On Hank Hanegraaff and his conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy

Rob Bowman writes a very level-headed analysis of Hank Hanegraaff’s (President of CRI and host of the Bible Answer Man Radio Program, that was for years hosted by Walter Martin, before his sudden death in 1989. see CRI website here.)  conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy, and also about the great need for Evangelical Protestants to become better informed about Eastern Orthodoxy, church history, apologetics, and the weaknesses and problems with their own church tradition.  What Bowman writes about Sola Scriptura and church history is excellent.  The only thing I would say is that he should call the view of Hanegraaff’s eschatology as “Partial-Preterism”.  (similar to Kenneth Gentry, R. C. Sproul, and Gary DeMar’s view.)

http://www.religiousresearcher.org/2017/04/10/evangelical-apologist-hank-hanegraaff-converts-to-eastern-orthodoxy/

Dr. James White spent the first 45 minutes of his Dividing Line program on April 10, 2017, talking about Hanegraff and Eastern Orthodoxy and points out how the eastern worldview and mystery emphasis of EO is a big part of why so many westerners don’t understand it.

Douglas Wilson has a good summary of some of the problems with Eastern Orthodoxy:

The Letter of Epiphanius of Salamis, Cyprus, to John, preserved by Jerome.  (that Doug Wilson mentioned)

The book Doug Wilson mentioned, “Through Western Eyes” by Robert Letham.   I pulled this off my shelf again, and I am reading this more now and finding it very helpful.  Rob Bowman also lists some good resources; another one I have is the Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism, which I also have and have read maybe half of that book a while back.  (skipped around all over these 2 books)   By Hanegraaff’s conversion, I am motivated to get these books out again from my book shelf, to go back and re-read what I read, and read parts that I did not read before.

Jason Engwer also had a good article on the situation at Triablogue that generated a lot of comments!  (written the day before Hank Hanegraaf converted to EO.)

I am very disappointed in Hank and his turn, because it means that he has accepted the arguments against both Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide of both EO and of Roman Catholicism also, and both of their claims of having early church history on their side.

(Except for the RC claim that THEY are the early church and their claims of the Papacy.  At least Eastern Orthodoxy is very clear (and correct) that the Papal claims are neither Biblical nor based on the earliest of church history.

I am also sad, because years ago, I was very encouraged by Hank’s stand against the Word of Faith / Prosperity / “Name it-Claim It” heretical teachings and calling out the heretics and their greed by name.  (Hank’s first book on that:  Christianity in Crisis, and related media efforts.)  I don’t have his newer book on the subject. (Christianity in Crisis for the 21st Century).   see my other articles on the Word of Faith heresies.

Also, Hank’s book on the Resurrection was very good, IMO; and I benefitted from his book on “The Face that Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution”, although it does not answer or deal with many other issues that the whole Evolution vs. Creationism brings up.  It is a fairly good introduction to the main philosophical and ethical problems with Darwinian Evolution.  I used to listen to the Bible Answer Man Radio program regularly when in the 1980s Dr. Walter Martin was the host, and for several years after others like Craig Hawkins, Paul Carden, Rob Bowman and Ron Rhodes were the hosts, and then when Hank was the host up until around 1998-2000.  I get the CRI Journal and have benefitted from that also; but I am concerned now about what will happen to this major counter -cult and Evangelical apologetics ministry.  I wonder if it will be Evangelical – Protestant anymore.

Addendum:  For research more into church history and the development of doctrine, see:

A massive compilation of articles at Triablogue by Jason Engwer on church history and doctrine from a Protestant Evangelical Perspective.

Addendum 2: (Thursday, April 13, 2017)

I also appreciated Hank’s book on the “Counterfeit Revival”.  Listening to Hank again today from the April 11, 2017  broadcast, describe Rodney Howard Brown, a nutty goof-ball heretic who calls himself “the Holy Ghost Bartender”, I was reminded of that again.

see also here for an article on “the Counterfeit Revival”.

But, Hank did not explain the contradiction between Eastern Orthodox views of Justification vs. Protestant doctrine of “Justification by Faith alone”.  I remember Hank explaining why he did not sign the ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) in 1994-1995, he explained it in terms of holding to the Protestant doctrine of Sola Fide, Justification by Faith Alone.   I was a regular listener back then.  I wish I could find that. It appears to me that the broadcast archives only go back to 2009.   Hank will need to devote a lot more programs to the issues of the key differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelical Protestantism.  He said he took 15 years to study Eschatology before coming to a conclusion on that; but only 2 years to investigate Eastern Orthodoxy – I think that shows that he will probably be studying church history more and historical theology more, and we will have to see later how he can explain and justify the tensions and contradictions.  Getting a good handle on church history and historical theology takes much longer than getting a handle on Eschatology.

Posted in Apologetics, church history, early church history, Eastern Orthodoxy, Hank Hanegraaff | Leave a comment

The Believer’s ongoing battle with sin

“If I am dead to sin (Romans 6:2; 6:6; Colossians 3:1-3), why must I keep on killing sin (Romans 6:11-14; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5) everyday?”

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/if-i-m-dead-to-sin-why-must-i-kill-it-every-day

Already, but not yet:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/already-decisively-and-irrevocably-free-not-yet-finally-and-perfectly-free

Posted in Sanctification/Holy living

God’s ultimate purpose for the different ethnicities and languages in the world

God’s ultimate purpose at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10-11) and the creation of ethnicities and languages – for His people to reach out to those different nations (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; Psalm 67; 96:3, Isaiah 49:6; Matthew 28:19), because He gets greater glory by bringing gospel unity in diversity. (Acts 17:26; Revelation 5:9; 7:9)

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/red-yellow-black-and-white-could-every-race-come-from-adam-eve-and-noah

Here is an excellent short explanation of the Tower of Babel and the beginning of the different ethnicities in the world.  We are all one human race, brothers and sisters of one another and we all descended from Adam and Eve; and we all descended from the three sons of Noah and their wives.  The genetic code for all the nations and ethnicities was all within the three sons of Noah and their wives.

