Quote of the day from

[The Lord’s Prayer] is a model prayer and, as such, commends itself to the most superficial glance — approves itself at once to the conscience of man. It is beautiful and symmetrical, like the most finished work of art. The words are plain and unadorned, yet majestic; and so transparent and appropriate that, once fixed in the memory, no other expressions ever mix themselves up with them; the thought of substituting other words never enters the mind. Grave and solemn are the petitions, yet the serenity and tranquil confidence, the peace and joy which they breathe, prove attractive to every heart.

The Prayer is short, that it may be quickly learned, easily remembered, and frequently used; but it contains all things pertaining to life and godliness. In its simplicity it seems adapted purposely for the weakness of the inexperienced and ignorant, and yet none can say that he is familiar with the heights and depths which it reveals, and with the treasures of wisdom it contains. It is calm, and suited to the even tenor of our daily life, and yet in times of trouble and conflict the church has felt its value and power more especially, has discovered anew that it anticipates every difficulty and danger, that it solves every problem, and comforts the disciples of Christ in every tribulation of the world.

It is the beloved and revered friend of our childhood, and it grows with our growth, a never-failing counselor and companion amid all the changing scenes of life. And as in our lifetime we must confess ourselves, with Luther, to be only learning the high and deep lessons of those petitions, so it will take eternity to give them their answer.

— Dr. Adolph Saphir


Forsaking Truth for Darwin’s Dogma

All this month we are featuring two resources that are revolutionary. One of them is actually called Revolutionary. It is the film, it is the DVD, and it is an absolute must-see. The star is the revolutionary himself, Michael Behe. He was somebody who did not want to start a revolution, but revolution came to him. He embraced it, and the revolution that he started is depicted in this film.

Think about the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, for example. Many people are familiar with this case. The idea here is this: it is unthinkable to teach intelligent design in the public-school system. To do so would be to follow truth wherever it leads. That is thought to be anathema. One might think, “How absurd is that?” But, a judge watches Inherit the Wind, makes a ruling, as a result of cobbled-together statements from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), he does not even correct their mistakes in his cobbling together, and this judge becomes a folk hero with cult-like status. He even gets on the cover of Time magazine and written about in the New York Times. Why? Because we are no longer allowed to follow truth where it leads; rather, we are to walk lockstep together in the academy.

Do not confuse me with the facts. We have a dogma. That dogma may be illogical. It may fly in the face of the facts, but the dogma is the dogma — do not disturb me.

Well, Revolutionary upsets that whole house of cards. The film is available all this month along with the book entitled Darwin’s House of Cards written by Tom Bethell. He was the Washington editor for Harper’s; he was a contributing editor to Washington Monthly. If you ever read him, he is just fun to read. He is flat-out fun to read.

Let me say this: I think it is critical that people have this kind of information in their hands because the issue of origins is not an apologetic issue; it is the apologetic issue. How one views their origins will inevitably determine how they live their life. If you think you are a function of random chance, you arose from the primordial slime, you are going to live your life in a different way than if you know you are created in the image of God and therefore accountable to Him. This is an issue of transcendent importance.

Think about what “Darwin’s Bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895) once boasted. He said that “in the evolutionary system of thought there is no longer need or room for the supernatural.” What did that do for us? Well, we had the sovereignty of self replacing the sovereignty of God. We now become autonomous. We decide what is true and what is untrue based on the size and scope of the latest lobby group.

Then we had the Sexual Revolution. I love the candor of those who are at the forefront of the Sexual Revolution, at least at the beginning. You get rid of God, and you can live according to your own sexual preferences. You can change human anthropology. You can have gender fluidity. I just saw an article the other day; you can now have females passing on the right of giving birth to males. We live in an upside-down world, but once we had the Sexual Revolution, this was the inevitable result when God is relegated to the faint, disappearing smile of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. Everything becomes permissible.

Then, of course, we had survival of the fittest, which led to atrocities like eugenics. I often think that right now as I am speaking this state in which I reside, North Carolina, is paying reparations for eugenics. Eugenics postulated that the unfit were infecting the genepool with their unfit genes, and as a result of that evolution, was not progressing like it should. What is the solution? Well, we sterilize the unfit. Who decides who is unfit? Well, at that particular epic in time — this is in the shadow of the ghastly consequences of the Second World War and the death camps in Nazi Germany — who decides? Well, in America, we were deciding it was blacks, Jews, people with Down syndrome, and anyone who had a malady, because how can evolution progress with these unfit genes in the genepool? You say, “Well, this had to be pretty fringe.” No, it was not fringe. It was legislated in blue states from California to New York. It was propped up by prestigious universities: Stanford, Harvard, and the list goes on. It was funded by, think about this, the Rockefeller Foundation and many other foundations. Name brands in our culture. Hardly fringe.

