Saturday, April 08, 2017

Hank Hanegraaff's Promotion Of Eastern Orthodoxy

Somebody recently told me he's heard that Hank Hanegraaff has been attending an Eastern Orthodox church. This individual was also concerned about a report that Hanegraaff had become an Orthodox catechumen, though some people with a close relationship with the Christian Research Institute (CRI) told him that it's not true.

Before I cite some of Hanegraaff's recent positive comments about Orthodoxy, I want to give some examples of how mixed his comments about Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy have been over the years. He'll make comments that are highly supportive of Orthodoxy at one point, but identify himself as an Evangelical, or at least seem to do so, at another point. In response to a call beginning at 47:22 on his October 15, 2014 radio program, he distinguishes between what Orthodox believe about the Apocrypha and what "we" believe. On the other hand, in response to a call at 40:17 on his May 5, 2016 program, Hanegraaff misrepresented the history of eucharistic doctrine, as if there was agreement about an Eastern Orthodox view of a eucharistic presence during the first millennium of church history. A little past the 50:00 point in his February 8, 2017 program, he comments that "I have the scripture as my rule of faith and practice", which sounds Evangelical, but may not be intended that way. He doesn't use a qualifier like "alone". Near the beginning of Hanegraaff's March 8, 2017 radio program, he commented that Mary is "the apex of all of humanity" and "the model for all that we are to become in Christ", going on to say that "while Islam venerates Muhammad, Christianity venerates Mary". Later in the same program, when discussing other topics, he seems to affirm some Evangelical and non-Orthodox positions at some points, yet uses more ambiguous language and language that seems more in line with Orthodoxy at other points. See the call on baptism and salvation at 23:13 and the call on the imputation of Christ's righteousness and confession of sin at 46:51.

Hanegraaff has been discussing Orthodoxy more than usual on his program lately. In response to a call at 39:29 on the November 11, 2014 program, Hanegraaff comments that Orthodoxy never strays from its principles, in contrast to Roman Catholicism. He also comments that though there are some problematic Orthodox churches, there are others that are "completely committed to the gospel". While responding to a call that begins at 30:40 in his June 14, 2016 program, Hanegraaff claims that Orthodoxy was "the only church" prior to the split between West and East in the eleventh century. Here's a video segment of his January 25, 2017 program in which he refers to Eastern Orthodoxy as orthodox, "fantastic", "the early church", etc. In response to a call beginning at 6:17 on his February 8, 2017 program, Hanegraaff outlines an Orthodox view of justification, describing it in a way that seems to be supportive of it. He also refers to how the Orthodox view of justification predates the Catholic and Protestant views, without further qualification. Near the end of his response to the call, he refers to how his wife has been reading the church fathers on this subject, which may explain part of what's influencing Hanegraaff on these matters. See his March 14, 2017 program here (starting at 9:56), where he refers to the alleged unity of the early church, makes some comments critical of Roman Catholicism, and refers to Protestantism as a further "schism" of the Western church, all the while saying nothing negative about Eastern Orthodoxy. More recently, on his April 4 program (start listening at 22:10), he referred to how he's always been interested in Orthodoxy, how the church allegedly had unity during the first millennium of Christianity until the Pope broke that unity, how he's recently been influenced by Orthodox individuals who have a "keen sense of church history", how he "absolutely loves" how Orthodoxy affirms the presence of Christ in the eucharist while "leaving it in the realm of mystery", etc.

I don't know just how much the segments of his program mentioned above reflect where Hanegraaff stands in relationship to Orthodoxy. Maybe he's made other comments elsewhere that would significantly qualify what I've cited above. But the impression I have at this point is that he's at least moved a long way toward Orthodoxy. However much he still holds some Evangelical beliefs that are opposed to Orthodox beliefs, he may not do so much longer. His current Evangelical positions on some issues may not have much significance. He may be in a transitional phase that will lead him away from those Evangelical views in the near future.

I haven't listened to Hanegraaff much in recent years, and I haven't read any of his most recent books. I did listen to him a lot and read some of his books in the 1990s and the opening years of the 2000s.I benefited from his work in my first several years as a Christian, and I appreciate much of what he's done. But his promotion of Eastern Orthodoxy is a major problem. CRI needs to do something about it. There needs to be clarification about Hanegraaff's relationship with Eastern Orthodoxy, and his promotion of Orthodoxy on the air and through other CRI resources needs to end. The damage he's already done, in contexts like the ones discussed above, needs to be addressed and counteracted.

Anybody who's interested can read a lot of posts we've written about Orthodoxy in our archives. My index of posts on Catholicism and church history has a lot of material that's relevant to Orthodoxy as well. As I document there, Orthodoxy doesn't have the sort of historical roots Hanegraaff suggests it does.

If Hanegraaff wants to get a better idea of how healthy Orthodoxy is, he should try doing his radio program for a month while relying strictly on Orthodox resources. Address the philosophical, historical, exegetical, moral, and other issues that come up without going to Evangelical sources. See what happens. See how well Orthodoxy has addressed these matters.

Keep in mind that Hanegraaff doesn't just influence the listeners of his radio program, the people who read his books, and such. He also influences a lot of scholars and other people who write for the Christian Research Journal or work for CRI in some other manner. His promotion of Orthodoxy encourages other people in such influential positions to become more accepting of it.

157 comments:

  1. Hank should read the first canon of the 7th Ecumenical council and then read prior canons that fly directly into conflict with his protestant convictions. Then hank can ask himself why it is that if the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses made the same bold pronouncement that are made in 1st canon of the 7th, why would he say that that would be a clear example of an ecclesiastical body placing themselves over and against the written testimony of the OT prophets and the Apostles, but the EO get a pass.

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    1. Rob, please read canon 102 of the Quinisext Council (Trullo). You seem to read the canons as a KJV-only Baptist reads the Bible. That's not how canons work. Canons always accommodate for exceptions at the discretion of the clergy. - Jamey Bennett

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    2. So now we have two canons that contradict each other. They are not only rigid and unalterable, but they're are also flexible at the same time. (IE. eat, bathe, see a Jewish doctor and you're headed for hell....unless your Bishop gives you permission, then its all good.) They were both inspired by the holy spirit, and as we know the bible which is also inspired by the holy spirit has contradictions in it, so why shouldn't church councils be any different? "But the bible wasn't written as a history book!" As my Priest used to say....It's a spiritual book, for a spiritual community about spiritual truths. You have to read the deeper meaning and not get trapped by the dead letters.

      Now, I know that you really don't want to debate this, because to do so would require the use of logic, and to discuss things about God would require you to abandon your spiritual commitment to apophatic presuppositions. I mean, debating..logic, that just so....so...western. After all, God cannot be known intellectually but only experientially because God is above human language and reason.

      “The negative way of the knowledge of God is an ascendant undertaking of the mind that progressively eliminates all positive attributes of the object it wishes to attain, in order to culminate finally in a kind of apprehension by supreme ignorance of Him who cannot be an object of knowledge.”

      V.Lossky, In the Image and the Likeness of God, ed. J.H.Erickson (Crestwood, NY: St.Vladimir’s Seminary Press,1985),13.

      See, its a lot like Hinduism, reason, logic.... these are all just barriers to attaining knowledge of the absolute. It's experience that will reveal the truth. How does one attain this experience? Mantras for the Hindus...or the Jesus prayer for the Orthodox. Extreme asceticism. Then, if you're lucky... if you're a Hindu, you get to see the supreme consciousness. If you're Orthodox, and your breathing technique is correct, you'll get to experience seeing the Uncreated Light.

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  2. The person I talked to about the situation with Hanegraaff (mentioned in the first paragraph of my post) was Ken Petty. He's decided to discuss the subject publicly, and you can read his comments on Facebook here. One of his sources, Jamey Bennett, is posting there as well, and he claims that an Eastern Orthodox priest has told him that Hanegraaff was chrismated today and is now officially Eastern Orthodox. We'll need further evidence before concluding that that's actually what's happened, but that's the claim that's being made.

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    1. I saw the picture. It's true! One of the happiest days of my life! http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2017/04/hank-hanegraaff-aka-bible-answer-man.html

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    2. Yes, he's come all the way home to the One True Catholic (not Roman Catholic) church begun by the Apostles at Pentecost and ongoing right up to today, and forever. Hallelujah. Another one has come home. :-)

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  3. I'm assuming everyone knows that there's a rumor that before his death Francis Schaeffer was on his way to becoming Eastern Orthodox.

    One would think that Hanegraaff would have openly investigated and chatted with Evangelical experts on Orthodoxy lest he discover his conversion was premature. He should know that it would be pretty embarrassing for him if everyone discovered that he, the head of a globally known apologetics institute, converted for poor reasons.

    At least host a debate between the best apologists on both sides. He has got lots of children to endow money to. He could have made money doing so. Even selling a debate book. Employees at CRI will be affected financially if CRI's income dwindles because of his secret conversion. That wasn't very considerate. Some people might have to be laid off.

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    1. CRI has let Hanegraaff go on the air and make claims like the ones I've cited above for years. They're largely to blame for the situation.

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    2. Yes, I read your blogpost before I posted. Either Hanegraaff has too much power in CRI that people are afraid to confront him on it, or CRI has let Hank go to far without openly addressing how CRI (I'm assuming) was founded as an Evangelical apologetics institute (seeing that Walter Martin was an Evangelical).

      Hank got a lot of criticism when he started advocating something like Preterism. He should have learned from that and openly acknowledged his interest in Orthodoxy. That way conversations could have been initiated and the truth could have uncovered openly (whichever way it is).

      IMO, he had a duty to be upfront with his Evangelical financial supporters and be honest about his changing views. If he believes or suspects Orthodoxy is true, then he shouldn't be afraid to admit it and have it challenged on air. Both on the radio program and in formal debates. He didn't even have to be the one defending Orthodoxy.

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    3. "If Hanegraaff wants to get a better idea of how healthy Orthodoxy is, he should try doing his radio program for a month while relying strictly on Orthodox resources."

      Like the Bible? lolol

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    4. Some ministries should die when their founder dies. Not all ministries have good successors.

      i) A basic problem with EO is that it fosters the notion of salvation through the sacraments and salvation through "the Church"–rather than trusting directly in Jesus for salvation. It substitutes something in place of Jesus. People put their faith in "the Church" or the sacraments rather than Jesus.

      ii) EO simply disregards the forensic character of redemption in Pauline theology.

      iii) EO has changed. As I've documented in the past. EO has quietly capitulated to liberal Bible criticism and theistic evolution.

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    5. There's also the corruption of the Orthodox Church. To take a recent example, consider how Russian Orthodox representatives pander to Putin. Idolize Putin.

