Hank Hanegraaff - Career


Prior to becoming a leading figure in the Christian countercult movement, Hanegraaff was closely affiliated with the ministry of D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian church in Florida. During his association with Kennedy in the 1980s, Hanegraaff applied memory-based techniques (such as acrostic mnemonics) to summarise strategies, methods and techniques in Christian evangelism. His work bears resemblances to memory dynamics techniques developed in speed-reading courses and in memory training programs used in some executive business courses.

During the late 1980s Hanegraaff became associated with Walter Martin (1928-1989) at the Christian Research Institute (CRI), the conservative Protestant countercult and apologetic ministry which Martin founded in 1960.

After Martin's death from heart failure in June 1989, Hanegraaff became president of CRI. As part of his role as ministry president, Hanegraaff assumed the role from Martin of anchorman on the radio program The Bible Answer Man. Hanegraaff also became a conference speaker and itinerant preacher in churches, pursuing the general ministry charter of CRI. Shortly after the release of Dan Brown's novel, he co-authored The DaVinci Code: Fact or Fiction? with Lutheran apologist Paul Maier. His most recent publication is Has God Spoken?, from Thomas Nelson in 2011.

The content of The Bible Answer Man show includes answering questions about Christian doctrine, biblical interpretation, and denominational particularities, as well as special focuses on particular issues when a notable figure is a guest, such as frequent shows focused on Mormonism when former Mormons appear in studio as guests to speak from their experiences.

Throughout the 1990s, Hanegraaff engaged in dialogue with Joseph Tkach, Jr. and other leaders of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), now known as Grace Communion International (GCI). The WCG was founded in the 1930s by Herbert W. Armstrong, and had long been regarded as a cult by evangelicals, primarily for its denial of the Trinity and other traditional Christian doctrines. Following Armstrong's death in 1986, the group re-evaluated many of its teachings, including the British Israel doctrine and various eschatological predictions. Hanegraaff was one of a handful of evangelical apologists, including Ruth A. Tucker, who assisted in the reforms. The biggest changes to ensure their acceptance among evangelicals were in accepting the doctrine of the Trinity and salvation by grace through faith.

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