Thursday, May 11, 2017


From an Eastern Orthodox perspective. Makes a point about how classical Protestant theology and Eastern Orthodox theology often operate with incommensurable paradigms. You can't just mix-n-match. Towards the end,  makes a point about Hanegraaff's lifestyle:


  1. Wow. Perry R. makes some heavy and very serious and concerning statements about HH's "crushing people while they are dying of cancer". I wonder who was dying of cancer as Hank crushed them with taking them to court and suing them?

    How could Hank win if the truth was on the other side? ( I guess I am naive as to how the rich can win with skilled lawyers . . . )

    There are two different groups of Walter Martin's family - one side said that Hank took over CRI wrongly

    and then years later, another child of Walter Martin defended Hank.

    Very difficult to know all the facts, and the time it takes to investigate the details left me years ago to give up. But this recent material and event makes me curious.

    But it is distressing to see and read about Hank's lifestyle when he was also at the same time criticizing Benny Hinn and Copeland, etc. for their greed and false theology. (although the Word of Faith heretics probably have a lot more money and houses and jets than HH, still, what Perry Robinson writes is a very negative testimony for Hank.

    The whole thing is so sad, because there was some good basic material from Hank and CRI, but these negatives are going to drag Christ's name through the mud, the more and more the facts come out and are known.

    Not to mention how the greedy and evil Word of Faith teachers are now going to "fry and nuke" HH for the hypocrisy and for leaving Protestantism for EO. (although Perry demonstrates that Hank is clearly contradictory on Sola Fide with EO and Penal Substitution Atonement and the CRI doctrinal statement is contradictory to EO on those issues.

    Certainly there will be high drama coming out in the future on these contradictions.

  2. If CRI, a thoroughly Protestant ministry, does not have the independence to fire Hank, this strongly suggests CRI essentially is Hank Hanegraaff. He calls all the shots, and no one can oppose him, not even on the blindingly obvious point that Greek Orthodoxy is not evangelical Protestantism. That's troubling in itself, and it lends credibility to what Perry Robinson is saying.

    1. That is correct. Hank eliminated over time, one by one, anyone who could oppose him either institutionally or intellectually. Ironically, that is a problem for him now since there is no one else to do the BAM show while he does chemo. That is a bed of his own making.

      Hank is CRI. of course an interesting dynamic is now possible that was not possible in the past. Hank was protected by his yesmen on the board (which includes his wife incidentally) because he brought in the cash. While not all of them make a sizable income from being on the board, some do. With the massive radio statition losses they now how a financial reason to toss Hank.

      I truely think Hank has enough hubris that he thought he could pull this off by hand gestures at "mere christianity." I think he underestimated the general romaphobia in pop evangelicalism and the reaction from the Reformed community. Anyone in touch with reality could have told him that it wouldn't fly. But I think he thinks he can outlast the critics and recoup losses.

      Of course, his new conversion book will be coming soon, which will seek to expand into an Orthodox donor base. That I think will have limited draw. Orthodoxy in the US is quite small, 3 million max. And many of the cradles don't give very much to church, unless there is a plaque attached to something to go with it.

    2. Perry, was Brad Sparks the main research contributor behind HH's book, "Christianity in Crisis" ?

      I have seen your comments over the years, especially at David Waltz's blog,

      ( I remember one cool comment you made that you agreed with me about the origin of the Arabic and Farsi term (Uqnoom, اقنوم , that it is probably developed from gnome γνωμη (opinion, mind, will, self, purpose, counsel. Zodhiates comment is insightful: "It signifies consciousness, mind, opinion, thought", p. 377, Complete Word Study Dictionary) rather than hypostasis) that is used for hypostasis),

      but I confess I cannot understand EO very well. Do you think Dr. White is correct about that (that the whole of it is based a lot on mystery and a completely different kind of thought, eastern that is not like western thought? (seems to me to be mystical, experiential only through participation in the rituals, worship and meditation on the traditions and icons of EO - ?)

      Do have have any simple blog articles about how you went from a Protestant at CRI to EO ?