This is the problem. This is precisely the problem when you cannot think critically. When you are not allowed to have discussion in the university setting, these kinds of atrocities become inevitable consequences. What do we do? Curse the darkness or light a lamp in the midst of the gathering storm? I say what we must do is light a lamp in the midst of the gathering storm. How do we do that? We equip people. We have to think about these things.

— Hank Hanegraaff

Blog adapted from the July 5, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


The Legacy of Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989)

Hank Hanegraaff: A little quick story here, after I did the broadcast last night (June 26, 2017), I did a Bible Answer Man Facebook live broadcast with my daughter Christina. That broadcast went on for about an hour and a half. I was sitting there thinking about the fact that I am doing a broadcast with my daughter and it reminded me — well, I should say probably most correctly, it reminded my wife — of Cindee Martin Morgan, one of the daughters of Walter Martin, who was the founder of this organization. When we got home, we began talking the legacy that Water Martin had left. He has been coronated, he has received many crowns, but his work continues on. He has laid up for himself treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matt. 6:19–21). Twenty-eight years ago, yesterday, June 26, Walter Martin went home to be with the Lord, and I thought it would only be appropriate to have his dear daughter on the broadcast today. She is someone who, by the way, carries on his legacy in so many different ways. She has been one of the staunchest supporters of the pro-life movement through her talent, through her tenacity, and through her commitment. She is a true daughter of Walter Martin. The characteristics that I saw in Walter Martin that attracted me to him are the characteristics that I see in Cindee Martin Morgan, and I am delighted to welcome her to this segment of the Bible Answer Man broadcast. Hi, Cindee.

Cindee Martin Morgan: Hi, Hank. Nice to be with you.

Hank: It is wonderful to have you on the broadcast. Again, I think you hear from the prologue to this broadcast what your dad meant in founding a ministry in 1960. He had a vision. He had a vision of technology, the use of technology, and it is absolutely incredible to see today how his vision has become a reality.

Cindee: It really is. He was not a computer kind of guy, he never really had those skills or abilities, but he sought out those who did, and he informed himself because he had that vision to incorporate it into what would be tools that he would need to spread the gospel using CRI [the Christian Research Institute] all over the world, which was his goal.

Hank: My daughter said on the broadcast yesterday that she was so proud of me as her father, and I can imagine how proud you are to this day of the legacy of your father.

Cindee: Yes. I am very proud of him. In fact, one of the last times I had with him, he had taken us over to that big building that he had gotten for CRI, it was in California, but I cannot remember the town, it might have been Irvine, but he was showing us through this building that they were beginning to set up for CRI over there, and he was just remarking to me, “Cindee, this was my dream, this is my dream, and God has blessed it, and I am just so excited and so thankful to see all that He is doing through me.” You know, not taking the glory for himself, but just recognizing the hand of God on his life, and recognizing that all of this was being raised up through the mighty hand of God, whom he loved so much as his Father, and he was just so excited. To experience that joy with him was something that I would never forget.

Hank: Here we are, twenty-eight years later, and there have been so many people who have joined with us as support team members, as we said on yesterday’s broadcast, they are, as it were, our Special Forces, our Green Berets. Without them, nobody would be hearing our broadcast, our podcasts, or receiving the Christian Research Journal. Talk about how important it is for people to honor your dad’s legacy and the legacy of the ministry of the Christian Research Institute now for fifty-seven years by supporting the ministry prayerfully and financially.

Cindee: Well, I feel that my dad’s calling was of course to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he did it with all his heart, soul, and mind. He wanted to follow the admonition of 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV). I really think it was his vision to get the gospel in the hands of those who needed it and to get answers in the hands of those who have not been able to find their way that were in the darkness. I think that we all have to support and do what God puts in our hearts, where the gospel is concerned. That is really critical that we do that and that we rely on the Lord’s direction in our churches, in our lives, and however God guides us and directs us. There is nothing more important than the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important than the souls of men that are lost. We are to be light, and we are to be salt. The gospel should always be on our lips. It should not be an afterthought.

