‘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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  1. If knowing the details of the Bible is all that is necessary, then all Protestants would be Lutherans, wouldn’t they? But – they aren’t.

    Why did Calvin’s people disagree with Luther’s people about communion? How could those two groups read the same words and interpret them so differently? Luther said that the Lord said, “This is my body” and “This is my blood” and for him that was enough. The others denied the literal meaning of the words of Jesus, even though all the ancient churches had taught this for 1500 years. That’s extraordinary, isn’t it?

    For that matter, how can there be Pentecostals and Dispensationalists that claim the same Bible? There must be something wrong with the method of interpretation they use if they can’t agree as to what certain critical passages mean.

    Face it – it’s really an issue of independence. If authority is placed in the Bible, instead of the Church, and you are free to interpret Scripture as your conscience allows, you will assume that you have the correct interpretation and you have become your own authority, haven’t you? How Western. How American.

    Is there Scriptural support for this position? What if the Galatians had told Paul after they received his letter that they were free to come to their own conclusions? What would he have said? Well, I recall that he called them “stupid” or “foolish,” depending on which English version you prefer.

    Comments?

  2. This is probably not the forum for such a discussion, other than to say it is probably obvious to most readers of JTO that the protestant adherence to Scripture is a moving target, easily excused under the umbrella of protestantism, but to say there is A CHURCH, not one among thousands, or that there is A TRUE FAITH – well, that’s heresy to most heterodox Christians.

  3. You are right, Father. My reaction had to do with the Bott Network deciding that they couldn’t carry Hank Hanegraaff anymore because of concern about “biblical accuracy.”

    There is the problem of how one knows that what one believes is really true. I just now did an internet search for “biblical accuracy,” thinking that maybe this was a new technical term or a variation of the word “inerrancy” or something else. See, when I entered Fuller Seminary in 1976, inerrancy was a very big deal for some people that were critical of Fuller. I was chrismated in 1992. The period in between is a story for another time and place.

    I didn’t see anything new until I did a search for “Biblical accuracy or inerrancy.” I found a blog, Strands of Thought, responding to more and more conservative Protestant Christian scholars concluding that the Bible isn’t completely accurate and/or inerrant. Perhaps this is a new problem in the Protestant world and Hank Hanegraaff’s situation is aggravated by that. Or maybe it just has to do with the Bott Network wanting programs featuring only trustworthy Protestants.

    Protestants feel the need to be loyal to the umbrella that you mentioned, even when they disparage each other. To give up the umbrella would cast a lot into doubt.

  4. Pingback: ‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted From Bott Radio Network After Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church - Orthodoxia

  5. I am a Catholic and really was glad to see Bible Man join a sacramental church.

  6. I am so sorry to see what happened to Hank. I listened to him (on BRN) nearly everyday on my way home from work. I am charismatic and loved his q&a and gentle, thoughtful, and biblical answers. The shame in this is that the world is on fire and somebody just threw one of the firemen off the truck. God help us!

  7. “Biblical accuracy” was never the problem. Biblical interpretation is. The program can no longer depend upon the man to present Scripture in the “approved” Protestant interpretation (whatever that is!) and therefore he cannot be permitted to speak no matter how good he may be. Sad, really, when many “Christian” groups are willing to accept the most egregious faith statements from non-Christians but will not even hear anything from a non-Protestant Church.

  8. To be fair, there already were people that believed Hank Hanegraaff had been wrong about some things. There are websites that go into this. The biggest critics of the heirs of the Reformation are other heirs of the Reformation. It might have been just a matter of time before some felt that he should go. His becoming Eastern Orthodox made the process quicker.

    Those of you that haven’t read “The Kingdom of the Cults” by Walter Martin, the original Bible Answer Man, might find it interesting. It’s a very detailed analysis of the history and doctrinal errors of the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others. If you know your Church History and Historical Theology, you will read things that sound familiar.

  9. I always loved listening to the Bible Answer Man. I didn’t always agree with what Hank said, but was very touched by his manner with people who called in, even praying with them. One thing he always says, is that we are not to divide over the non-essentials. I will miss him very much on Bott radio.

  10. Dr. Hanegraaff (my personal honorefic) was my primary source, nearly sole source on BRN of richest resources in apologetics materials. Occasionally I disagreed, but as he frequently quoted: “In essentials: unity; in non essentials: liberty; and in all things: charity.” BRN has to live with their decision, but I will deeply miss Hank, especially during my daily17:00 commute home. And, instead of listening to Hank on BRN, I will listen on-line. Not as convenient, but not sure I can live without daily dose of Hank.
    Finally, I have learned to affirm the Bible as the final source of truth, but humbly acknowledge I will never know it well enough to be dogmatic about much more than the ancient creed. I might disagree, but can never break fellowship over the “non-essentials.” And I suspect that all of us will learn a LOT and be delightfully surprised in His holy presence!

  11. I pray for Hank and all those newly illumined during the Paschal season. May each one shine brightly in the Kingdom. Any person coming to the Church as an adult has had the experience, I am sure, of being somewhat disoriented and frequently challenged on the content and context of one’s former beliefs by the depth, breadth and wonder that is in the Church.

    St. Paul spoke of the trials that come after we are illumined. May God’s grace guide Hank and all newly illumined people into greater union with our Lord.

  12. Michael, yes, St. Paul did say that “All who wish to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” 2 Timothy 3:12