      One of your recent entries at your blog was sad to read on how someone betrayed you and you lost your job - wow. I hope you are doing better.

      I looked at your recommended reading list and it seems too massive and daunting to even enter into for understanding EO.

    3. Yeah, Sparks did a lot of the leg work behind CinC. CinC was essentially an expanded copy-cat of Agony of Deceit. When Horton wouldn't ghost write for Hank, Hank ambushed Horton on the show and tried to make the book look bad, even though the majority of the book was composed using the CRI research files and department. Martin had given Horton's crew the run of the building to use anything they wanted. Hank has a practice of copying projects from others. He did the same with Latayne Scott's The Mormon Mirage, writing a booklet that followed he work and her exact title. Its what he does. He just follows trends and then copies stuff.

      Given that I am Orthodox, I disagree with White's assessment. There is a logic to Orthodox theology, and by that I mean there are reasons why things are so, and how things connect. The logic is discoverable just using your brain and reading through good academic monographs on pivotal patristic figures (Ireneaus, Athanasius, Cyril, Maximus). Christology is the key to everything else.

      The "mystical" element is simply the recognition that propositional understanding is not adequate. Salvation and communion with God is more than a grasp of propositions. So think of like the difference between learning about riding a bike and riding a bike. They are related but one goes far beyond the other. The reading falls away in a sense when you actually have the first person experience. And that is just to say that God is personal and not reducible to substances or ideas. Orthodoxy certainly has its own metaphysical story to tell on why that is so but just about every Christian tradition recognizes the difference in some way even if they cash it out differently.

      I eventually moved out of a Reformed view of things to a high church Anglican view years before I became Orthodox. So most of the issues were already settled for me.

      I was fired in 92. Things were tough at first because I was on my own. I lived in my car for a while until I landed a job at Costco and got back on my feet. Eventually I recovered. The careers of ppl like Craig Hawkins though never seemed to have recovered and I feel very bad for them. Others like Samples and Bowman have to scratch out a living, even though their talents and education warrant much more.

      As for the ppl who betrayed me, we are on good terms. At the time they were acting in good faith and thought they were just protecting the ministry. The soon found out the truth and suffered the same fate as me. We reconciled and have been reasonably good friends since.

    4. So think of like the difference between learning about riding a bike and riding a bike. . . . but just about every Christian tradition recognizes the difference in some way even if they cash it out differently.

      Yes, I think every true Christian realizes this reality/truth.

      My comment about you loosing your job seemed to be a more recent entry "change" (dated April 20, 2017) - was that about CRI in 1992 or something else? I am confused now.

      I have always appreciated Rob Bowman and Ken Samples also. (along with Craig Hawkins)

      Thanks for your comments and helping me understand.

    5. You were explaining why you did not write on your blog for 4 years ( 2013-2017), so it seemed like a more recent thing than 1992 - like in 2013 ( ?)

      "Another reason why I stopped writing was that I was in despair. I don’t mean depression. I mean despair. My whole life I had a particular identity crafted over time. Doing philosophy, theology, church history, and apologetics. It is was who I was since I was a teenager. It was in my bones. To have that all taken away from me was absolutely soul destroying. I was so close to making it. But I was undone when I lost my position because of the acts of another who plagiarized my work. "

      in your article on change. It is interesting that all your recent entries are after HH's conversion to EO.

    6. Thanks for the background on "The Agony of Deceit"; I did not realize that.

      I missed the BAM shows from all of 1993-1994 and most of 1995 because I was living overseas.

      It would be interesting to hear the show with HH and Michael Horton.