Hank: You have had such an instrumental role not only through prose but also through the lyrics that you have written with respect to the pro-life movement. This is a passion for you, and this needs to remain a passion for Christians. Some Christians suffer from what has often been described as “fetus fatigue.” In other words, we have heard the warnings against abortion, we have heard that abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being, but it has been said so many times in so many different ways we often become anesthetized to one of the greatest, if not the greatest, holocaust that one could possibly imagine in human history.

Cindee: Yes, that is what we are facing, and we do get kind of dulled. Our senses do get kind of dulled because you are always up against the issue and it is like we get human fatigue. You know, we just put it on the back burner. I think that happens to all of us in every area. This area in particular is one that is quite serious. What we always have to remember that there are people that are depending on us being a voice for them and speaking when they cannot speak. Speaking up for them when they cannot speak for themselves. Their very lives do hang in the balance. I think that it is filling yourselves with the Word of God daily, like you do as a Christian, and it is coming before the Lord and it is just asking Him to give you remembrance of what is the most pressing and most important thing that He wants you to do that day and then doing those things that He puts your heart and hand to. It is also remembering that there are constants out there, like the unborn, where God constantly wants us to be praying for their good, to be seeking their good, to be speaking up and helping others to realize that these are people that deserve life just as much you and I do. God is the giver and taker of life  — not us. I think that we just have to just keep renewing our minds; I think that’s what it comes down to. You know, we do not fortunately all get fatigued at the same time, and I think that when we notice each other is getting kind of away from an issue you know that is really critical like this one, that we can nudge one another, encourage one another, and build and lift one another up in this area so that it spurs. We can spur each other on to those good works for the unborn little by little and help each other along the way to make a difference for time and for all eternity.

Hank: Talking to Cindee Martin Morgan. She is the daughter of Walter Martin, who of course is the founder of the Christian Research Institute, who had a vision for this ministry, a discernment ministry. He was oftentimes referred to as father of the counter-cult movement, and the impact that he made while he was alive was monumental. That impact continues on today. Cindee, if you were someone that was passing Walter’s car while he was driving the streets of Southern California, you would have seen a license plate that said Jude 3. That verse, of course: “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (NASB). That was his life verse. He displayed it everywhere, even as I said on his license plate, but that is the verse he lived by.

Cindee: It is. It is the verse he lived by. You know my dad was a mentor for me. We often took walks together, and he would talk to me about what God was doing in his life, and he would be so excited about it. That just really rubbed off on me because it made God real to me in every step that I took, and I will be forever grateful to my dad for bringing the Lord into my presence, in a sense you know, just making God seen as He really is. One thing he said when we would take walks is he would remind me, “Look, you need to keep a journal, and you need to keep track of God. Write down what your prayer request are to the Lord, and remember to come back in and fill in those answers,” and he said when you get discouraged, you take out that book, and you remind yourself about the goodness of God. Read through what you have asked Him, and read through what He told you, and be refreshed and remember that He is with you. I will tell you that has really stayed with me my whole life, just that idea of Yes, God loves me, God cares about every detail of my life, God is with me, and to keep track of God in such a way that I never forget His goodness to me.

Hank: This is, as I mentioned at the outset, this is the twenty-eighth year that we remember your dad’s coronation. We know that he is in the presence of God. Anything that you can add to the discussion as we think about your dad, his legacy, and how his legacy might be an encouragement for us to order our life around the divine to work not for the city of man but, as it were, for the city of God.

Cindee: Well, I would encourage people. A hymn comes to mind when you were talking. I love hymns, and my father did too. The hymn [In the Garden]: “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own.” Those words were going through my mind as you were speaking, and I just think that we all need to cry out to God, to give us a vision, you give to us a vision of what He wants, not a real vision, but you know what I mean, give us that heartfelt purpose and show us what our calling is and show us what our gifts are so that we can use them the most for His glory. I think that was so interesting about my dad, because not everybody seems as driven as that, I have not really known people like him, quite frankly. Now, he was so driven, but he knew his purpose. He knew what God had put in his hands to do, and he knew he could do nothing else. He was driven to serve the Lord with all of his heart and to raise up a ministry that God had put on his heart to reach those around him for His kingdom that needed answers to the questions that they were not necessarily finding in churches. A lot of times the cults like Mormonism were a really big issue during his lifetime, and he just wanted to give, he wanted to kind of pull the lid off of these cults and help the church to understand and know this is not the same Jesus we are talking about. They may have all the same terms, but we are not talking about the same Jesus. It was really important to my dad to help people understand the true Jesus, the true gospel.