Posted in Apologetics, Evangelism, missions, Nations, ethnicities, Tower of Babel

Dr. White’s excellent analysis of William Lane Craig & Andy Stanley’s apologetic approach & analysis of Surah 9 in Islam

The article by Al Mohler mentioned and quoted from by Dr. White:

http://www.albertmohler.com/2016/09/26/bible-tells-biblical-authority-denied/

See also these 2 excellent articles: (Related to the first half of the Program)

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/03/putting-all-your-chips-on-resurrection.html

Our Lord Jesus Christ’s View of the Old Testament Scriptures, by John Wenham:

https://www.the-highway.com/Scripture_Wenham.html

Posted in Apologetics, Historical reliability of the Bible, Jesus' Teaching, Jihad, Muslims, Sola Scriptura, Truth | 1 Comment

Justin Martyr was Trinitarian

In regard to the video by Dale Tuggy (a Unitarian) that Yahya Snow (a Muslim) put up; (over at Paul “Bilal” Williams’ blog, Paul is also a Muslim, a British Muslim who had an evangelical experience before becoming a Muslim, but started studying and believing liberal theology and that really messed him up.  If a person is truly converted, liberal theology would not bother them so much as to cause them to give up their faith in Christ; and they would not convert to Islam.  As 2 Peter 2:22 points out, the nature of that person was not changed.  Jesus said one can claim to know God and call Jesus “Lord, “Lord”, but it is possible that they never knew the Lord truly and genuinely. Matthew 7:21-23; see also 1 John 2:19)  The first step of Satan’s temptation to Eve was to subtly doubt and question God’s word, “Did God really say . . . ?”  (Genesis 3:1-8) That is what liberal theology and liberal scholarship does; it starts slowly with doubts about God’s Word, the Scriptures.  But a true believer can read and study liberals and be vigilant against their subtle lies and attacks and find victory as long as one is also truly regenerated (John 3:1-10), and has a hearty devotional life in the Word and by submission to God each day, trusting in God’s sovereignty and wisdom and goodness.

In regard to this video by Dale Tuggy, who is a Unitarian and has dedicated himself to attacking the doctrine of the Trinity; Tuggy claims that Justin Martyr was not a Trinitarian. Justin Martyr is one of the earliest Christian writers after the NT was completed.  He lived from around 100 AD to 165 AD.  He was executed by Rome for his faith in 165 AD.

Dale Tuggy quoted one passage in that video.  Even that passage can be taken as affirming the divine triad of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and distinguishing between the persons, even if he did not use the word “person” or other terms for the same substance in the oneness of God between the persons. (like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14)

There is a lot more in Justin Martyr’s writings that show he indeed was Trinitarian, and distinguished between the Father and the Son and yet also understood that the Son is the same nature as the Father. The passage that Dale Tuggy quoted shows that Justin Martyr understood the three persons in a triad of some kind of equality in power and status and nature and worship, which even Dale Tuggy admitted; even without the words like “homo-ousias” and “persons” (hupostasis) – The concept of the Trinity is communicated even without using the words, “Trinity” or “homo-sousias” (same substance) and hupostasis (person).

There is much more than this, but this is sufficient for now; as I don’t have time to type up more, etc.

“And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them; and Himself said, “No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Son revealeth Him.” [Matthew 11:27 – shows a high Christology in Matthew] Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said.” [ shows Justin Martyr knows John 1:1 and the teaching of the whole Gospel]

[My comments in brackets]

“The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spake to Moses, though He who spake to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, [against modalism] are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God.”

Justin Martyr, First Apology, 63

See at
https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.ii.lxiii.html

Posted in Apologetics, church history, Deity of Christ, Development of Doctrine, early church history, The doctrine of the Trinity, Theology, Theology of God | 2 Comments

Answer to the census during Qurinius’ governorship question in Luke 2:2

Posted in Apologetics, Historical reliability of the Bible, Reliability of the Bible

The Truth of the Nicean Council (325 AD) and Arian Controversy- 318-381 AD

So many mis-conceptions and lies are repeated about the Council of Nicea of 325 AD, it is necessary to constantly revisit the review the facts of it. Be sure to watch the video, a good 9 and 1/2 minute summary of the Council of Nicea, and be sure to read Dr. James White’s article, “What Really Happened at Nicea?” also. (linked to in the article)

Apologetics and Agape

Paul Bilal Williams, a British convert to Islam, has reposted an article on the Council of Nicea by Unitarians, that is very skewed and inaccurate.  (No longer there, since Paul Williams deleted that blog.)

The Unitarian source is inaccurate and skewed.  These 2 statements make the article not credible.

1.   “It was 325 A.D. at Nicea that the doctrine of the Trinity was rammed through by Athanasius . . . “

2.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions and personally proposed the crucial formula expressing the relationship of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, of one substance with the Father.”

Both of these statements are inaccurate.

Paul needs to get up to speed and be more scholarly and read this book.

I wonder why Paul Williams didn’t let my comments through, which documents more accurately the events of the…

View original post 1,500 more words

Posted in Apologetics, church history, Council of Nicea, early church history, Nicea, The doctrine of the Trinity