Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Non-Bible Answer Man

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Dr. Walter Martin was the original "Bible Answer Man" after he founded an organization called the Christian Research Institute (CRI). He was a noted authority on cults and religions, having written books on the subjects, had a radio ministry, was a guest on various programs, and more [1]. After his untimely death in 1989 at age 60, the leadership of CRI was given to Hank Hanegraaff. Dr. Martin's teachings were very helpful in the development of my own theology as well as my growing interest in apologetics.

The family of Dr. Martin has serious difficulties with Hanegraaff's demeanor, methods, lack of formal theological training, and in other areas [2]. They are not the only ones, either [3]. In addition, he has not been friendly to biblical creation science, preferring the "Framework Hypothesis" [4]. It seems that someone taking over such a position from Dr. Martin should have formal theological training and have less controversy.


Hank Hanegraaff left Christianity for the Eastern Orthodox religion
Christ the Saviour, Pantokrator, a 6th-century icon at St Catherine's Monastery
On April 9, 2017, Hanegraaff formally joined the Eastern Orthodox religion [5]. Some say that he has left the Christian faith because the Orthodox religion is diametrically opposed to some basic tenets of Christianity [6] [7] and this conversion caused a radio network to remove the "Bible Answer Man" from their lineup [8]. Hank says he has not left the faith, and his beliefs are codified in his books and nothing has changed. That is ridiculous, because of the huge differences between his new religion and Christianity (see "How Is Eastern Orthodoxy Different?" for more information).

I don't know what's going on with the Christian Research Institute. They had someone who is controversial and unqualified in his position from the get-go, but now that Hank has jumped the corral fence and become a theological maverick, will it become the Orthodox Research Institute and have the "Orthodox Answer Man" program? I know it's asking a lot, but I hope you'll consider watching the video or downloading the audio from Dr. James White, "Can a Consistent Eastern Orthodox Believer Be the Bible Answer Man?"