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    6. I simply have to comment on i)
      All the sacraments rely on Jesus. In most direct possible way. I will take the Eucharist for example - how are Christ's very own Body and Blood 'something in place of Jesus'?
      Also, to use your line of logic, do Protestants foster the notion of salvation through the Bible? Last time I checked, a fair deal of Protestant church websites have a statement of faith, and often, that same statement does not begin with Trinity / Jesus / God, it begins with inspiration / infallibility of the Scripture.
      I just checked - I googled for 'our statement of faith', and I checked top 5 sites. Only one had God as its starting point (Bible came third), the rest began with the Bible.
      No Orthodox begins his or her creed with "I believe in sacraments".

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    7. Bojan Teodosijevic

      "All the sacraments rely on Jesus. In most direct possible way. I will take the Eucharist for example - how are Christ's very own Body and Blood 'something in place of Jesus'?"

      You're assuming the eucharist is the literal body and blood of Jesus. As Protestants, we'd disagree.

      "Also, to use your line of logic, do Protestants foster the notion of salvation through the Bible? Last time I checked, a fair deal of Protestant church websites have a statement of faith, and often, that same statement does not begin with Trinity / Jesus / God, it begins with inspiration / infallibility of the Scripture."

      For one thing, your personal sampling of Protestants church websites is unlikely to be representative.

      For another, even if (arguendo) the statement of faith does not begin with the Trinity but with Scripture, how does that necessarily mean "Protestants foster the notion of salvation through the Bible"? At a minimum, you need a connecting argument.

      "I just checked - I googled for 'our statement of faith', and I checked top 5 sites."

      Top 5 sites in Eastern Europe? If you're Googling from Eastern Europe, then you could receive different hits than someone Googling in the USA would receive for example.

      "Only one had God as its starting point (Bible came third), the rest began with the Bible. No Orthodox begins his or her creed with "I believe in sacraments"."

      This is a silly criterion by which to conclude "Protestants foster the notion of salvation through the Bible". For example, the Pauline epistles often begin with "Paul, an apostle" or something similar. Does that mean Paul is fostering the notion of salvation through Paul?

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    8. Beau Branson wrote:

      "Like the Bible? lolol"

      My original post included a link to some of our material on church history, including material on the canon and related issues. We also have a lot of other relevant posts in our archives. But why interact with arguments and evidence when you can just say "Like the Bible? lolol"?

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    9. Bojan Teodosijevic

      "Also, to use your line of logic, do Protestants foster the notion of salvation through the Bible? Last time I checked, a fair deal of Protestant church websites have a statement of faith, and often, that same statement does not begin with Trinity / Jesus / God, it begins with inspiration / infallibility of the Scripture."

      I came across "The Orthodox Faith" of the Orthodox Church in America. It is a multi-volume work which asserts: "The Orthodox Faith series is intended to provide basic, comprehensive information on the faith and life of the Orthodox Church".

      After the preface, the content begins "Volume I - Doctrine and Scripture". Does this means the Orthodox Church in America fosters the notion of salvation through the Bible too? After all, it does not begin with the Trinity or God.

      Also, I came across "The Fundamental Teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church". This doesn't begin with the Trinity, Jesus, or God, but it begins with "the Church". I guess this means the Eastern Orthodox fosters the notion of salvation through "the Church" not the Trinity, Jesus, or God who comes later?

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    10. Not really into debating the real presence. And no, those weren't top 5 sites in Eastern Europe. Those were all American sites. Feel free to check for yourself. Also, St. Paul wasn't writing a detailed statement of faith when he was writing the Epistles; but there's something indicative when a huge majority of Protestant sites begin with the Bible.

      I am referring to the Nicene Creed, which is the normative for the Orthodox Church and is recited by the whole congregation on every Divine Liturgy, not something written by Fr. Thomas Hopko or Fr. George Mastrantonis or Fr. Whoever.

      That is all beside the point. Of course that no one thinks that Protestants believe they find salvation in the Bible outside of Jesus; likewise, no Orthodox believes that they find salvation in sacraments outside of Jesus. None of the sacraments do anything without faith in Christ and without life in Christ.

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    11. Having gone over this entry a couple of times, it appears the writer approaches the issue from the a priori notion that a religious tradition begun not 500 years ago (and yet to be defined) is the final arbiter of all things Apostolic on the thin basis of being "Protestant." Such shallow reasoning is in direct accord with Flat Earth-ism and every other attempt to set private interpretation and identity politics above all that God has revealed throughout history, beginning with the word of God. A jerk of the knee, and nothing more.

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    12. Bojan Teodosijevic

      "Not really into debating the real presence."

      Fine, but your response to Steve Hays' point was predicated on belief in it, which obviously a Protestant wouldn't share.

      "And no, those weren't top 5 sites in Eastern Europe. Those were all American sites. Feel free to check for yourself. Also, St. Paul wasn't writing a detailed statement of faith when he was writing the Epistles; but there's something indicative when a huge majority of Protestant sites begin with the Bible."

      Keep in mind all your accusations here against Protestant statements of faith are based on your personal Google "research". That's hardly a fair and representative method.

      "I am referring to the Nicene Creed, which is the normative for the Orthodox Church and is recited by the whole congregation on every Divine Liturgy, not something written by Fr. Thomas Hopko or Fr. George Mastrantonis or Fr. Whoever."

      Similarly, I could say I'm referring to the WCF, not whatever Bojan Teodosijevic's Google "research" turned up about Protestant statements of belief.

      Regarding the Nicene Creed, see here for starters.

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    13. See, that is precisely the issue I have with Protestantism.
      You can't just say "a belief a Protestant wouldn't share".
      There are only a handful of beliefs a Protestant wouldn't share. Papal infallibility, papal supremacy? Okay. But real presence, praying to saints, veneration of icons and statues? There are Protestants who share those beliefs. Not believing those things is perhaps a majority position within Protestantism, but it is simply untrue saying that 'Protestantism doesn't believe in those things.'

      I'm not assaulting Protestant Churches because of those statements of faith; I was actually opposing your supposition that Orthodox find 'salvation in sacraments instead of Jesus.'

      The article on Nicene Creed is... poor, to say the least. I see there are tons on comments on it, and since I'm not really interested in engaging in a debate, I'll leave it as it is.

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    14. "See, that is precisely the issue I have with Protestantism. You can't just say "a belief a Protestant wouldn't share". There are only a handful of beliefs a Protestant wouldn't share. Papal infallibility, papal supremacy? Okay. But real presence, praying to saints, veneration of icons and statues? There are Protestants who share those beliefs. Not believing those things is perhaps a majority position within Protestantism, but it is simply untrue saying that 'Protestantism doesn't believe in those things.'"

      1. You're (likewise) generalizing about Protestants.

      2. The doctrinal differences (be they few or many) are hardly insignificant doctrinal differences.

      3. No, not all Protestants accept the "real presence, praying to saints, veneration of icons and statues". Many Lutherans do accept the "real presence" to some degree, but they're hardly the only major Protestant group. And they're certainly not the Protestant group I belong to.

      "I'm not assaulting Protestant Churches because of those statements of faith; I was actually opposing your supposition that Orthodox find 'salvation in sacraments instead of Jesus.'"

      Not that I necessarily disagree, but I never made this "supposition".

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    15. The sky is falling! the sky is falling! I rejoice in this news.

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  4. Someone seems a little bitter.

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    1. RSP

      "Someone seems a little bitter."

      Someone seems a little vague. You could be referring to anyone in this post, to HH himself, to yourself. Who knows.

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  5. Just to let everyone know. Hank hannegraph was just confirmed into the Eastern Orthodox Church as of today. You all will no doubt be hearing of it in the coming days. I am very saddened to hear this news.

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    1. Please don't be saddened. I am an Evangelical turned Eastern Orthodox christian. In the Church, I have experienced a deeper life in Christ, an understanding of pride vs humility, spiritual guidance, living ALL of life as a sacrament, etc, etc. All based on the Holy Scripture. Remember that the Church of the Councils gave us the Canon of Scripture.

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    2. Judith - that's correct - amen. What most Protestants never think to ask is "where did we GET the Bible in the first place?"
      It was the teachings of the Apostles for the first couple hundred years that the Church operated and grew exponentially on, as well as the very clear traditions that developed in the earliest days. "Hold fast to the scriptures (OT were the only scriptures available at the time, and that's what they meant by that) AND the traditions...Protestants just don't understand what is meant by that...but if they research it, they can.
      As you say, the Councils eventually determined which of these boundless (literally unbound, as yet) Apostolic writings should be included as Holy Canon of Scripture, to solidify the Truth against heresy. There was no other church than this original Apostolic Church at the time. It's a bit hard for me to see how they miss that simple fact....there WAS only One Christian Church for the first 1000 years - until the branch at Rome broke off and made additions and subtractions from the original, and 500 years later until Luther made further changes, some good, some bad, but not going all the way back to Christianity's Apostolic root teachings and traditions - and then hundreds of denominations since then...
      Anyone who follows the thread of history all the way back with an open, honest heart, though, will end up Home. As did Hank.

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    3. Amen. Same here. I am so happy for the Hanegraaffs.

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    4. Felicity wrote:

      "As you say, the Councils eventually determined which of these boundless (literally unbound, as yet) Apostolic writings should be included as Holy Canon of Scripture, to solidify the Truth against heresy."

      That's false, and it's denied by your own denomination's scholars. See here and here. Why don't you tell us which Council allegedly settled the canon? Then explain why Eastern Orthodox and other professing Christians continued to disagree over the canon for centuries afterward. Why did they keep disagreeing over the canon if the canon was settled by a Council? Did they reject conciliar authority?

      You write:

      "There was no other church than this original Apostolic Church at the time. It's a bit hard for me to see how they miss that simple fact....there WAS only One Christian Church for the first 1000 years - until the branch at Rome broke off and made additions and subtractions from the original, and 500 years later until Luther made further changes, some good, some bad, but not going all the way back to Christianity's Apostolic root teachings and traditions - and then hundreds of denominations since then..."

      No, there were many divisions within professing Christianity, including churches that denounced each other and avoided fellowship with each other, for example, long before the eleventh century. See here. Celsus was making an issue of widespread Christian disunity as early as the second century.

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    5. Jason Engwer wrote:

      No, there were many divisions within professing Christianity, including churches that denounced each other and avoided fellowship with each other,

      It is clear your perceptions of the divisions in the first three centuries lead you to state that there were different 'churches' much like there are many Protestant 'churches' today.

      In fact there was one truth taught and one Church with divisions within her body. Specifically severe debates over the true beliefs took place and many were denounced as being false teachers. The Ecumenical Councils declared specific teachings as heretical and those who continued to promote, believe in and hold fast to those false teachings were declared heretics.

      There were times that the majority of bishops and clergy with their following, were heretics. Even so, the correct, true teaching was maintained through such times.
      Many repented to embrace the true teachings(Orthodox), some died as heretics and others struggled with the heresy until late in life.

      If you say there were 'churches' what did they believe? Where were they situated? How were they different?

      There was one Church, often deeply divided over specific issues, but yet one Church.