Hank: Cindee Martin Morgan, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the Bible Answer Man broadcast remembering your dad, his legacy, and I can tell you just as you are proud of your dad, I am quite certain that he is proud of you.

Cindee: Thank you so much, Hank, for those kind words. God bless you, dear brother.

Hank: Thank you, Cindee, for spending this time with our audience right here on the Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Adapted from the June 27, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Finding a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church – WOW is that Possible?

We at the Christian Research Institute realize this difficulty and the criticality of knowing exactly what to look for in order to find it. Hank Hanegraaff has come up with a video series outlining a three-step process called WOW, which will help you find a healthy, well-balanced church in three easy steps.

Our WOW video series is posted on YouTube. Here is what you will get:

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Introduction

Hank gives an overview of the WOW Hankronym for finding a healthy, well-balanced church.

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Part 1 Worship

The first “W” in WOW stands for worship. Hank explains why we need to find a church to worship God in prayer, praise, and proclamation of God’s Word.

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Part 2 Oneness

The “O” in WOW stands for oneness. Hank explains why we need to be a part of a community of Christians because God has made us in such a way that we have something to contribute to the body of Christ and the rest of the body of Christ has something to contribute to us.

WOW – How To Find a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church in 3 Steps – Part 3 Witness

The second “W” in WOW stands for witness. Every healthy, well-balanced church equips their members to go out and impact the world. It is more than just evangelism; it is also equipping people to evangelize.

Hank’s memorable three-step method to finding a healthy, well-balanced church will help you make a well-reasoned decision that will benefit you for now as well as for eternity.

— Warren Nozaki


Catching the Joy of Contagious Giving

I want to say a little bit about a biblical view of wealth. The first thing I want to mention is that I am persuaded — by the way, I am not just talking to you, but I am talking to myself — I am persuaded that the Bible teaches responsibility associated with wealth. I suppose from the standpoint of the broader globe — all of us, or the vast majority of those I am speaking to right now — are wealthy. God’s Word encourages us to use money for the sake of the Kingdom (Matt. 6:19–21; Luke 16:1–13).

It is not just money. I do not mean to trivialize everything to what you actually give, because the giving of your time and the giving of your talent are very significant for kingdom purposes. But, obviously, we ask that people would support this ministry financially as well. It is a very practical way in which you can continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the battle for life and truth. Why? It is crucial to realize that the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps. 24:1). The bottom line here, according to the text, is that God is the landlord, and we are just tenants.

We did not arrive with anything, and we will not take anything with us when we leave (1 Tim. 6:7). You know, I was thinking about that when I was in the hospital room the other day. I had a complication as a result of the Rituxan that I was taking — one of the chemo drugs. I went from uncontrollable shaking until I finally reached equilibrium to finally having the amount being pumped into me and the speed being pumped into me bumped up a little bit, and then I had a fever of 101o until it calmed down again. I had some complications. But, when you are lying there, you recognize this statement is very, very true. Every single breath is held in the hollow of the Lord’s hand. We did not come with anything, we are not going to leave with anything, so in those moments, you think, “When I stand before you, Lord, are you going to be pleased with how I used my time and my talent and my treasure?”

It is important to view wealth with eternity in mind and to lead our lives here down below as responsible stewards, whether we have a little or a lot, so that one day at the judgment, God Himself will reward us (Matt. 25:14–30; Luke 19:12–27). Ultimately, it is not a bank statement on Earth that counts; it is the one in heaven.

I want to share just one verse with you in closing, and that is this: the Bible chronicles the prayer of David. I love this prayer because David here is thanking God for the very privilege of being able to give to the work of the Lord. So, this is what David says, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand…now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you” (1 Chron. 29:14, 17 NIV). I think about that verse because as a result of the giving, that temple is built, and that temple contained the glory of God. That temple remained significant to the children of Israel because through that temple, the priest gave sacrifices pointing to an ultimate sacrificial lamb. So there was immense significance to the temple. It had a huge, huge impact on the world. In fact, only from the perspective of eternity will we fully know how huge that impact was. When Christ came, of course, there is no need for the temple, but that temple was the way-shower, as it were, to Christ. So, Christ comes, and that temple has made a huge difference in the meantime.

