‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted From Bott Radio Network After Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

Most of us knew this sort of thing was coming. They cite concerns over ‘biblical accuracy’ without offering so much as one single example of any Biblical inaccuracy from Hank. 

The “Bible Answer Man” radio show program with Hank Hanegraaff has been booted from Bott Radio Network over concerns regarding ‘biblical accuracy’, following Hanegraaff’s conversion into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

“We want to make sure that our listeners know that the programming that we have on Bott Radio Network is thoroughly biblical,” said BRN President Richard P. Bott II, a member of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas, according to Baptist Press.

BRN had reportedly been broadcasting the “Bible Answer Man” since the 1980s, even before Hanegraaff joined the show in 1989.

The Christian Post confirmed last week that Hanegraaff, who is also the president and chairman of the Christian Research Institute, was chrismated on Palm Sunday at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Some, such as Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Benedict Option, told CP last week that the news of Hanegraaff joining the Orthodox Church is “astounding.”

“Many evangelicals seek the early church; well here it is, in Orthodoxy,” Dreher said.

“I am sure some will be scandalized by Hanegraaff’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.”

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Philokalia Published in Portugese

philokaliaFor our Brazilian and Portugese readers, REJOICE!

Portuguese publishing house “Paulinas” has released the book Pequena Filocalia (“Small Philokalia”). The 800-page tome includes works of the great monastic teachers translated into Portuguese: St. Anthony the Great, Evagrius Ponticus, St. Macarius the Egyptian, St. John Cassian, St. Hesychios of Sinai, St. Mark the Ascetic, St. Maximus the Confessor, St. Symeon the New Theologian, St. Gregory of Sinai, St. Gregory Palamas, and other fathers of the Church.

The Patristic works were translated from ancient Greek by Portuguese translator António de Almeida and compiled and edited for publication by Igumen Arseny (Sokolov), representative of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Editor for the “Paulinas” publishing house Rui Oliveira expressed confidence that the book will not only be read with interest by Portuguese-speaking readers, but for many of them will be the opening of the Orthodox ascetic tradition

The Philokalia of St. Macarios of Corinth (1731–1805) and St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain 1749–1809) was first published in Venice in 1782. Since the eighteenth century, this collection has been the foundational work for all Orthodox spirituality, both Greek and Slavic. Since the time of publication of this book containing 1206 pages in the Greek original and representing over thirty authors, it has been printed in abridged forms and translated into various languages—most notably Slavonic, Russian, modern Greek, Romanian, English, French, and Italian.

 

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Philokalia Published in Portugese

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) Celebrates the Rite of Return to the Church for 63 Souls

On this day, sixty-three people renounced paganism, sectarian errors, and false schismatic beliefs!

On Lazarus Saturday, April 8, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, celebrated the rite of apostates returning to the holy Orthodox Church. On this day, sixty-three people renounced paganism, sectarian errors, and false schismatic beliefs, in Moscow’s Church of the “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Icon of the Mother of God, reports the press service of the Moscow Patriarchate.

As Lazarus was resurrected from bodily death, so have they been resurrected from spiritual death.

Met. Hilarion welcomed them all back into the saving enclosure of the Church, noting that, while many contemporary people doubt the existence of the devil and his machinations, those who fell away were

“experiencing first-hand the work of the devil.”

However, we should take courage because,

“The holy Church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, and for two thousand years already the Church has faithfully preserved intact the teaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles, as the place of the living presence of the Lord, His Most Pure Mother, and all the saints.”

In the Church, His Eminence explained, we are united to the entire Body of Christ and all believers both past and present, and in the holy Eucharist we partake of the Lord Himself, which transforms and enlightens us.

He encouraged all those who had returned to immerse themselves in Orthodox spiritual literature, to be faithful in attending Divine Liturgy and receiving Holy Communion, and to trust in the Church to teach them rightly and guide them on the path to Heaven. He further exhorted them to

“be obedient to the Church, read the Gospels every day which tell about the life and acts of our Lord Jesus Christ, and learn to build your life in accordance with Christ’s evangelical commandments.”

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Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) Celebrates the Rite of Return to the Church for 63 Souls

“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff Joins the Orthodox Church

You probably already have heard this news, but we have some of Hank’s own words on it. Welcome home, Hank! We here at JTO have been fans for awhile, and hope to speak to you personally about your journey!