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    6. Tymofiy Hawrysh,

      You're assuming that your view of church history is correct without providing much of an argument for it, and you're ignoring the documentation I've provided to the contrary.

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  6. Glory to God on the coming home of one more to the true Church and the true faith

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    1. Jonathan

      "Glory to God on the coming home of one more to the true Church and the true faith"

      Pity "the true Church" slogan has already been trademarked by Roman Catholics. Although I hear the Latter Day Saints may have filed an infringement suit.

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    2. If you don't believe you belong to the true Church, why do you belong to [Church name] at all?

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    3. "Pity "the true Church" slogan has already been trademarked by Roman Catholics."

      Then there are also the Monophysite churches with their apostolic succession, martyrs and miracles as well.

      So many true churches and true faiths to choose from. How does one choose the right one? By what standard? The Church fathers? They all claim the Church fathers.

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    4. Bojan Teodosijevic

      "If you don't believe you belong to the true Church, why do you belong to [Church name] at all?"

      Jonathan is the one who assumes the EO church is "the true Church" with a capital "C". I never made such a hefty claim.

      Robert Mahoney

      "Then there are also the Monophysite churches with their apostolic succession, martyrs and miracles as well."

      These are each separable and debatable:
      -Monophysitism is heretical.
      -Apostolic succession to substantiate EO is an argument with gaps.
      -Christians can become martyrs for good and bad reasons.
      -Some miracles may be false, others true. Some from demonic or occultic sources, others genuinely divine. Miracles encompasses a lot of disparate phenomena.

      "So many true churches and true faiths to choose from."

      There are some Christian doctrines which are absolutely essential to Christianity while other doctrines which are peripheral.

      A biblically faithful church or denomination in one generation may not necessarily be a biblically faithful church or denomination in a subsequent generation.

      "How does one choose the right one? By what standard?"

      Sola Scriptura.

      "The Church fathers? They all claim the Church fathers."

      The church fathers don't have a special or exclusive track to God that other Christians lack.

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    5. Agreed. But some people seem to be under the impression that if you can point to the earliest date on the calendar, then that settles the case. But, then you dealing with people who can't even agree on the calendar. ;)

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    6. It has nothing to do with date. It has to do with Truth. What is truth? And where from and how do we receive it?

      Is it in a book? Yes. Is it also from our mouths of we repeat what we have been taught? Yes. Is it also in holy paintings and icons? Yes.

      We participate with all of our faculties, and have the Scriptures, the Fathers, the hymnography and the icons to all bring together what it is that has been revealed.

      Yes, Any one can say they're the true faith and the true church. Obviously if you are Evangelical you believe that is the true faith. Critiquing that statement on the grounds others use it seems obtuse. Muslims think they're the true faith! Haha silly Evangelicals guess you're not true.

      And who cares what phrase a group uses? You think this boxes Orthodoxy into a corner, that any sign of error in any Orthodox layman is a brush across the whole? So I can point to a weak minded Evangelical and say: see! Your teaching is inconsistent!

      Nevermind that within Evangelicalism is a host of variety. Much more so than EO & OO. The OO still use icons and have liturgies, and sacraments. Appealing to them as a jab at EO hardly serves Evangelicalism.

      But I venture to guess that these shallow quibbles at Orthodoxy are bc one can't actually intellectually address Orthodoxy from an Evangelical point.

      So, please, address points, not make shallow quibbles over phrases. After all, we are commanded not to argue over words. Maybe Evangelicals missed that part from St Paul ...

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    7. On the Holy Fathers:

      They have been deified by God and are guided by the same Holy Spirit that guides the Church and the Scripture.

      They are true bc the Holy Spirit is true. They don't have a special link to God. It is revealed that God had a special link with *them*.

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    8. Robert:

      Just because someone claims that this or that Church is 'T'rue does not make that belief wrong. The Church may be off, but the belief is sound. Just because Islam believes to be one true faith does not diminish the validity of the same claim uttered by Christianity.
      I would never mock anyone's martyrdom, and thank God there are miracles outside the Church; it means that, gasp, God loves people outside the Church.

      Rockingwithhawking,

      Sola Scriptura is a very, very poor choice for determining the good Church. The teaching itself is innovative (to say the least), not to say anything that a good myriad of early (and current!) heresies did originate from the Scripture. You can always claim that the heresies stem from the poor interpretation of the Scripture, but the very fact that you need to have interpretation dumps the whole idea of Sola Scriptura into water. Whose interpretation will it be?
      Sola Scriptura is just a can of worms that generates new churches and denominations, not a criterion for choosing the correct one.

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    9. Jonathan

      "Yes, Any one can say they're the true faith and the true church. Obviously if you are Evangelical you believe that is the true faith. Critiquing that statement on the grounds others use it seems obtuse. Muslims think they're the true faith! Haha silly Evangelicals guess you're not true."

      Thanks for conceding my point: originally you simply assumed EO was "the truth Church" but anyone can say that.

      "So, please, address points, not make shallow quibbles over phrases."

      All I see from you is a string of assertions praising EO.

      "After all, we are commanded not to argue over words. Maybe Evangelicals missed that part from St Paul ..."

      You're currently "argu[ing] over words".

      Bojan Teodosijevic

      "Sola Scriptura is a very, very poor choice for determining the good Church. The teaching itself is innovative (to say the least), not to say anything that a good myriad of early (and current!) heresies did originate from the Scripture. You can always claim that the heresies stem from the poor interpretation of the Scripture, but the very fact that you need to have interpretation dumps the whole idea of Sola Scriptura into water. Whose interpretation will it be?"

      EO makes its own "interpretations" as well.

      "Sola Scriptura is just a can of worms that generates new churches and denominations, not a criterion for choosing the correct one."

      EO is one of many "churches and denominations".

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    10. 'EO makes its own "interpretations" as well.'
      EO is fine with interpretations because EOC finds them valuable and we call them tradition. The issue in Protestantism is that it doesn't have a method of resolving an issue that that is caused by (NOT solved by) Sola Scriptura. Snake handlers fall well within the confines of Sola Scriptura.
      Sola Scriptura rejects well-established Christian tradition of interpretation, replacing it with a momentary flight of fancy - the supreme rule of ego, impression and personal taste. Solemn liturgy? We've got it. Laser shows with synthesizers? All right up the sleeve. Filioque, Nestorianism, Patripassianism, Sabellianism, Macedonianism, Arianism, why, with Sola Scriptura, you just don't know what what age-old heresy the next brand new denomination will bring! If you agree with those heresies? Sola Scriptura. You vehemently oppose those heresies? Sola Scriptura.

      'EO is one of many "churches and denominations".'
      But it is not one of many churches and denominations that sprang up from Sola Scriptura. Sin of schism, once understood as one of the gravest sins a Christian commit, is something that comes all too naturally when Sola Scriptura is taken into account.

      Delete
    11. "The issue in Protestantism is that it doesn't have a method of resolving an issue that that is caused by (NOT solved by) Sola Scriptura. Snake handlers fall well within the confines of Sola Scriptura."

      At best, this is a terribly ignorant statement. You need to better study Protestant doctrines including Sola Scriptura.

      "Sola Scriptura rejects well-established Christian tradition of interpretation, replacing it with a momentary flight of fancy - the supreme rule of ego, impression and personal taste. Solemn liturgy? We've got it. Laser shows with synthesizers? All right up the sleeve. Filioque, Nestorianism, Patripassianism, Sabellianism, Macedonianism, Arianism, why, with Sola Scriptura, you just don't know what what age-old heresy the next brand new denomination will bring! If you agree with those heresies? Sola Scriptura. You vehemently oppose those heresies? Sola Scriptura."

      All this is simply one invective-laced caricature after another.

      "But it is not one of many churches and denominations that sprang up from Sola Scriptura. Sin of schism, once understood as one of the gravest sins a Christian commit, is something that comes all too naturally when Sola Scriptura is taken into account."

      I guess the Western (Catholic) churches in 1054 were wrong about EO schism then!

      Delete
    12. 'I guess the Western (Catholic) churches in 1054 were wrong about EO schism then!'
      Yes.

      Delete
    13. "Yes."

      Indeed, the EO churches were accused of being schismatics as well.

      Delete
    14. And that was (apparently) without "Sola Scriptura"!

      Delete
    15. It took us and Catholics 1000 years to split - how many years did it take Sola Scriptura to cause splits within Protestantism?
      I'm not saying that you can't have a schism without Sola Scriptura, but Sola Scriptura is a catalyst for schisms.

      Delete
    16. @rockingwithhawking

      You argued with me over my usage of saying the true faith. I don't get what point you think I've conceded to you. Yes Any one can say. Great. Let's move on.

      It was a congratulatory statement about the man who converted. If that offends ... Sorry. It highlights the bitterness you have over this man choosing to join another faith.

      If your whole focus is simply on my usage of true faith, why comment at all?

      Again just bitterness.

      Delete
    17. A quick elaboration, but the EO often accuse Protestants of subjecting biblical interpretation to (as Bojan says) "momentary flight of fancy - the supreme rule of ego, impression and personal taste". However, as I pointed out, that's a caricature. Good biblical hermeneutics presupposes grammatico-historical exegesis for starters.

      By contrast, the EO church, church councils, confessions and creeds, and the like aren't infallible.

      Delete
    18. You seem to think that if you can find fault in any minor area said by any single person, that allows you to paint a broad brush to discredit the whole.

      Sorry it doesn't work that way.

      Delete
    19. Jonathan

      "Again just bitterness."

      Just truth. But thanks for your unwarranted psychoanalysis.

      Delete
    20. Any interpretation is the same: it is done by *people*.

      You can't escape that.

      Delete
    21. Somehow the bishops of the Church were smart enough to choose the books for the bible yet not smart enough to properly understand them or teach on them ...

      Delete
    22. "It took us and Catholics 1000 years to split - how many years did it take Sola Scriptura to cause splits within Protestantism?"

      Time isn't a relevant factor when it comes to doctrinal truth.

      "I'm not saying that you can't have a schism without Sola Scriptura, but Sola Scriptura is a catalyst for schisms."

      So are many other things including theological debates over filioque.

      Delete
    23. 'By contrast, the EO church, church councils, confessions and creeds, and the like aren't infallible.'
      If this is true, then the canon of the Scripture isn't infallible as well, so you're left with just the 'Sola' without 'Scriptura.'

      Delete
    24. "You seem to think that if you can find fault in any minor area said by any single person, that allows you to paint a broad brush to discredit the whole. Sorry it doesn't work that way."

      If you're accusing me of generalization, then you need to be more specific.

      Delete
    25. "Just truth"

      So I take it your complaint of me using the phrase true faith is now leveled at yourself?

      Nice

      Delete
    26. "If this is true, then the canon of the Scripture isn't infallible as well, so you're left with just the 'Sola' without 'Scriptura.'"

      How so? You have to elaborate rather than assert.