What I am saying here is that there is no telling what could be accomplished in our generation if we too catch the joy of contagious giving. We would be empowered to spread the gospel around the globe. We would be enabled to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick. Like our forefathers, our generation might yet leave an indelible mark on this world. As Solomon says in Proverbs, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Prov. 3:9–10). In other words, the arm of the Lord is longer than yours, and He will supply to you as you supply to ministries. God ordains the ends as well as the means. He does not need our money, but He is teaching us something through giving. Give as you can give, and give generously.

If you love this ministry, if this ministry has made a difference in your life, if you are seeing the difference it is making in the lives of others, in this last week, we are asking people to give and give generously.

For further related reading, please see the following:

Is the tithe for today? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What is the Biblical View of Wealth? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What Does the Bible Teach about Debt? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Tithing: Is it in the New Testament? (Revisited) (Elliot Miller)

Short-Term Recession of the Long Winter? Rethinking the Theology of Money (William F. High)

To make a donation to CRI or join the CRI Support Team, click here.

This blog is adapted from the June 23, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Am I a Speck, Stardust, or Created in the Image of God?

I remember not that long ago Bill Nye the Science Guy saying, “I’m a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, among other specks, among still other specks, in the middle of specklessness;” therefore, “I suck.” Now Bill Nye the Science Guy has become enormously popular. These kinds of statements have made science cool.

Now we have astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He was in Charlotte the other night. He was communicating something exactly the opposite and it was still cool. In other words, it does not matter what your premise is. You can say, “I suck because I’m just a speck orbiting a speck,” or you can say, as Tyson argued, that we are not insignificant, and the reason we are not insignificant is that our bodies are literally made of stardust. (The same idea about stardust is conveyed in “Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Top Ten Favorite Facts about the Universe.”) Tyson thinks that we are one with the universe, that we share the same DNA as the bacteria that infest our intestines. The same bacteria that may cause infectious diseases. So, Neil deGrasse Tyson is now turning the tables on Bill Nye, and saying, “No, I do not suck, I am significant because I have the same DNA that a bacterium has, and therefore I am very, very special.”

Now what is interesting is you can have Bill Nye with his perspective and the crowds roar, or Tyson with his perspective and maybe they roar even louder. I still remember when evolutionists like Richard Dawkins argued that a boy had no more intrinsic worth than a banana because we all descended from a common ancestor and share the same DNA. He had more of the Bill Nye vibe; in other words, we are not special at all. We are utterly insignificant. But again, Tyson is turning the tables, yet either way, it is all sheer nonsense.

The reason we are special is not the composition of our DNA. We are special because we are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27). It is this fact that ensures that a Down Syndrome baby is afforded the same dignity given a distinguished scientist. In any case, Tyson has long ago made the departure from knowledge into the dangerous world of antiknowledge, and people applaud. He has departed the world of science and waded into an illusory world of science fiction all under the guise of making science cool.

Why do I bring this up? I bring this up because it is high time that we learn discernment skills, which is precisely what this ministry is all about. Teaching you to discern between wheat and chaff, heat and light, so that when you hear these kinds of statements, and the roar of the crowd dies down, you do not just go on as though you got new information. You process, you think, you discern. Then you become always ready to give an answer for the reason for the hope that lies within you, with gentleness and with respect (1 Pet. 3:15).

There is another article in USA Today, and this article I was very, very pleased to read. The title of the article was “Womb with a View: Fetuses Can Recognize Faces While Still inside Mom.” This is an example of how fearfully and wonderfully we are made (Ps. 139:13–14). The findings come from the journal Current Biology, and they demonstrate “it’s possible to explore sight and cognition in babies before birth.” Kristy Dunn of Lancaster University says, “It turned out that [the preborn] responded in a way that was very similar to infants.” Think about this. You can take the picture of a mom and the baby is going to react to it differently if it is right side up or upside down. In other words, they are responding the image with cognition. They also discovered that the baby’s eyes are not tightly closed, there are times when the baby’s eyes are open and blinking. So, there is a lot we are finding out about human embryology. The more we find out, the more horrendous the crime is the sin of aborting those made in the image and likeness of God.

