Hank, Hank, Hank
News broke recently that radio host Hank Hanegraaff (“The Bible Answer Man”) has converted to the Greek Orthodox Church. The president and chairman of Christian Research Institute (ask Jackie Alnor about all that, and the fallout from Walter Martin’s passing) stunned the evangelical community by his embrace of the Orthodox community.
This week also came news that Bott Radio, long-time home for Hanegraaff’s radio program, has pulled the plug. That is a shocker, too, and I suspect comes more because of the heat coming off Hanegraaff’s decision than for ideological reasons from Bott. But perhaps I’m being unfair to them.
In any event, the self-proclaimed “Bible Answer Man,” in reality a dreadful spokesman for Scripture, given his dislike of young-earth creationism and his disgust for Christian Zionism (and Israel) has apparently taken stock of his career and has decided to drop it in the ocean.
Spending most of his career in the Christian Reformed Church, and tied to D. James Kennedy, Hanegraaff drifted over the years from positions that would be welcomed by many evangelicals to positions that almost seemed intended to raise controversy.
Most troubling are Hanegraaff’s views of Jews and Israel, and his embrace of radicals. Remember, several years ago he spoke at an anti-Israel conference in TEHRAN, IRAN. Wow. Really, Hank?
He also spoke at the virulently anti-Israel conference, “Christ at the Checkpoint,” coordinated by the Palestinian Authority and anti-Israel forces in the Church.
Hanegraaff’s bonafides as an opponent of Israel and her Christian supporters ensured that his audience would shrink.
Evidently, his latest decision was born of genuine feeling and not calculated to further his career. At 68, he is nearing retirement anyway.
We will see if he resigns from CRI. Further, it will be very interesting to see if he has a hand-picked successor, or if it is possible for a successor to emerge who will return to more orthodox evangelical views.
I for one will not be sorry to see Hanegraaff go off into retirement.