      Delete
    27. There is something very ill in a position that argued over the usage of truth to the next day use that same phrase so easily ...

      Delete
    28. If your assumption is the church birthed the canon of Scripture. See, for example, Prof. Michael Kruger's works as a corrective.

      Delete
    29. The Church chose the Scriptures ... Without her you have no official bible.

      How hard is this to understand.

      If the bible is infallible, then the Church council which chose it must have been infallible in the act of choosing it.

      Delete
    30. Never mind that Sola Scriptura is a Islamic influence on Christianity.

      Delete
    31. "The Church chose the Scriptures ... Without her you have no official bible."

      That's historically and theologically ignorant. As I said above, see the works of Prof. Michael Kruger for a corrective.

      "If the bible is infallible, then the Church council which chose it must have been infallible in the act of choosing it."

      Nice circular argument.

      Delete
    32. Hm, yeah... no.
      That reminds me of Muslims whose sole mode of debate is to send you a 2h long YT clip that will 'convince you'.
      (Not saying that it is your sole mode of debate, but I'm not going to check the professor's collected works just to check something I wasn't even convinced was faulty in the first place)

      Delete
    33. "Never mind that Sola Scriptura is a Islamic influence on Christianity."

      Lol, okay. :-)

      Delete
    34. "That reminds me of Muslims whose sole mode of debate is to send you a 2h long YT clip that will 'convince you'. (Not saying that it is your sole mode of debate, but I'm not going to check the professor's collected works just to check something I wasn't even convinced was faulty in the first place)"

      You're making an invidious comparison between an actual scholar with "a 2h long YT clip".

      Delete
    35. For starters:

      https://michaeljkruger.com/books/

      https://michaeljkruger.com/articles/

      Delete
    36. Speaking of circular arguments...
      The Bible calls the Church 'the pillar and foundation of truth', it doesn't call itself such. Have fun figuring out the Sola Scritura and disparaging the Church with such a verse.

      'You're making an invidious comparison between an actual scholar with "a 2h long YT clip".'
      I'm just saying that this is a forum debate. If you can use an argument, use it. Don't shield yourself with the works of scholars. That is so... unsolascriptural.

      Delete
    37. For starters, something I've been drawing for the past 6 years and expect you to check each of the 350+ drawings: http://bible-illustrated.blogspot.rs/

      Delete
    38. "The Bible calls the Church 'the pillar and foundation of truth', it doesn't call itself such."

      How is this inconsistent with Sola Scriptura? You don't offer an argument. Just a proof text.

      And as far as proof texting goes, this is hardly a proof text for Sola Ecclesia.

      "Don't shield yourself with the works of scholars."

      I cited a scholar because his argument is relevant to the issue of the Scriptural canon. That's obvious.

      Besides, it's not as if you've offered an argument for why we should think the church (by which you really mean the EO church, contrary to Catholics who would disagree) authorized the canon.

      "That is so... unsolascriptural."

      Sola Scriptura doesn't mean scholarship is out of bounds. That's just naive.

      Delete
    39. Sola Scriptura is obviously backwards since the Church preexisted the NT and indeed gave us the NT. Why, Paul himself even refers to the Church as the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15). Or so goes the argument.

      This popular objection betrays the absence of any historical consciousness. It begins with the Church as a finished product, instead of considering the formative phases of the Church and canon alike. So the objection is equivocal:

      (i) While the NT Church preexisted the NT canon, it didn’t preexist the word of God, for the NT Church was constituted by apostolic preaching. So both in terms of historical and causal priority, the Word preceded the Church. The only difference is a merely modal rather than substantive distinction between the spoken and written word.

      (ii) Of course, it is a non-sequitur to assert that priority in time implies priority in rank. Moses lived before the advent of Christ, but that doesn’t make Moses superior to Christ.

      (iii) It fails to distinguish between the individual origin of the canon and its final formation. In terms of their origin, the books of the NT were enjoined on the NT churches. When James or John, Peter or Paul wrote a gospel, epistle or apocalypse, this was sent to a local church or directed to the church at large and circulated widely (Gal 1:2; Col 4:16; Jas 1:1; 1 Pet 1:1). The church was obliged to submit to the authority of this document. It didn’t issue from the Church but was issued to the Church. The Church was the addressee. The NT documents are the work of inspired individuals. They are not conciliar documents. The Church has a role in the general dissemination of the NT, but that is not at all the same thing as a productive role. Without the Post Office I might not get my mail, but that doesn’t make the Post Office prior to the mail it delivers—not in any relevant or important sense of priority.

      https://triablogue.blogspot.com/2004/04/ten-objections-to-sola-scriptura-1.html

      Delete
    40. If you don't want to read Kruger's books, then you could read this much shorter series:

      https://michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/

      Delete
    41. I'm not recommending these to persuade you specifically. In fact, I don't think I will persuade you. But rather to inform you about Protestant beliefs on this topic. So you can at least fairly represent Protestant beliefs even if you argue against them.

      Delete
    42. It also doesn't mean I agree 100% with every single word from Kruger. But I generally do agree with him.

      Delete
    43. Sola scriptura is extrabiblical. It's self-contradictory. There, I explained it.

      Delete
    44. nivchek

      "Sola scriptura is extrabiblical. It's self-contradictory. There, I explained it."

      Sure, if "explained" = "asserted".

      Delete
    45. Christ said that even the gates of Hell won't prevail over the Church. So, how is the Church being formed, exactly? What is the end-product Church? I know what is the case with the Bible - this book is fine, this one's spurious, but what about the Church itself?
      Also, to reply to a painful point you raised:

      '(ii) Of course, it is a non-sequitur to assert that priority in time implies priority in rank. Moses lived before the advent of Christ, but that doesn’t make Moses superior to Christ.'
      Christ existed before Moses, which is why He is superior to Moses.
      Also, I noticed that sort of a recurring theme here on the blog that individuals aren't Church. St. Peter is part of the Church, so is St. Paul etc. Those 'inspired individuals' aren't some people that exist apart from and outside of the Church; they are well within the Church's fold.

      'They are not conciliar documents.'
      First time I see that a document has to be conciliar in order to be Churchy. The apostles were bishops who wrote to the Churches they have established. I see absolutely no problem with an individual addressing the entire congregation.


      Nivchek is right. Rockingwithhawking, can you defend Sola Scriptura using Scripture only? If it is an important belief, surely it must stem the Bible itself.

      Delete
    46. "Christ said that even the gates of Hell won't prevail over the Church. So, how is the Church being formed, exactly? What is the end-product Church? I know what is the case with the Bible - this book is fine, this one's spurious, but what about the Church itself?"

      Here's a better question: how do you go from Matt 16 to the "end-product" is EO as the "true Church"?

      "Also, to reply to a painful point you raised:"

      What's "painful" is your perpetual ignorance despite correction.

      "Christ existed before Moses, which is why He is superior to Moses."

      Apparently you skipped right past the part that said "in time".

      "Also, I noticed that sort of a recurring theme here on the blog that individuals aren't Church. St. Peter is part of the Church, so is St. Paul etc. Those 'inspired individuals' aren't some people that exist apart from and outside of the Church; they are well within the Church's fold."

      The problem isn't that Paul, Peter, and the other apostles aren't part of the church. Rather, the problem is your equating "the Church" to the EO church. Obviously that's a point of contention. From my perspective the EO church is (at best) just another denomination(s).

      "First time I see that a document has to be conciliar in order to be Churchy."

      Do you have difficulty grasping basic English? How does saying the NT is not the product of a church council mean the NT "has to be conciliar in order to be Churchy"?

      "The apostles were bishops who wrote to the Churches they have established. I see absolutely no problem with an individual addressing the entire congregation."

      Again, why can't you grasp basic English? The above has nothing to do with "an individual addressing the entire congregation". I never took issue with that.

      "Nivchek is right."

      Bojan is wrong. So where does that leave Nivchek?

      Delete
    47. "Rockingwithhawking, can you defend Sola Scriptura using Scripture only? If it is an important belief, surely it must stem the Bible itself."

      1. No, Sola Scriptura doesn't "stem the Bible". Presumably you mean Sola Scriptura must "stem from the Bible".

      2. Why should arguments for Sola Scriptura be limited to Scripture alone? What's wrong with using certain extrabiblical reasoning or evidences to argue for Sola Scriptura?

      3. It sounds like you're confusing Sola Scriptura with Solo Scriptura (so to speak) as if what I believe is the Bible is all I need and nothing else.

      4. Sola Scriptura refers to the sufficiency of Scripture.

      5. But to answer your question, yes. For example, you could start with "A Defense of Sola Scriptura" published by Hank Hanegraaff's very ministry! (Let's hope HH won't revise or remove it now that he's EO.)

      6. In addition, the Bible is self-authenticating. For example, Jesus himself says in John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me". Christians should be able to hear God's voice in the Bible.

      7. Also, more just for fun, since you're fond of the church fathers:

      a. Origen argues the Bible is self-authenticating: "If anyone ponders over the prophetic sayings...it is certain that in the very act of reading and diligently studying them his mind and feelings will be touched by a divine breath and he will recognize the words he is reading are not utterances of man but the language of God" (De Principiis 4.1.6).

      b. Likewise Jerome says Philemon is "a document which has in it so much of the beauty of the Gospel" which in turn is the "mark of its inspiration" (Prologue to Commentary on Philemon).

      c. Chrysostom says the Gospel of John has "nothing counterfeit" because it is "uttering a voice which is sweeter and more profitable than that of any harp or any music...something great and sublime" (Homilies on the Gospel of John 1.2).

      d. Clement of Alexandria says the Christian can distinguish the words of men from the words of Scripture because "No one will be so impressed by the exhortations of any of the saints, as he is by the words of the Lord himself" (Protrepticus 9).

      Delete
    48. Rockingwithhawking. I fail to understand why Michael Krueger's interpretation of how the NT Canon was formed is authoritative or accurate. He has an opinion, period.

      Above you selected quotes from Early Church Fathers to back up your version of Sola Scriptura.
      Are you aware that you are using them to support a concept that did not exist in their lifetimes?

      Sola Scriptural as most embrace it today began with Martin Luther.
      The Early Church bishop with whom it first appeared was Arius, a heretic.

      No level headed Christian today picks up or embraces a teaching that originated from a false teacher.
      http://conservativecolloquium.wordpress.com

      Delete
    49. Tymofiy Hawrysh

      "I fail to understand why Michael Krueger's interpretation of how the NT Canon was formed is authoritative or accurate. He has an opinion, period."

      Wrong. Kruger has an expert "opinion". He's a professor of New Testament and early Christianity including published work in biblical canonicity. He received his PhD at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Prof. Larry Hurtado (who is one of the world's leading authorities in early Christianity). Kruger has published literature with Oxford University Press including a book with Prof. Charles E. Hill (another one of the world's leading authorities in NT textual criticism). He's published and continues to publish papers in top tier journals in his field. He's served as a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. I could go on.