We must remember that embryos are not potential persons. They are actual persons with potential, as written in a fantastic article in the Christian Research Journal entitled “The Human Embryo: Potential Person or Person with Great Potential?” written by Clinton Wilcox. It is an article that took me a couple of times to completely process. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth mastering. The reason for this is because human embryology becomes more and more plain, average, and out of the ivory tower and into the everyday vernacular. We are learning that human beings made in the image of God in the womb are sacred, they are special, just like infants and just like old people. Just remember that embryos are not potential persons; they are actual persons with potential. “I am the same individual I was when I was an embryo and, as such, if it is wrong to kill me now, it was wrong to kill me then.”

— Hank Hanegraaff

This blog is adapted from the June 13, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Authentic Christianity in a Post-Christian Culture

I want to talk about something really quickly, and then to our callers, which is the reality that we live in a post-Christian culture. As Rod Dreher says in the Benedict Option, this is not sheer hyperbole; it is sheer reality. He talks about the “deep cultural forces” that are disintegrating Christianity in the West, forces that have created a spiritual crisis that we have not seen — think about this — since the fall of the Roman Empire. Christian conservatives must read the signs of the times. This is not about losing the culture wars, or potentially losing the culture wars. The game is over, as far as the culture wars are concerned. That does not mean this is a defeatist message, because the real solution is in finding your all in the Triadic One. In other words, being brought into the life of the Trinity.

The reason I bring all of this up is that yesterday (June 7, 2017), I could not believe this, I was listening to this conversation between Bernie Sanders, who came very, very close to becoming President of the United States, and he was grilling Russell Vought, who of course is Donald Trump’s nominee to the deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget position. Vought had expressed his belief that Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. He did so in a very nonthreatening fashion. Yet, Sanders was quite literally excoriated. I mean, the transcript is one thing, but you’ve got to hear it. I mean, he is screaming at some point in the conversation. He was really, really upset. Sanders asked,

Let me get to this issue that has bothered me and bothered many other people. And that is in the piece that I referred to that you wrote for the publication called Resurgent. You wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.” Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?

During the same exchange, Sanders refrains the same question in various ways: “Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?” “I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that all those people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned, too?” “In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?” “You think your statement that you put into that publication, ‘They do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned,’ do you think that’s respectful of other religions?”

The line of questioning bears a veiled accusation. You’re saying Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life! That’s Islamophobic! That’s anti-Semitic! Well, he did not use the word “anti-Semitic,” but that is what he implied, and he did use the word “Islamophobic.” He was being very Chistophobic, by the way, in his tirade. Then he said, “This nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.” There is no room in his worldview for a Christian in an official government position in the United States who believes Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Now, I bring this up in light of what Russell Moore said. In other words, he commented on this episode. (Of course, we are promoting his book Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. That is a book I want everybody to get as a way to support the ministry.) Here is what Russell Moore said. Moore, of course, is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He said,

Senator Sanders’s comments are breathtakingly audacious and shockingly ignorant — both of the Constitution and of basic Christian doctrine. Even if one were to excuse Senator Sanders for not realizing that all Christians of every age have insisted that faith in Jesus Christ is the only pathway to salvation, it is inconceivable that Senator Sanders would cite religious beliefs as disqualifying an individual for public office in defiance of the United States Constitution. No religious test shall ever be required of those seeking public office. While no one expects Senator Sanders to be a theologian, we should expect far more from an elected official who has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

All of this is to simply underscore the fact that we have lost the culture wars, and with that, we have lost human anthropology. In other words, there is a distorted notion of what we are as human beings created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27–28). Now, this is a point that Russell Vought made very, very clear and calm as he was addressing Bernie Sanders. So, a lot going on in this country.

This is not the time to give up. This is the time to embrace authentic Christianity. Not a Christianity that is consumeristic, but a Christianity that is transformational. If we have that, we are not living in some kind of a mythological world where things are not what they used to be, and they probably never will. It is not about whining and pining. No! This is about recognizing that God and a human being are a majority. Think about what William Wilberforce did or Martin Luther King Jr. or Martin Luther or Athanasius. Remember contra mundum? He was saying, “Athanasius against the world.” I am going to stand no matter what. All of these kinds of stands produced great, great revolutions in society. This is not about defeatism. It is recognizing what is going on, why we lost the culture wars, and how the church itself has to change in the process.