  3. From knowing one member of his "board" many years ago - Hank stacked it with people who will not disagree with him. The one I knew said he would simply leave the board rather than challenge Hank. This is dangerous for any of us - all people - especially those in ministry need accountability. Second the best way I think to discern between the dueling factions is to look at the issue that is mentioned in the article. So many of the people that Walter Martin hired and appointed etc, were fired by Hank. Anyone who disagreed got the ax. I know most of them and I think highly of the quality of the Christians that were tossed by Hank. Any company or ministry can and will have disgruntled ex employees. But when virtually every person that comes out tells the same story than one should look as to the why of the affair. The plagiarism, ghost writing, trying to take credit for others work, the money, the houses, it just goes on and on. IT was to the Protestant churches shame that so many supported CRI through all this - I guess now he is an Orthodox problem. Lord bless you guys - it didn't work well with us. I believe that the family of the cancer victim would not want to talk about this publicly, so I won't, but suffice it to say that not only was Hank justifying the taking of a fellow Christian to court, he had no concern about the health of his fellow believer. It was always about the money with him. Have fun Bishops!

  4. Ken,

    Try looking at his litigation against Bill Alnor who was afflicted with cancer when Hank brought suit against him. Hank had no compunction about doing so event though it flies in the face of scriptural prohibition. This is the main reason why some other former employees are silent to this day. They fear reprisal.

    Hank didn’t win against Alnor, but as anyone who has dealt with Scientology knows, you don’t have to win to drain your opponent of cash. Hank lost because his suit violated California law and was eventually tossed. Besides, law is rarely about truth.

    Cindee Martin is the only member of the Martin Family that defends Hank. Of course Cindee has no firsthand knowledge of most of the complaints as do figures like Rob Bowman, Mike Stephens, Rolly DeVore, myself and many others do. Second, Cindee is still saying publically that Hank still affirms Protestant distinctives like Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura….uhm yeah, figure that out if you can.

    From the time of Craig Hawkins, Jerry Kistler and others forward, each group of purged employees from the main location as well as CRI Canada, we all for the most part had the same basic objections, over and over again, even though most of us never knew each other. And we were all insiders and loyal to the vision of the ministry. We weren’t hostile participants.
    Now there is a skeleton crew that runs the operation. Hank also imposes confidentiality agreements, which makes it harder for people leaving to say anything.

    I agree that it is sad and it is a sad waste of resources so Hank can live in a castle with the 1%. In some ways he is worse than Hinn. Hinn doesn’t promote himself as a watchdog and protector of the faith. But Hank does and he fleeces the flock while he does it.

    1. When I first heard (sometime around 1997-1999 ?) about Walter Martin's daughter ( Jill Rische) coming out with the details on how Hank wrongly took over CRI, it was very depressing and grievous, because I appreciated his work and book, Christianity in Crisis. I had come to the Reformed (Baptist) doctrines of grace (Calvinism, God's Sovereignty) a little earlier, so I pretty much stopped listening to the BAM program. I had heard James White on the program and was reading R. C. Sproul and John Piper, and then it seemed to me that the BAM and CRI became shallow to me in depth of theology and apologetics.

      Jill Martin Rische's story of how Hank manipulated Walter Martin's widow is going to gain more and more press and knowledge to the public and don't see how Hank is going to survive all this at CRI. That was especially ugly, if all the details are true.

      It is ironic that Hank Hanegraaff taught a lot of good things he memorized and used the researcher's work like Jackie (and Bill) Alnor ( I did not know he was the one who had cancer), (and I remember a guy named Brad Sparks saying his was the main research work that he did in researching the Word of Faith teachers that provided all the documentation of HH's book, Christianity in Crisis); and yet he did the very thing (the sin of greed) that is the root of all the Word of Faith theology / heresies.

      "I some ways he is worse than Hinn . . . " - indeed, that makes this whole mess really really serious and grievous.

      The contradictions to Sola Fide, etc. cannot go away.

      It is interesting that more and more of Walter Martin's old messages are going up on You Tube and I am enjoying those, because I had the cassette tapes and yet they don't play any more and all our old cassette tape players are gone.

      I always liked Craig Hawkins on the BAM show and wondered where he went after Hank took over.

    2. It it also very sad and unjust that rich people (like HH) are able to sue people and destroy their lives, and keep other people quiet, and even loose the case, but get the other side by all the litigation and lawyers fees and time it takes to get to the real issues.