      Sure, you can disagree with him, but you can't simply handwave away what he says as mere "opinion, period".

      "Above you selected quotes from Early Church Fathers to back up your version of Sola Scriptura."

      Wrong again. I used these quotations to highlight the self-authenticating nature of the NT. That's not identical to Sola Scriptura, even though they're related.

      "Are you aware that you are using them to support a concept that did not exist in their lifetimes?"

      I fail to understand why Tymofiy Hawrysh's interpretation of Sola Scriptura in early Christianity is authoritative or accurate. You have an opinion, period.

      "Sola Scriptural as most embrace it today began with Martin Luther. The Early Church bishop with whom it first appeared was Arius, a heretic. No level headed Christian today picks up or embraces a teaching that originated from a false teacher."

      Thanks for the assertions without argument or evidence. I prefer scholarly works like The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures (Carson, ed.), Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon (Carson & Woodbridge, eds.), and Biblical Authority: Infallibility and Inerrancy in the Christian Tradition (Woodbridge & Kantzer, eds.).

      Delete
    50. "I fail to understand why Michael Krueger's interpretation of how the NT Canon was formed is authoritative or accurate."

      That's a good example of how Catholics and Orthodox get off track. Kruger's interpretation needn't be "authoritative". That's a red herring. It only needs to be right.

      And if you don't think it's accurate, show how it's inaccurate.

      "He has an opinion, period."

      No, he doesn't just have an opinion, period. He provides supporting arguments for his opinion. All opinions aren't equal. There are justified and unjustified opinions, depending how their evidentiary support.

      If you think there's no difference, then there's no reason for us to take your own opinions seriously.

      Delete
  7. I visited a Greek festival once and got a tour of a EO church, and I do understand how, in this age of megachurch silliness where people dressed as Superman greet you at the door, how there is an appeal to more propriety, orderliness and seriousness to worship. But if this was the case and this is what HH was looking for, he should have just joined a local OPC congregation... :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't see how there has to necessarily be a problem. Michael Hyatt was president of Thomas Nelson publishers for 6 years and is an Orthodox deacon. I also know other Orthodox Christians who work in predominantly Evangelical organizations so I think there is plenty of area where Hank can speak and answer questions without causing a major controversy.
    I hope that he can keep his job, but I've got the feeling that now there's going to be people from both sides (Protestant and ultra-Orthodox) who are going to critique everything he says with a fine-tooth comb looking for heresy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh no! Hank Hannegraff isn't promoting 500 year old protestant innovations anymore, and has turned to the Faith of the Apostles! Whatever shall we do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike - Ha ha ha. I know. They do not seem to get that this is the Church of the Apostles. You know, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul...those guys. They seem unable to get past the Catholic Church, which left original Orthodoxy in 1054 a.d.

      Delete
    2. Yup! No more heretical teaching! Glory to God!

      Delete
  10. I am an Evangelical turned Eastern Orthodox christian. In the Church, I have experienced a deeper life in Christ, an understanding of pride vs humility, spiritual guidance, living ALL of life as a sacrament, etc, etc. All based on the Holy Scripture. Remember that the Church of the Councils gave us the Canon of Scripture.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You all might want to listen to the BAM show today. Just saying . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow . . . if true, I don't see how CRI or BAM will continue as it would cause a major split and rift and break up of many facets of the show and ministry and CRI Journal, unless they get rid of Hank and take on someone else. But since he took over after Walter Martin died, that ministry was mostly centered on him alone and his books. mostly . . .

      The shows seem to be pre-recorded for a lot of stations. I am like Jason, I have listened for a while, but I used to listen in the 80s and 90s, even before HH when Dr. Walter Martin was alive.

      I first heard Dr. James White on the BAM show in 1995 about the King James Only Controversy and then, the "debate/discussion" with Jimmy Akin - after that, I started listening to the Dividing Line more and more and the BAM show faded out in importance for me, especially after Hank went more anti-Calvinism after the George Bryson vs. James White debate. But I still get CRI Journal and some things are still very helpful and useful.

      The BAM show is no longer on the station it used to be in Atlanta; and others in the state of Ga. say the show is pre-recorded.

      If this is true; I don't see how the BAM program could continue with him; and if not; that would be a major blow and break things up, it seems. But even the way he took over after Walter Martin died has been questioned over the years.


      Delete
  12. This is some of the best news I've heard in a long time. Welcome to the Church, Mr. Hanegraaff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen. By his diligent research, he surmounted the roadblock of Roman Catholicism and made his way all the way home to the One True Holy catholic and Apostolic Church!!! So awesome. Always loved his integrity and his intense devotion to Scripture. Now he knows the rest of the story. (HIStory!)

      Delete
  13. Converted to idolatry you mean - now he can kiss icons alongside pagans

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  14. This show is very recent and he is nothing but positive toward EO and Theosis.
    Wow.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ex6hg7_qjg

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  15. May God grant Mr. Hanegraaff many years on his reception into the Orthodox Church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that! He found his way home.

      Delete
  16. Wasn't HH a businessman or marketer (or something similar) turned radio personality and Christian apologist? Nothing wrong with that. However, it's not as if HH was, say, a Christian scholar. Such as a studied historian, biblical scholar, or theologian or philosopher. HH wasn't even in the same league as, say, Francis Beckwith who went from evangelicalism to Catholicism. As such, I would think it likely Beckwith made a more intelligent, informed, and erudite case for crossing the Tiber than HH will make for becoming EO. And Beckwith's case wasn't even that strong.

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    Replies
    1. Yes he was a businessman/marketer and has a knack for memorizing things. He is self-taught; not seminary trained.

      Delete
    2. rockingwithhawking ....I'm afraid you've been stumped by the roadblock of Roman Catholicism. They are only 1000 years old. Orthodox Christianity goes back 1000 years earlier. To Pentecost. Rome did, of course, share that first 1000 years - but they then made unacceptable changes to codified doctrine, resulting in the Great Schism of 1054. a.d. You really must study your history a lot more fully and go back to the start - the actual Apostles - to learn what Orthodoxy is. It is NOT the RC Church of today.

      Delete
    3. Felicity

      "rockingwithhawking ....I'm afraid you've been stumped by the roadblock of Roman Catholicism. They are only 1000 years old. Orthodox Christianity goes back 1000 years earlier. To Pentecost. Rome did, of course, share that first 1000 years - but they then made unacceptable changes to codified doctrine, resulting in the Great Schism of 1054. a.d. You really must study your history a lot more fully and go back to the start - the actual Apostles - to learn what Orthodoxy is. It is NOT the RC Church of today."

      And other Christians (including Catholics) could just as easily tell you to "study your history a lot more fully and go back to the start - the actual Apostles" because the EO churches today are not the churches in c. 30 AD.

      Delete
    4. Oh, but they are. The sole difference is that the Church found different expressions of faith as heresies appeared on the scene. Expression 'Christ our God' might be unusual before Arianism, it is a norm now.
      Btw, the challenge to 'study history' can really only apply to Churches that actually have apostolic roots (Orthodox and Catholic). That is where Protestantism falters in a major way; just not enough historical evidence for their doctrines.

      Delete
    5. "Oh, but they are. The sole difference is that the Church found different expressions of faith as heresies appeared on the scene."

      Your mere say-so doesn't make it so.

      "Btw, the challenge to 'study history' can really only apply to Churches that actually have apostolic roots (Orthodox and Catholic)."

      Catholics as well as EO don't have actual apostolic roots, only purported apostolic roots. For example:

      "They began to be concerned with their own history...The Marcionite church had is beginning with Marcion...The Montanists went back to Montanus...All of these bore the names of founders whom people knew, while the Christian churches normally went back beyond the turn of the first century into the time of the apostles. Only that which can trace its history back into the earliest time, either directly or through fellowship with churches which are able to document it directly, can be genuine. In this way the concept of apostolic tradition developed and along with it, apostolic succession. In this context people sometimes proceeded quite liberally in building the chain of tradition...Then, as now, historical thinking was overlaid with wishes. The idea that both of them [Peter & Paul] first came to Rome after the church had already existed there for a longer time had no place in early Christian thinking, which in this case wanted to forge a connection between something they knew and the earliest and best-known men whose names they knew. In the first century and the beginning of the second, the Roman church was led by a college of presbyters, as we learn reliably from 1 Clement which we have frequently mentioned. We can no more speak about an apostolic succession, by which Peter passed on the episcopal office by a laying on of hands, than we can about many other things. This idea was a product of the second century when the idea of apostolic succession inevitably developed from the concept or requirement of apostolic tradition. Both existed only after the second half of the second century." K. Aland, A History of Christianity (Fortress 1985), 1:118-120.

      "That is where Protestantism falters in a major way; just not enough historical evidence for their doctrines."

      At best historical theology should be secondary to exegetical and biblical theology.

      Delete
  17. As a convert from Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy myself, I say to Hank & his family, "Welcome home!"

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  18. The essay says: "Hanegraaff misrepresented the history of eucharistic doctrine, as if there was agreement about an Eastern Orthodox view of a eucharistic presence during the first millennium of church history."

    I am well away that those Calvinists who care about the Church fathers interpret the Church fathers in such a way as to avoid the conclusion that the writers literally meant what they repeated at length: That in a direct, objective real way, the Food on the Table has or is Christ's body. Evangelicals' interpretation likes to claim to "take the Bible literally", but when it comes to Eucharist, they deny the obvious, literal meaning of what has been repeated for centuries.

    While I can see how purely as a matter of logic long Greek sermons teaching explicitly "This is my body" can be reinterpreted to mean "This resembles my body", I have to agree with Luther. "The first millenium" that the essay in Triablogue refers to, with all its theological debates and long sermons is a very long time for zero Church fathers to explicitly refute the Real Presence if they ever in their minds rejected it.

    Luther observes:

    " Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

    Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

    —Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391

    Luther also gave reasons why as a matter of Grammar and Biblical uses of expressions "This is my body" must have been meant literally. For example, he hands them a piece of bread and says "Take eat this is my body". "Take" was meant literally, because he literally handed them a piece of bread. And what he handed them when he gave it to them and said "This" was the bread, so he meant that literally too. And the word "is" was thus meant literally, as was everything else in the sentence.

    The real reason I believe that motivates Calvinist denial of the Real Presence is that Reformed Protestants are a more rational-critical branch off of the early Christians. They do believe in the resurrection, but they revised Christianity to avoid what they considered the "superstitious" mindset of their predecessors, who believed in all kinds of miracleworking, holy people, saints, relics, supernatural communion bread, casting out of demons, sacred space, apparitions of Jesus, etc. The intense miracle supernatural mentality is really only preserved in the Charismatic branch of Reformed Protestantism. If you need someone to literally "cast out a demon" like in the early Church times, you are de facto stuck going to a Catholic priest or to a Charismatic minister.

