Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hank Jumps the Shark

BAM man, Hank Hanegraaff left me a long time ago when he had a phone company start telemarket bombing my family at least once a week begging for money. My disfavor for him increased after he became a full blown preterist and unwitting PLO shill with his accusation of racism against Dispensationalists. Now he has become an official deep time creationist who appeals to voodoo hermeneutics to re-read Genesis.

Hank Hanegraff and the Days of Creation

It is sad. I remember about 10 or 12 years ago when Hank just published his book on the Farce of Evolution (or some similar title). He came to my church and did a talk on the subject. He claimed to be a biblical, 6 day creationist at the time. A lot can change over a decade I guess.

I reproduce the transcript of the call Ken Ham posts in his blog article (note my emphasis):

Caller Theresa: Hi! I wanted to ask you if you believe that God created the earth and all in it in seven literal days, or if you kind of translate it into thousands of years or . . . ?

HH: Well, that’s an interesting question. I think that one of the things that we have to recognize is that the book of Genesis is a literary, artistic masterpiece in a lot of different ways.

Uh, first you have a mnemonic device by which you can remember the creative prowess of God every single day of the week so that you have two triads which are memorable, which correspond to one another in alliterated fashion that you can remember as a mnemonic device each day of the week. I think that in itself is profound. [huh?]

Secondly, I think that you have to recognize that all of Genesis is written in such a way that you can remember it with ten fingers of your hand. So that the genealogical construction and the people mentioned are mentioned in such a way that you can remember God’s creative prowess as well as the foundation of the entire biblical text out of which comes an ongoing plan of redemption culminating in a new heaven and a new earth where indwells righteousness.

My point here is to say that I do not think that Genesis chapter one is designed to give you a chronology of creation, but rather to give you a hierarchy of creation—uh, ultimately culminating in a new creation so I, I think if you want to answer the age question, you’re better off going to God’s other book, which is the book of nature. I don’t think that Genesis is intended to give you a timeframe.

Caller Theresa: So you don’t think we should look at nature and use the Genesis account as a starting point and interpret nature based on the Genesis account—you think we should use nature to interpret Genesis?

HH: No, no, I wouldn’t say that at all. I think that you have to employ the art and science of biblical interpretation to rightly interpret the Genesis account of creation. You need to be able to read the Bible for all its worth. For example, when you get to Genesis chapter three and you see that the serpent is tempting Eve and then later you see how the serpent suffers as a result of his temptation, and how Christ forever puts enmity between the seed of the woman, you see immediately how powerful the text is and you don’t want to minimize the power of the text by supposing that, that Jesus Christ crushed the power of the evil one by stepping on the head of a snake. You want to take the text and read it in the sense in which it’s intended, and so I don’t in any way say that you want to take ah, some kind of minimalist approach to the interpretation of the book of Genesis. No, you need to learn to read it for all its worth.

Caller Theresa: OK, thank you.

His last point is amazing. So on one hand Genesis is not meant to be taken chronological, which in my mind means historical. I mean, the concept of "chronology" is tied to history, right? Yet on the other hand, the story of man's fall and Christ's redemption of man is meant to be historically real?

I just don't get it. And this is a clear reason why I have Hank listed under "muddled theology."

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Blogger The Squirrel said...

Yeah. Hank has been on a downward spiral for years, it seems.



6:26 PM, April 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank jumped the shark regarding Genesis years before he became a full-blown preterist. I remember him scolding a caller for his young-earth creationist views at least 15 years ago. That was the last time I ever listened to The Bible Answer Man and I haven't looked back since. Christian Research Institute hasn't been the same since Walter Martin died. But even Martin was squishy regarding Genesis.

7:02 PM, April 29, 2011  
Blogger donsands said...

Hanky has done some good work in the Church exposing false teachers, and making their own words avaiable to hear. But he seems to have more a business man's motive, than a servant of the Lord. He is very good at Marketing, and making money as well. And he has been under the radar-gun for different reasons a few times.
I have not listened to Hank for many years now.
Thanks for the post.
Have a terrific Lord's day! Jesus is what life is all about. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

6:26 PM, April 30, 2011  
Blogger DJP said...

1. Escovado = Best. Avatar. EVAR.

2. Haaaank can't even see the shark in his rear-view mirror.

Now, Walter Martin is a tough one to follow: like me and my guitar taking the stage after a Terry Kath solo. But still, he wasn't forced, was he? While I disagreed with WM over this and that, WM knew how to use a shovel and pick-axe, and Haaaaank knows how to be a parrot. With him, the issue is whether he's going to memorize a good source or a bad.

Too often, bad.

Pity about CRI. Used to be a real thing.

7:58 AM, May 01, 2011  
Blogger Dusman said...

I have a church member who went to a conference years ago where Hank said that Jesus wasn't literally coming back on the clouds. She read Acts 1:9-11 and then said about him, "I guess he forgot how to read the Bible for all it's worth....". :-)

2:38 PM, May 01, 2011  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

I agree with Don that Hank has done some good work when it comes to exposing false teachers. Christianity In Crisis was (is?) a good book. Unfortunately, IMO, he became jealous of LaHaye’s “mega” success with the Left Behind books and decided he could do the same thing with an alternate end-time view. Of course being accused by Walter Martin’s family of stealing CRI along with accusations of plagiarizing James Kennedy’s bible memory system and suing other Christians doesn’t do a lot to instill confidence in the mind of a discerning Christian.

12:27 AM, May 02, 2011  
Blogger William Burke said...

The light is exposing the reasons for Hank's most confusing change in his Creation theology - his name appears to be William Dembski and was revealed yesterday on BAM.

BTW - I listen so you don't have to. :-)

He, as he often does, went on a several minute rant about how critical it was for everyone within earshot of his voice to read Dembski's book "The End of Christianity" which is touted as the answers we've all been looking for. He then, as he often does, went on about how Christians today are ill equipped to handle atheists in the public debate over origins, apparently he hasn't heard John MacArthur's recently played on GTY sermon series "Battle For The Beginning" which pulls no punches and has exposed the shallowness of HH's Scriptural understanding and confidence in the Biblical text.

It might be worth another post to update the Christian community about the dangers of this latest escapade as he is planning on the upcoming release of a Creation Answer Book with his "only the gem remaining" answers to all the biggest questions about Creation. I have little doubt it will most likely be a parroting of the ideas by Dembski which illicited a strong and brotherly response from Tom Nettles at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 1 which lays the arguments of those like HH and Dembski in the mud and should cause them to an extraordinary examination of pride and self-assurance, lest they be among those God has CHOSEN to overlook lest they be prone to boast in themselves and steal His glory.

Blessings In the Lord Jesus Christ,
William Burke

9:25 AM, July 06, 2011  

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