— Hank Hanegraaff

This blog is adapted from the June 8, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Addressing Feminist Porn

There was an article in USA Today on June 7, 2017 entitled “Can Porn Be Feminist?” It was written by Patrick Ryan. I will share a little of the article with you and make some comments. The reason I am going to do that is this is not some sidetrack. Some obscure kind of a problem that we are facing. No. This is a pandemic problem in the culture and the church. For example, “last year,” according to the article, “women accounted for 26% of all traffic worldwide” for a particular very popular pornographic site. The idea is that porn is for men but increasingly it is ruining anthropology in general.

The article goes on to say that “Porn made with feminist values ‘is about showing an authentic representation of human sexuality,’” and “Oh no,” says the author, it turns out that “women like sex just as dirty, kinky and exciting as men do.” Lane Moore, Cosmopolitan’s former sex and relationships editor, says that “There’s a huge market for (feminist porn).” I am going to get that cashed out for you in just a second. Feminist porn means porn according to feminist standards. She says, “I have friends who run a lot of sites…and have a huge audience.”

“According to a survey of 24,000 women,” a pretty big survey, “18% say they watch porn daily.” Then catch this statistic, “63% watch weekly or a few times a month. Eighty-nine percent say they watch it without their partners, while 34% say they tend to select videos featuring participants they can relate to.” Moreover, “TV comedies…are created by women, and feature empowered female characters casually discussing — or in the act of — masturbation and watching porn.”

Bottom line, according to the article, here is the take away, “people are trying to normalize (watching porn)” and then three chilling words, “as they should.”

But, they should not. In reading the Benedict Option, this is one of the subjects Rod Dreher touches on. He points out that the moral and spiritual damage from porn is obvious. Porn dehumanizes. It destroys the image of God in the faces of its performers. It turns and it trains users to see others as depersonalized objects for sexual pleasure. It destroys the connection between sex and love. Lot of bad news.

What is news, however, is that neuro scientists have discovered that pornography use has devastating effects on the brain. Watching porn floods the brain’s pleasure centers with dopamine, and the more one uses porn, the more one has to use it, and the more extreme versions of it. Why? You got to get more and more extreme to get the same dopamine effect. Pornography literally rewires the brain making it very difficult for long time users to be aroused by actual human beings.

This is a pandemic issue in the culture today and I want to bring it to your attention. There are solutions and those solutions are thankfully available through the ministry of the Christian Research Institute. I wrote about this in The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition Revised and Updated. We also did an article by Joe Dallas entitled “Darkening our Minds: The Problem of Pornography among Christians,” which should be up on equip.org. Do remember that Joe Dallas wrote a book called The Game Plan: The Men’s 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity. This is an issue that has to be addressed, because it is an issue that is destroying relationships not only outside the church but also within the church.

— Hank Hanegraaff

For further study, please see the following:

What’s the Problem with Pornography? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Effects of Porn on the Male Brain (William M. Struthers, Ph.D)

Darkening our Minds: The Problem of Pornography among Christians (Joe Dallas)

Sexual Sanity for Women in a World Gone Mad (Ellen Dykas)

Recommended books:

The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition Revised and Updated (B2027) by Hank Hanegraaff

The Game Plan: The Men’s 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity (B827) by Joe Dallas

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain (B1087) by William M. Struthers

This blog adapted from the June 12, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Top, Pop, and Slop Apologetics

Q: Please offer some insights into how you do research and study in order to discover the truths that you teach?

A: Well, that is a big question. I have often used three words to describe what I do here at the Christian Research Institute. There is “top,” “pop,” and “slop.” In order to be able to do what we do, not just individually but as an institute, it is important for us to engage in top apologetics. In other words, grapple with the deep issues on a deep level. But, to remain there would be a disservice for our constituency.

So, what I attempt to do is take the complex and make it simple and transferable. If you do not do top apologetics, you end up doing slop apologetics, which means all you are doing is regurgitating things that people have said, which may or may not be true. But, if you do top apologetics, then you can take apologetics and popularize that for your constituency. That is what we have been doing at the Christian Research Institute for many, many years, by taking the complex, making it simple and transferable so that you might not only hear but remember and then use what you have learned for God’s glory and for the extension of His kingdom.

We have two tracks that we run on. It is not just an intellectual track. It is not only the truth track. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6 NIV). He is the way and the truth, and He is the way and the life. There is a track that we run on that is very important — truth matters. If you are guided by the Book of Mormon, you are going to fall into the abyss. If you are guided by the Qur’an, you are going to miss the mark. You have to have a reliable authority. A reliable map, if you will.