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    1. Most Orthodox believers are content to go with the words of Christ alone - "Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have in part in me." And then he TOOK his body and blood right up to heaven, in plain view of many. "THIS is my body and my blood -bread and wine, both provided by man through the earthly gifts of God - become His body and blood in a totally mystical, incomprehensible way - not any kind of transubstantiation, as per the Roman Catholics, but simply because He said it. And so we receive it as such, It's probably the greatest act of faith required of a Christian - to believe that He accomplished, through our faith, the truly impossible - as His physical body and blood were removed from the planet at Pentecost! And yet we are able, through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, to eat of his body and drink of His blood. Truly incomprehensible, yet truly true.

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    2. Amen. Faith, not intellect.

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    3. For our material on the Biblical and extrabiblical evidence pertaining to the eucharist, see here. There were multiple views of the eucharist during the first millennium of church history, which is why there were eucharistic disputes. It's not enough to refer to belief in a presence in the eucharist, since the nature of that presence was disputed. A person can believe in a spiritual presence without believing in a physical one.

      And the suggestion that we shouldn't disagree with a view of the eucharist that was widely held during the first millennium of church history ignores the fact that Eastern Orthodox disagree with beliefs that were widely held early on. Both the Bible and the earliest post-apostolic generations rejected prayers to the dead, for example, but that doesn't prevent Orthodox from accepting the practice.

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    4. Dear Jason,
      You write:
      "There were multiple views of the eucharist during the first millennium of church history, which is why there were eucharistic disputes. It's not enough to refer to belief in a presence in the eucharist, since the nature of that presence was disputed."
      Sure, there were disputes that did not lead to schisms, like the dispute whether the bread ALSO kept the substance of bread and didn't ONLY transfer into body. That debate can be found already in the Church fathers time. The Church fathers debate, and the teaching that the Eucharist is a symbol, does not mean that the bread is not actually Jesus' body like Calvin teaches. Why? Because a thing can be a symbol and image of itself. The Church writers explained that Jesus' body was an "image" of Jesus. Obviously they believed that his body was actually Jesus too. This major nuance, that something can be a symbol of what it objectively is, has been lost and the concept has been abused by Calvin.

      I welcome you to take up Luther's challenge:
      "Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present."
      Church fathers like Cyril can be found definitely teaching Real Presence, even sometimes Transubstantiation, but no church father disputed this in the way and clear language that Calvin started to in the modern Age of Discovery that began to "demystify" a host of centuries-old Biblical beliefs and practices like casting out demons and thinking that holy objects can work miracles (see Paul and Peter's bodies or clothes in Acts).

      The Age of Discovery brought a very different worldview and that is the real source of Reformed skepticism about what are in fact mainstream early Christian miracle teachings written about and passed down for 1500 years.

      In order to avoid the real conclusion that Calvinists don't actually believe that the Eucharist is really Jesus' body like he directly says, such statements are offered as: "A person can believe in a spiritual presence without believing in a physical one."
      If that statement were meant in Luther's sense that Jesus' body is in the bread in a spiritlike form, then this would be true. But that is not what Calvinists and evangelicals mean. As Calvin explained very clearly and at very great length in his writings against the Lutherans, Jesus' body and its direct presence is actually stuck up in heaven and it is ridiculous (against modern Reason) to teach that it goes into bread. The only "spiritual" presence that occurs in Calvin's teaching is:
      1) symbolic ONLY
      2) "effective" or "virtuous" AS IF it were actually Jesus' body even though Calvin says it isn't.

      Zwingli and his successors didn't even accept #2.

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    5. Jason,

      Killian McDonnell writes in John Calvin, the Church, and the Eucharist:
      "Against [the Lutheran] Westphal, who had said that Calvin was so bound to reason as to be unable to grant to God other than a power proper to the order of nature, Calvin answered that [Westphal's] solution was also not without an element of the incredible: "There is nothing more incredible than that things severed and removed from one another by the whole space between heaven and earth should not only be connected across such a great distance..."

      The root source of Calvinist rejection the classical belief in the Real Presence is not because the Bible and Church fathers specify that the bread is not Jesus' body, but rather the zeitgeist and worldview of Calvinist and Zwingliist naturalistic skepticism that was brought about in the Age of Discovery. Older long held beliefs began to be abandoned as "superstition", as Calvin himself labeled miracleworking relics.

      Of course, Calvinists could claim that their beliefs come from the Bible, but that is not the actual source. It's not as if Calvin sat down believing it was fully possible for Jesus to be in heaven and in bread and the phrase "take eat this is my body" forced him to reject Luther's linguistic proofs that this is what Jesus actually meant. Calvin came at this with the worldview that the whole thing was impossible as he repeated many times in his polemics. Calvin repeatedly emphasized the natural impossibility of the phenomenon in his Institutes as his justification.

      The claim by Calvinists that the Bible teaches that Jesus is not in communion bread - or for that matter the claim that the Bible rejects asking angels or the sainted "cloud of witnesses" who the Bible says "surround us" for help and prayers - works the same way as the Roman Catholic claim that the Bible teaches papal ultra-supremacy or infallibility. In fact the Bible numerous times has people interacting with selectively-visible angels or deceased saints. In other words, the Bible doesn't directly, actually, objectively state those unusual Calvinist or Roman Catholic teachings, the Bible just gives teachings from which the Calvinists and Roman Catholics extrapolate their own declarations.

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    6. Rakovsky,

      You aren't interacting with the material I cited. You're just repeating your conclusions without providing much of an argument for them.

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  19. The essay says: ((" While responding to a call that begins at 30:40 in his June 14, 2016 program, Hanegraaff claims that Orthodoxy was "the only church" prior to the split between West and East in the eleventh century."))

    OK.... so if you don't agree with that, what "church" sect that was separated from the mainstream recognized Church do you consider to be "the other" legitimate "church"?

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    1. There is only one Church, the one Christ founded in 33 AD. A cursory look at history, and the ecclesiology of the different so-called "denominations" will show you what Church adheres to the "faith once delivered to the saints." It's not Roman Catholicism, because we can trace the innovations, additions,and excesses almost directly to 1054 when they split off from the other four Patriarchates. We can also look at those sects that split from Roman Catholicism in the 1500s and discern that none of them follow or adhere to the faith of the first millenia of Christian history either, and in fact added many new and distinct doctrines and dogmas totally untaught and unheard of in the one thousand years preceding the "Reformation."

      Only the Eastern Orthodox preserve that faith which we can read about in the works of Ignatius, Clement, Justin Martyr, and Athanasius.

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    2. Absolutely true. Another person skeptics might want to check out is the Jewish man who did his own intensive research, and ended up an Orthodox priest - recently retired. "Surprised by Christ," by Fr. James Bernstein. On his journey he spent time as prominent "Jews for Jesus" guy. He explains some of the bigger theological stumbling blocks most people will present - he's brilliant, but able to communicate in a very clear way that even I could understand. Amazon has his book. It's so good.

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    3. The term "church" is used in multiple ways in scripture and in extrabiblical sources. It can refer to all believers collectively, a local congregation, or all congregations collectively, for example. I think there's always been a church since the time of the apostles in all three of those senses of the term. But the congregations that exist in one generation need not, and didn't, agree on every issue or belong to one denomination. I address issues like these in more depth in a series on church infallibility and another series on apostolic succession.

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  20. The Orthodox believe in salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone. That is the same bare bones, reductionist glue that protestants use to unite 30,000 different denominations together in an "invisible church." From your point of view, I really don't understand what your beef is. Unless it's just because he isn't pushing protestantism anymore...

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    1. Felicity

      "Correct, and amen!"

      Phew! Good thing John, I mean Felicity, is here to arbitrate "the truth".

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  21. Triablogue offers this solution for Hanegraaf:
    If Hanegraaff wants to get a better idea of how healthy Orthodoxy is, he should try doing his radio program for a month while relying strictly on Orthodox resources. Address the philosophical, historical, exegetical, moral, and other issues that come up without going to Evangelical sources. See what happens. See how well Orthodoxy has addressed these matters.

    In reality, this will likely just annoy his critics, even if he always gives answers that a significant portion of Protestants should agree with. Here is a simple example. Imagine if, on the Eucharist, Hanegraaf instead of citing Luther for Luther's passage I gave, cited an Orthodox theologian who said the same exact thing as Luther.
    If Hanegraaf cites Luther, there might be some grumbling from Evangelicals, but at least some serious respect that he did cite a founder of "The Reformation".
    But if he cites Orthodox theologians saying this same thing for a whole month, I expect objections that he has been teaching nonProtestantism. And I have a good base for this expectation, because his critics have found Hanegraaf's belief in the Real Presence objectionable already, even though it is the indisputable belief of Luther, and tends to be the modern Anglican view.
    So even if Hanegraaf were to give views that a major portion of Protestants openly teach, it's likely based on experience that sadly his critics will only object more strongly to him for following this essay's advice.

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    1. What does he need a solution to? I don't understand your main point...what problem does he have, now that he's converted to Orthodoxy? He understands what Orthodox Christianity is - the One True Church given us by the Apostles. I doubt he's going to be spending his time trying to convince skeptics, who can easily do their own research - but it will lead them to the same conclusion, because Truth is Truth....so a lot of them will not even dare.

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    2. "What does he need a solution to? I don't understand your main point...what problem does he have, now that he's converted to Orthodoxy? He understands what Orthodox Christianity is - the One True Church given us by the Apostles. I doubt he's going to be spending his time trying to convince skeptics, who can easily do their own research - but it will lead them to the same conclusion, because Truth is Truth....so a lot of them will not even dare."

      Presumably HH will give reasons for why he became EO. Once HH gives his reasons, others can judge whether they are good or bad reasons, etc.

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    3. Felicity,
      You ask: "What does he need a solution to? I don't understand your main point."
      You misunderstood me. I was referring to Hank's critics and their disagreements with him, and the solution that their propose for the disagreement.
      I was not actually declaring that Hank himself has a problem.

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  22. He and his family were Chrismated into the Orthodox Church on Sunday, April 9. His deep and devoted study of the Bible and the original church led him home. I listened to him over the years, and always felt he was a very forthright and logical man, and it's where this journey will end up for anyone who is truly interested in the truth about the original Church of the Apostles and its growth throughout the past 2000 years. What a blessing to have him as a member of our worldwide Church. May many others follow him home.
    http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2017/04/hank-hanegraaff-aka-bible-answer-man.html?m=1

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  23. http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2017/04/hank-hanegraaff-aka-bible-answer-man.html?m=1

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  24. I'm a Baptist who went Orthodox. Congratulations and may God bless you, Mr. Hanegraaff! =)

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  25. When Eastern Orthodox make the undocumented, irrational, and false claim that Evangelicals derive their canon of scripture from Orthodoxy, we should keep in mind that Orthodox have disagreed among themselves about the canon for many centuries, down to modern times. An Evangelical can justify his canon without an appeal to Orthodoxy, as I've done in a series of posts here. Evangelicals derive their Old Testament canon from an ancient Jewish canonical consensus, which is independent of Eastern Orthodoxy. The earliest extant source to advocate the 27-book New Testament canon was Origen, and he did so at a time when neither he nor his contemporaries defined the church or authority issues more broadly in Eastern Orthodox terms. To the contrary, as Origen's treatise Against Celsus and similar documents illustrate, both the Christians of that time and their critics defined Christian beliefs in some anti-Eastern-Orthodox ways. See the examples I provide here, such as prayers to the dead and the veneration of images. When men like Irenaeus and Tertullian described the core beliefs that were held by Christians across the world, they didn't describe Eastern Orthodoxy. Rather, they described a set of beliefs similar to the modern notion of mere Christianity, beliefs that would include Evangelicals, not just Orthodox and Catholics. See, for example, here and here.