Known to millions as the “Bible Answer Man,” 77-year-old Hank Hanegraaff and his wife were received into the Orthodox Church this year on the great feast of Palm Sunday, at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC.

Mr. Hanegraaff can be seen kneeling with a lit candle under a priest’s epitrachelion in the picture to the right. His wife’s hands can be seen as well. The picture originates from the Facebook page of the parish, but has been removed after an influx of comments, including negative remarks from those who appreciated Hanegraaff’s work as a Protestant.

The Bible Answer Man addressed his conversion to the Orthodox faith on his program yesterday, in response to a caller who had seen remarks claiming that, in becoming Orthodox, Mr. Hanegraaff had left the Christian faith. He responded:

I am now a member of an Orthodox Church, but nothing has changed in my faith. I have been attending an Orthodox church for a long time—for over two years, really, as a result of what happened when I went to China, many years ago. I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life. And so I learned that while truth matters, life matters more, and I remember flying back from China after spending time with just common people who had a deep, intense love for the Lord, and wondering, “Was I even a Christian?”

I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ… One man, by the way, said to me, truth matters but life matters more. In other words, it is not just knowing about Jesus Christ, it is experiencing the Resurrected Christ. As a result of that I started studying what was communicated by the progeny of Watchman Nee with respect to theosis and that drove me back to the early Christian Church.

And I suppose over that period of time I have fallen ever more in love with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s sort of like my wife—I have never been more in love with my wife than I am today, and I’ve never been more in love with my Lord Jesus Christ than I am today. I’ve been impacted by the whole idea of knowing Jesus Christ, experiencing Jesus Christ, and partaking of the graces of Jesus Christ through the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table. And that has become so central in my life, but as far as the statement that you mentioned, that I’ve left the Christian faith—nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact I believe what I have always believed, as codified in the Nicene Creed, and as championed by mere Christianity.

After reciting the entire Nicene Creed, he concluded,

“In other words, I am as deeply committed to championing mere Christianity and the essentials of the historic Christian faith, as I have ever been.”

Hank Hanegraaff has served as the president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina-based Christian Research Institute (CRI) since 1989, when he also took over previous-president’s radio talk-show “The Bible Answer Man.” The show includes answering questions about matters of Christian doctrine and history and Biblical interpretation, and denominational particularities. He has been an outspoken critic of non-Christian religions, new religious movements and cults, and heresies within conservative Christianity. He is also the author of over twenty books. His The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition is a compendium of the most common, and the most difficult, questions regarding Christianity, culture, and cults that Hank has received over the past three decades.

It has been noted that Hank has been speaking about the Orthodox Church more on his show lately, referring to it as “fantastic,” and “the early Church.” In 2016, Hank interviewed Fr. Themistoclos (Adamopoulos), a Greek Orthodox priest, to discuss his journey from Marxist rock star to Orthodox monk. Fr. Themi works tirelessly with the poor and suffering in Sierra Leone, where people are still suffering from the effects of a recent Ebola epidemic. The interview can be listened to here.

In March, Mr. Hanegraaff answered a caller’s question about the Orthodox teaching of theosis, ably explaining the doctrine of man’s sanctification on both a Biblical and Patristic basis.

“We become Christ-bearers since His Body and Blood are distributed throughout our limbs, as Cyril of Jerusalem said… The whole idea being that we become by grace what God is by nature… We become, as Peter put it, partakers in the divine nature,”

the Bible Answer Man explained. 

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“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff Joins the Orthodox Church

When Spontaneity Goes Stale

by Zachary (Zecchaeus) Jensen

As a child I lived in four states and moved from one side of the country to the other. The high school that I graduated from was a small Christian school in Illinois. The church connected to it was becoming more and more “reformed Protestant” as time went on, which affected my path a great deal.

I pursued the “reformed” tradition mostly out of rebellion to the “charismatic” Protestant evangelicalism that my parents had embraced and which I could very easily see the flaws in.

After graduating high school I attended a year long program which my church at that time participated in, known as Masters Commission.

