. I have sought, and I have found. I wish you the best.
Lord have mercy!
I don't think God is amused by such antics.
RE: If you have interest in the Orthodox way, I would point you towards any of the books by Kallistos Ware.
Thanks, I already have one book from Kallistos Ware ( The Orthodox Way, 1995 edition ) and I have read it.
“Hank hates folks like me.”
It only takes about 4 or 5 hours
of listening to his show
to realize you are NOT exaggerating.
The man (HH) is angry and mean against people who believe in the Rapture.
I think he has some kind of a sick jealousy against Tim LaHaye.
Indeed.....how he came into the Evangelical community was as questionable as what some think now of his leaving it.
Please explain. Hank H. has not been anyone I've paid much attention to, up to this point.
The Rapture is our Blessed Hope. IMHO, I truly believe that those who spout hate against it and the people who look forward to it are in some way heavily influenced by the enemy (I’m not saying lost FWIW).
That enemy hates it with a passion almost as much as mankind itself, because he knows that that’s it when it happens. His time is up and after those final 7 years, he’s into the abyss for the next 1,000 years. It’s his Check-Mate so to say.
Why do Preterists and a lot of Christians despise the Rapture so much?
Good question to ponder.
See up thread a bit.
He’s a Replacement Theologian for one.
A 2-State Solution Junkie. Preterist. And Globalist if you really listen to him long enough. He backs unification much like what the Pope is talking about recently.
Ol Hank got suckered in by the candles, incense and stained glass. Do GO’s have holy water?
In this lecture, “Mark Hitchcock - A.D. 95 - Defending the Traditional Date of Revelation”,
Hitchcock quotes Hanegraaf,
“I knew a year ago when I took this debate,
it would be the end of my ministry.”
Hitchcock was referring to this debate (from about 2013).
“Hank Hanegraaff vs. Mark Hitchcock. - Date of Revelation”
where Hanegraaf takes the liberal preterist view of the date of the writing of Revelation.