    Eastern Orthodoxy has had a significant role in preserving the scriptures, popularizing the New Testament canon, and doing some other important work. It doesn't follow that anybody who benefits from Orthodoxy in such contexts, agrees with Orthodoxy on such issues, etc. is obligated to accept everything else in Orthodoxy as well. Similarly, we can acknowledge that the Pharisees and other ancient Jewish leaders did some important work in preserving the scriptures, popularizing Biblical doctrine, and so forth without being obligated to agree with them in their rejection of Jesus and everything else they stood for.

    We can't just assume that there has to be some denomination that's existed since the time of the apostles and is the one true church. That's a disputed point. It has to be argued rather than assumed. A person can believe that there's been a church since the time of the apostles without defining that church as a denomination.

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    1. The Protestant OT version comes from a later Jewish translation called the Masoretic Text (named after the Masoretes (Jewish translators) who put it together. Christ, The Holy Apostles and the rest of the Early Church used the Septuagint OT which is an older translation of a more ancient version no longer existent. This original OT canon has the 7 original books (Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals) not found in most Protestant versions (some do inclued them in a separate section either between the OT and the NT or at the back of the Bible). Quoting a well-known Protestant cliche: "If it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me!"

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    2. If you view the Eastern Orthodox as a denomination, then Jason, you'd have a point. But the Eastern Orthodox Church isn't a denomination, it is the Church Christ founded.

      Not only that, but it is the same community that we call "Israel" in the Bible. There's been an unbroken continuity from Abraham all the way up to today in the community of the people of God, aka Israel,aka, the Church. Orthodoxy is that very same community. She is the bulwark and foundation of Truth, and she did decide the canon of Scriptures. Her doors are always open, come and see.

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    3. Unknown wrote:

      "Christ, The Holy Apostles and the rest of the Early Church used the Septuagint OT which is an older translation of a more ancient version no longer existent. This original OT canon has the 7 original books (Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals) not found in most Protestant versions (some do inclued them in a separate section either between the OT and the NT or at the back of the Bible)."

      You can't assume that later Christian versions of the Septuagint are the same as the earlier Jewish editions. Not only are the Christian versions later, but they also differ among themselves. We have far more than the books contained in later copies of the Septuagint to tell us what the Jewish canon was. In my series on the canon of scripture linked above, I cite some of that evidence.

      Your reference to Apocryphal books in some Protestant Bibles undermines your position rather than supporting it. I own and sometimes use a Bible that contains not only the seven Apocryphal books you're referring to, but also others. It doesn't follow that I consider those books scripture. And just as a Protestant Bible could contain Apocryphal books in one generation, but not in another, so could the Septuagint and other translations.

      I've already documented that Eastern Orthodox disagree with each other about the canon of scripture. I've also documented that some of the church fathers didn't include one or more of the Apocryphal books you're referring to. Should we conclude that they rejected what was held by "Christ, The Holy Apostles and the rest of the Early Church"? Should we conclude the same about Eastern Orthodox in more recent centuries who have held a variety of canons other than the one you hold? Have all of those church fathers and Eastern Orthodox rejected the authority of the church? Have they rejected your concept of tradition?

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    4. Greg Andrew Coogan wrote:

      "Orthodoxy is that very same community. She is the bulwark and foundation of Truth, and she did decide the canon of Scriptures."

      No, Eastern Orthodox disagree with each other about the canon of scripture. Are you going to argue that your denomination decided the canon, but that the members of your denomination have disregarded that decision?

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    5. “No two Septuagint codices contain the same apocrypha, and no uniform Septuagint ‘Bible’ was ever the subject of discussion in the patristic church. In view of these facts the Septuagint codices appear to have been originally intended more as service books than as a defined and normative canon of Scripture,” E. E. Ellis, The Old Testament in Early Christianity (Baker 1992), 34-35.

      “As we have seen, manuscripts of anything like the capacity of Codex Alexandrinus were not used in the first centuries of the Christian era, and since, in the second century AD, the Jews seem largely to have discarded the Septuagint…there can be no real doubt that the comprehensive codices of the Septuagint, which start appearing in the fourth century AD, are all of Christian origin,” R. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church (Eerdmans 1986), 382.

      “Nor is there agreement between the codices which of the Apocrypha t include. Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus all include Tobit, Judith, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, and integrate them into the body of the Old Testament, rather than appending them at the end; but Codex Vaticanus, unlike the other two, totally excludes the Books of Maccabees. Moreover, all three codices, according to Kenyon, were produced in Egypt, yet the contemporary Christian lists of the biblical books drawn up in Egypt by Athanasius and (very likely) pseudo-Athanasius are much more critical, excluding all apocryphal books from the canon, and putting them in a separate appendix. It seems, therefore, that the codices, with their less strict approach, do not reflect a definite canon so much as variable reading-habits; and the reading-habits would in the nature of the case be those of fourth and fifth-century Christians, which might not agree with those of first-century Jews,” ibid. 383.

      “At this point we encounter the Greek Old Testament in the three great codices of the fourth and fifth centuries: Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus…All exceeded the scope of the Hebrew Bible…In Vaticanus, however, all four of the books of Maccabees are missing and in Sinaiticus, 2 and 3 Macabees, as well as 1 Ezra, Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah—presumably only the result of lacunae in the text. Codex Alexandrinus, approximately one century younger, is, in contrast, much more extensive; it includes the LXX as we know it in Rahlfs’ edition, with all four books of Maccabees and the fourteen Odes appended to Psalms. The Odes also include the Prayer of Manasseh, previously attested only in the Syria Didaskalia and the Apostolic Constitutions,” M. Hengel, The Septuagint as Christian Scripture (Baker 2004), 57-58.

      “It should be considered, further, that the Odes (sometimes varied in number), attested from the fifth century in all Greek Psalm manuscripts, contain three New Testament ‘psalms’: the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Nunc Dimittis from Luke’s birth narrative, and the conclusion of the hymn that begins with the ‘Gloria in Excelsis.’ This underlines the fact that the LXX, although, itself consisting of a collection of Jewish documents, wishes to be a Christian book. The relative openness of the Old Treatment portion of these oldest codices also corresponds to that of its ‘New Testament’: Sinaiticus contains Barnabas and Hermas, Alexandrinus 1 and 2 Clement,” ibid. 59.

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    6. “The name ‘Septuagint’ denotes both the first Greek translation of the Bible and the collection of Jewish-Greek Scripture, containing inter alia this translation. The latter usage is imprecise because this collection contains also late revisions of the original translation and books that were originally written in Greek. In order to distinguish between the two usages of the word, the collection of Jewish-Greek Scripture is generally called the ‘Septuagint,’ while the first translation of the Bible is often named ‘the Old Greek (translation),” Emanuel Tove, "The Septuagint," M. Mulder & H. Sysling, eds., Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading & Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity (Hendrickson 2004), 161.

      A fifth persistent factor that has clouded this discussion is the concept of an “Alexandrian Jewish canon” of Scripture that was broader than the Palestinian Jewish canon. This is based on a lack of clarity about the meaning of the term “Septuagint”.100
      The author of this quotation has assumed that the “Septuagint” in the sense of that collection of texts known from Codices Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus (or in the sense of the critical editions available today) was the “Septuagint” of the Jewish community of the third century B.C.E. This is, however, a grave misstep, because the work undertaken in the third century B.C.E. in Alexandria involved only the Greek translation of the Pentateuch (clearly the scope envisioned by Letter of Aristeas). Moreover, the quotation involves its author in a paradox: it would be impossible for the third-century-B.C.E. version of the Septuagint to contain the Apocrypha books, since they were all written between 185 B.C.E. and 10 C.E. (with the possible exception of Tobit, which may predate the second century B.C.E.)! Also, telling in the argument against the Alexandrian Jewish canon is that Philo, the Jewish commentator in Alexandria par excellence, never quotes from the Apocrypha (Beckwith 1985: 384).101
      The “Septuagint” codices mentioned above cannot be used as evidence for an Alexandrian Jewish canon that included the Apocrypha. These manuscripts are fourth- and fifth-century Christian works, fail to agree on the extent of the extra books, and seem to have been compiled more with convenience of reference in mind than as the standards of canonical versus noncanonical books (the fact that one even contained, at one point, Psalms of Solomon strongly suggests this). D. DeSilva, Introducing the Apocrypha (Baker 2004), 29-30.

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  26. FYI, Hank's conversion to the Orthodox Church is no longer a matter of speculation; he publicly confirmed it minutes ago on the live Bible Answer Man broadcast. I don't know enough about the particular church he and his wife (and possibly two sons?) have joined in Charlotte to comment about doctrinal concerns, but I find it very troubling that he has, by his own admission, been a member of that church for TWO YEARS without informing his listeners. That's not truthful; it's deceptive. Why keep it a secret?

    Having said that, I've been concerned and upset over many of the answers Hank has given on his show for some time. In fact, I was convinced that he was heading toward Rome, seeing as how he speaks so favorably of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Also disturbing is that Hank essentially denied Sola Scriptura on tonight's show. At first, he said nothing is changed in the views he has always held and the he believes the Bible is the "ultimate repository of redemptive revelation,' as he likes to say, but then he contradicted that in the next breath by saying that church history and tradition is just as important. Unbelievable. At least now I know why he has referred to the Lord's Supper or Communion exclusively as "the Eucharist" for the last couple of years. Usually, only Roman Catholics use that term, which is why I thought he was heading toward Rome.

    We'll see what happens. Let's be praying for Hank, his family, CRI, and all who listen to and support this ministry, as this news has the potential to cause tremendous confusion, division, and hurt.

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    1. P.S. Hank also stated that he became interested in the Orthodox tradition when he visited China a few years ago and that it was on that trip that he realized that "truth matters, but life matters more." Yes, he actually said that. This is shocking if you've listened to Hank and perused any of the resources at CRI or on equip.org for many years, as I have.