It was a “discipleship training” program which involved theology classes, many service opportunities, and living with a family from the church who volunteered to house students. We were sent as employee/volunteers all over the country to help with registration and set up/tear down for Microsoft’s employee conventions.

I didn’t know what to do with myself after high school was I was a perfect candidate to be recruited into the Masters Commission program. The family of my roommate, while I was in the program, welcomed me into their home after we graduated from it.

Then when, I was invited to move to another state (again) with my family and go live with them, my friend (whose parents I was living with after graduating Masters Commission) was invited to come as well to live with my parents. So, first I lived with his family and then he lived with mine.

A few years latter I chose a college for no other reason other than it was a “reformed” Protestant school and I had been listening to podcasts by R.C. Sproul (who is a representative of Reformed doctrine) while I worked overnights at a department store and during this time I had become convinced of Calvinism. Looking back on it, I think that my calvinism stage was an attempt to rebel against the shallowness of the Christianity that I grew up in. It seemed to have more credibility because there was an awareness of history that goes farther back than the “Azusa street revival” in the California, which was about all that “Pentecostals” had.

While I was attending college and becoming immersed in reformed doctrine a friend invited me to come to church with him. I was interested in exploring different traditions at the time, and had even gone to an Anglican services shortly before that so I thought to myself, “Why not?”

This one was very different though. This time I stepped into an Orthodox Christian parish. It was very new and foreign to me, even though i had been to more churches than I can count.

What I experienced was unlike anything that I had experienced before and the emphasis was not on learning something new, which was a big reason that I went toward Calvinism in the first place, since I felt that there was nothing new that preachers could teach me anymore within the traditions that I was exposed to.

But here, in this Orthodox Church, there was something different. Instead of the same old environment and the same staleness in all the churches that I had been to previously, there were mostly questions and a fear of it all being just a different form of the Roman Catholicism that I was raised to oppose. Ironically, I found something new and free in this liturgical church which has the same basic structure every Sunday, rather than the free form “charismatic” church I grew up in which was all about spontaneity but somehow still felt stale. Probably because, my Protestant background also felt “man made” and even mostly just made up on the spot.

What ever it was, something kept drawing me back for more. I think I spent almost my entire last year of college attending this parish, except for a few occasional visits to other churches to visit with friends.

During the summer right after graduating, my best friend was married. This is the friend who’s family I had lived with right after graduating high school. Shortly before graduating from college I was able to read a few books on Church history which affirmed Orthodoxy’s claim to be the “original” Church, and I even did a presentation on icons in one of my classes. After being exposed to the Orthodox Church, the Protestant services that I attended began to bore me. I began searching for an Orthodox parish in my area that I could attend.

I mentioned to my girlfriend that I was looking for an Orthodox Church and the told here which one I planned to try, since it was close to where I lived.

When I told her, she became excited because she actually knew the priest and most of the congregants already!

In her teenage years, she had been a part of an Anglican community that fell apart. Half of the community became Roman “Catholic” and half became the Orthodox who started the parish that I wanted to go investigate.

This took me by surprise, what a coincidence that my girlfriend actually knew the people in the parish I wanted to attend.

After a period of catechism at this parish, she and I were chrismated on the same day. My family was invited and their attendance made my younger brother curious about the Church, because he had never been exposed to anything like it before. He did some searching, and prior to this, was about to lose his faith completely. He decided to look more into the Orthodox Church, and it rescued him from becoming an atheist. Today he is a catechumen who will be chrismated very soon himself.

A few months after my chrismation, I had a terrible accident, where I was sent down a zip line and then, before I could unharness myself, another person was sent down the line as well and we ended up colliding with each other. He was a bigger football player and he hit my head with his elbow.

I was in a coma for a month and at some point during that time I believe that I had an experience where I was asked by Christ why, I should return.

The best answer that came to me was to mary my girlfriend and put my teaching degree to use so that I could help others by teaching. I guess God accepted my answer by His grace and mercy because, after about about a year of recovery and therapy, I returned to full functionality.

My girlfriend of the time and I are now married and have a daughter that just turned one year old in May.

I am now in progress to become an altar server at my parish. It is my prayer that the Lord’s will be done with the life that was returned to me by His grace!

 

 

When Spontaneity Goes Stale