But, the map is not the territory, the menu is not the meal, the cradle should not be mistaken before its occupant. There is, along with the truth line, as it were, there is a life line. That involves experiencing deification, what Peter spoke of when he said we are to be partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). I said on yesterday’s broadcast when I did an interview with Frederica Mathewes-Green, the Eucharist or Communion or the Lord’s Table — lots of different monikers by which you can describe this — is the principle means by which we experience the graces by which we can experience deification.

Now, we will never become what God is in the Godhead, it is an abomination to think that we would, be we are brought into fellowship with the Trinity. We are brought into union with God. We are brought into a state where we can live the Christian life not just by our own energies but by all His energies, which so powerfully work in us.

I look at primary resources when I do my research. I look at extrabiblical Christian sources. The writings of the church fathers. I look at ancient non-Christian sources such as Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Plinius, and the list goes on. I am very aware of historical and current scholarship. All of that is what we do at the Christian Research Institute so that the answers that you get are reliable and trustworthy.

— Hank Hanegraaff

Discernment in an Age of Information Overload (Hank Hanegraaff)

In Essentials Unity: E-Q-U-I-P The Mission of the Christian Research Institute (Hank Hanegraaff)

Becoming a “Seasoned” Apologist (Adam Pelser)

The Ten Commandments of Apologetics (Dan Story)

When Salt Loses Its Flavor (Doug Groothuis)

This blog is adapted from the June 6, 2016, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Bad Hermeneutics Playing Fast and Loose with Essential Christian Doctrine

Q: I believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. If God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), why do you think there is so much confusion around hermeneutics*?

A: The answer is that we have so many different expressions within the Protestant tradition right now. I am not suggesting that Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy are singularly monolithic, but you look at the expressions within Protestantism today, they have some thirty thousand or more. Anyone today seems to be able to hang up a shingle whether or not they have any theological or hermeneutical acumen.

You have people today who are popular on radio and television in the Christian world. They are coming up with brand new ideas, and those ideas do not come out of the careful examination of Scripture, applying the art and science of biblical interpretation. Rather, they come out of a predilection in a particular direction.

So, someone hangs up their shingle and says, “Now, I got a brand new teaching, and this new teaching is going to undo everything you read in the Scripture because you have been reading the Scripture in the wrong way. Let us, by the way, get rid of all church history. No longer am I a pigmy standing on the shoulder of giants, but I am a giant and historical characters of the past are simply pigmies.”

This person now says (this is just one example), “You can never ever, as a believer, ever, ever confess your sins, because if you do, you are spitting in the face of God.” This is one of the most pernicious — I will even call it heresy, which I have seen arise in the modern-day church, and popular people are communicating this.

“So, let us dispense with the Lord’s prayer,” say false teachers, “because the Lord’s Prayer is an Old Covenant prayer, and it really does not apply to us today. It had some value at the time it was given but it really does not apply to us today. By the way, we have to dispense with it for any reason or every reason because if we do not, then our paradigm no longer will hold up under scrutiny. Get rid of that, and we will simply have this new paradigm.”

This is what happens to people that are unstable and unlearned. They are taking essentials of the Christian faith and playing fast and loose with it. I think that is at the bottom of the problem. There is so much confusion because hermeneutics is not playing a role, history is not playing a role, people are simply good with the gab. And if they are good with the gab, good enough, they can start a new expression, a new fissuring within Protestantism. This also can happen in many different constructs of Christianity where you come up with a brand new idea. This happens in Catholicism where the Pope speaks ex-cathedra, goes against everything the Catholic Church taught before, or what the Church historically has taught. I think these are problems that elevate the person over proper perception of Scripture.

— Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following:

What is the Significance of Biblical Typology? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Practical Hermeneutics: How to Interpret Your Bible Correctly (Part 1) (Thomas Howe)

Practical Hermeneutics: How to Interpret Your Bible Correctly (Part 2) (Thomas Howe)

Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War and How to Make a Comeback (Donald T. Williams)

JAF7382 – Grace upon Grace: 1 John 1:8-9 and the Forgiveness of Sins (Steven Parks)

JAF5362 – Joseph Prince: Unmerited Favor (Warren Nozaki)

Check out our e-store resources:

Memorable Keys to Understanding What God Has Said: L-I-G-H-T-S On Your Path to Reading the Bible For All It’s Worth by Hank Hanegraaff

How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart

*Hermeneutics is the art and science of biblical interpretation.