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    2. Or perhaps he was just amazed by simple Christian living as opposed to endless debates, forum posts, radio shows, podcast episodes and other similar places where true, pristine Christianity is undoubtedly to be found? :-D

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  27. 'Usually, only Roman Catholics use that term'
    And the Bible. :-)

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    1. A word in Greek (including Koine) is not necessarily identical in meaning to a word in English. In fact, the eucharist (as used by the EO) is a concept which is imbued with meaning over and above what was used by the NT writers. At the very least, it's certainly debatable whether the eucharist as used by EO means the same thing as what the NT writers meant by eucharist.

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  28. I notice there are tons of EO commenters here. I wonder how many sockpuppets. But I digress.

    In any case, to all the EO commenters here I'd like to say: "Thank you, Scott!" :-)

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  29. I, too, adjusted (I prefer that word to "converted") myself to Orthodoxy through Chrismation. It has been wonderful because I have learned many of the things that Protestantism has forgotten. In fact, the longer I experience life in the Orthodox Church, the more I realize how forgetful Protestants are: not only doctrine and councils but remembering, on a daily basis, the lives of the Christian saints who have gone before us, living lives of complete and radical sacrifice to God, remembering the whole Church, in time as well as space. I'm always amazed to hear the prayers offered up during the preparation of the communion bread, the Old Testament prophets, the saints of the New Testament, the saints and martyrs of the first three centuries and then many, many saints all the way up to the present day, with my own name included! The Orthodox Church is the Church of Remembrance and that is so uplifting and respectful!!

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  30. What's Chrismation? Is that like claymation? All your doctrines are molded by the church? Just wondering...

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    1. Ancient Israel was created to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah. She was given the Scriptures, OT rituals and prophets to pave the way ending with St. John the Baptist. Just like in the OT, Christ created a visible, historical Church with all the promises of being guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:13,16),anything asked in His Name shall He do (John 14:13),he who hears the Church hears Jesus and He who rejects the Church rejects Him (Luke 10:16), He gave the Church the authority to forgive sins (John 20:23)and early Christians did confess their sins to each other (James 5:16),the Apostles speak with the voice of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28), She is founded upon the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). This is why the Church is called pillar and bulwark of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). This is why the Bible must be interpreted with the mind ofnthe Church since She has all these promises of Christ as guarantees of Her infallibilty. Christ is the Head and the Church is His Body. You must accept the whole enchilada....the whole Christ.

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    2. Notice how often you impute promises to the "church" where the text does no such thing.

      Moreover, your argument is self-defeating. Since Protestants belong to the church, they, too, have the mind of Christ.

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    3. Son of AntiochChrist created a visible, historical Church with all the promises of being guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:13,16)"

      Your two prooftexts don't attribute any promises to the church.

      "anything asked in His Name shall He do (John 14:13)"

      Which doesn't attribute that to the church.

      "he who hears the Church hears Jesus and He who rejects the Church rejects Him (Luke 10:16)"

      Which doesn't attribute that to the church.

      "He gave the Church the authority to forgive sins (John 20:23)"

      which doesn't attribute that to the church.

      "and early Christians did confess their sins to each other (James 5:16)"

      Which is hardly equivalent to auricular confession.

      "the Apostles speak with the voice of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28):

      Which is not reducible to the church.

      "This is why the Church is called pillar and bulwark of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). This is why the Bible must be interpreted with the mind ofnthe Church since She has all these promises of Christ as guarantees of Her infallibility."

      Was the Corinthian church infallible?

      "You must accept the whole enchilada…."

      Followed by swallowing a whole bottle of TUMS.

      I suspect you've done a double bait-n-switch. To begin with, you routinely substitute "the church" for texts where that's not the referent.

      Maybe you justify that by appeal to apostolic succession, but that's not in your prooftexts.

      Then you probably redefine "the church" as church fathers, church councils, and Orthodox bishops.

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  31. Thus the original Church founded by Christ and His Apostles is PRE-DENOMINATIONAL. Just like the Jews pre-dated the Samaritans, the Church predates all other denominations. The promises were given to Abraham and his descendants which the Samaritans were not truly since they were of mixed heritage. The early Church had to deal with heretics, apostates and schismatics (Samaritans were Jewish schismatics). The first church wide problem was whether gentile converts to follow the Law of Moses or not. The original historical Church responded with a Church Council (Acts 15).St. James (Bishop of Jerusalem where the Council took place) gave his judgement (15:19-21), then the WHOLE Church sent some men with St Paul and St Barnabas. The Church protected Her unity.

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    1. Regarding Acts 15 and church councils, the Eastern Orthodox patristic scholar John McGuckin notes:

      "It is often said that the meeting of the apostles (Acts 15) to discuss whether circumcision was required of Gentile converts was the primary model of the church's practice of leaders' meetings for debate and resolution of problems, but the example of the 'Council of Jerusalem' is not alluded to in patristic writing until the fifth century. It is more likely that the Hellenistic world (organized as a chain of cities in dependence on the emperor) provided a ready example of the necessity of provincial leaders to establish common policies by meetings of town councils and occasions when delegates could represent the town to the provincial governor concerning regular fiscal and political affairs." (The Westminster Handbook To Patristic Theology [Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004], 77)

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  32. I thank God that Hank decided to be received into the Orthodox Church, I made the commitment a few years ago and have seen the consistency of the faith, which; in the sad state of Protestantism, inst there.

    Come discuss this topic over at the Orthodox Reformed Bridge, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/

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  33. Hey Steve,
    I am not sure where is a good place to post this, so I will do so here. Move it to where you judge best.
    As you remember from our exchanges, I’m Orthodox and have been for about 17 years. And I have a personal history of doing apologetics, both informally and informally. What you may not have known is that I worked for CRI (1990-1992). So I have firsthand experience with Hank, along with many other former employees over a long period of time.
    I think a lot of the discussion here and elsewhere has really missed some significant information regarding Hank. While I am well aware of our theological differences, I think focusing on that exclusively helps Hank far too much. It does so because it makes the entire matter a Protestant vs. Orthodox matter. This ropes in Orthodox to defend Hank. That gives Hank a pass and lets others do his work for him. Hank himself should be called to defend his own views. I don’t think he can or will. If Hank is not competent theologically speaking, that is his problem seeing that he is a public figure who presents himself as knowledgeable and informed. Have at him. I won’t help him that is for sure and I don’t think any other Orthodox should either.
    More directly, it allows Hank to continue to perpetrate the fraud that he is an academic or an intellectual with a significant amount of study under his belt. That of course is not true. He has no earned degrees in a relevant field (or any field that I know of.) And he simply reads on air, off of work done by others to answer questions that have been screened for him, sometimes verbatium, as has been documented. Or at times he has someone off microphone there to help him. He also has employed ghost writers as well for his books. This gives the appearance that Hank is knowledgeable, thoughtful and well read, when he isn’t. He has an ability to memorize but that is about it.
    Added to this of course is the long list of former employees that Hank has abused. Some, like me, are Orthodox, who have been waiting a long time to hold Hank to account for his actions, his abuse of employees, misappropriation of funds, backroom deals with cults in exchange for funds or business opportunities, plagiarism, etc. We tried over many years to meet with Hank following Matthew 18 only to receive lawsuits and legal threats, contrary to Apostolic direction not to sue brothers in court. Many of us lost our homes, our livelihoods, friends and family, marriages were broken and some of us even lost our Faith after sacrificing so much for the ministry of CRI and the vision of Walter Martin. We do not comprise a few disgruntled employees but dozens and dozens of people stretched out across many years, some of us never knowing each other but all ended up having the same experience of abuse from Hank. The truth is confirmed by the eyes of many witnesses.
    As of this date, none of us have received any form of communication expressing the least bit of repentance from Hank. Nor has Hank ever attempted to make amendment or restitution for the deliberate and intentional harm he has caused. Hank has to know that those of us in the Orthodox Church will do what we can to hold him to account until he makes things right and repents. This is not only for our spiritual benefit and salvation, but also for his, as well as the standing of the Church in the eyes of Christians and others outside the Church. Chrismation in to the Church doesn’t absolve Hank of these offenses so long as he remains impenitent and refuses to seek forgiveness and attempt to make restitution.
    So I think it is worthwhile to focus on that material, some of which is still on line or can easily be put back on line. Both his clergy and the Orthodox faithful deserve to know the truth, as well as Protestants who overlooked it for so long.

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    1. Thanks for the backgrounder.

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    2. How's your health?

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    3. The real trick is to get Hank off mic. In studio he can just run over a caller and give the appearance of answering a question. The other is to get him in an unscreened environment where he can't get away from questions and cross examination. Get him off his memorized schpeel and he's helpless. It isn't like he reads Hegel in his spare time.

      I seriously have to wonder about what is left of the CRI staff. I'd bet real money that they are laying bricks for Pharaoh. It will be entertaining to say the least to see them try and navigate with their evangelical donor base. It is apparent from listening to Hank talk about it when queried, that he really can't bring himself to say that he thinks Sola Scriptura is false, which is really what he has to be committed to as an Orthodox Christian. He seems sensitive to the fact that that move doesn't sit well with his listeners so he avoids giving a clear answer.

      If they had any brains at all they would simply reiterate that CRI has historically employed christians from many different traditions and recognizes that Christians disagree on such matters. That might do some damage control for them, but frankly among the Calvary Chapel and CC clones who are his regular listeners I would bet money that their initial gut reaction will cause them to recoil in horror.

      So maybe it is a good thing. If CRI can't be redeemed from Hank, maybe this will help kill it off as business, because that is what it is, and something else can take its place. God knows.

      My intent in speaking is not to bring harm to the church or the cause of Christ. Quite the opposite. I think a wound needs to be cleaned in order to heal. And of course I think Hank needs healing too, if only he would repent.

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  34. Health is reasonably fine. Thanks for asking. I relocated back to Cali a few years ago.

    I, like you, had been hearing rumors regarding Hank for sometime, and frankly had hoped they weren't true. But it seems they were.

    My guess is that the powers that be will try to capitalize on this and push Hank into a public church figure and Hank of course will likely use the church to garner speaking engagements, listeners, donations, etc. That is his typical MO as DJ Kennedy's ministry can likely attest. Unfortunately, the contacts in Orthodox media seem to be lining up. Again, I wish it weren't so. Even apart from Hank's immoral character and actions, he is not an apologist as is apparent to anyone who has done this long enough or has a reasonable education. So I would urge my fellow Orthodox, there is no need to defend Hank. The standing of the Church doesn't depend on him. Besides, Hank is a big boy with his own radio show. If he can't defend himself, well, that is a problem of his own making.

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  35. I find it odd that most of the EO defenders here make a concerted effort to express how "happy as a clam" they are now that they've entered the "true church". Sounds like this is there primary argument for EO. Very Joel Osteen of them

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  36. *their* primary argument, sorry-bad grammar.

    By the way, nice to see a post with 100+ comments on it. Reminds me of the old days when John Loftus, Daniel Morgan, & Co used to rumble with you in the combox :)

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  37. Steve,

    At your convenience, please email me. I don't have your email any longer.

    Thanks

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