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Answering the Bible's ''Answerman''
Commentary on the News
Monday, July 09, 2007
Jan Markell

I was an avid listener to Walter Martin in the 1980s. Martin was founder of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) in the 1980s.

In 1989, Hank Hanegraaff succeeded Martin who died much too young at age 60. The Martin family says Hanegraaff was not Martin’s choice as a successor. That made no difference to Hank. Yet for many years Hanegraaff also provided stimulating apologetics on air. Sadly, there is an “until.”

Three years ago Hank decided to get on the eschatology bandwagon for himself. He began a series of fiction on his eschatology: Preterism. That belief says that all or most of end-time events transpired in 70 AD. Nero was the Antichrist. The Tribulation was the persecution of Christians. Hank and most “partial Preterists” still believe in the Second Coming. “Full Preterists” believe Christ returned “in spirit” in 70AD. Not much fanfare for the King of Kings back then!

Now many are taking Hanegraaff to task for not only false theology but for outrageous comments on air and in his newest book, “Apocalypse Countdown” as well as his fiction series with co-author Sigmund Brouwer. Dr. Thomas Ice, (who serves on this ministry’s “board of reference”) says;

“The great majority of the book (Apocalypse Code) is a rant against Hanegraaff's distorted view of dispensationalism in general and Tim LaHaye in particular. There is precious little actual exegesis, if any at all, to support his Preterist/idealist eschatology; however, there are great quantities of some of the most vicious tirades against LaHaye and many other Bible prophecy teachers that I have ever read in print.”

(This can be found on the Web site of the Pre-Trib Research Institute.)

Ice continues, “Furthermore," says Hanegraaff, "there is the very real problem of racial discrimination." Watch how Hanegraaff plays the race card: he takes LaHaye's commonly held view that Israel has a future in God's plan, adds a touch of his famous misrepresentation of another's view, and presto, LaHaye has become a racist.

Hanegraaff's blend of Preterism and idealism produces an eschatology that is viciously anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. His brand of Replacement Theology teaches that national Israel has no future since she is replaced by the church.

World Net Daily Editor Joseph Farah joins the chorus in his May 23, 2007 issue. The article is titled, “Answering the Bible Answerman.” Farah states, “Today, I am going to address some issues being raised by ‘the Bible Answer Man’ – especially insofar as they apply to the suicidal policies he is advocating with regard to this explosive area of the world.

In a new novel he has written with fiction writer Sigmund Brouwer, ‘Fuse of Armageddon,’ he makes the amazingly false case that America's support of Israel causes, at least in part, terrorism directed against Americans.”

Hanegraff states "Much of American Middle East policy is influenced by a huge voting bloc of evangelicals who are taught not to question Israel's divine right to the land," says Hanegraaff.

""God is not pro-Jew. He is pro-justice. He is not pro-Palestinian. He is pro-peace. Only a gospel of peace and justice is potent enough to break the stranglehold of anti-Semitism and racism fueled in part by bad theology."

Farah responds, “Who is it in the Middle East that genuinely wants peace? Who is it in the Middle East that genuinely works toward justice?

“There is only one nation in the Middle East that has bent over backward for peace to the point of being counterproductive and risking its own survival. That nation is Israel. As an Arab-American who had the opportunity to serve as a Middle East correspondent and study the region over the last 30 years, I think I can make that statement without any equivocation or hesitation.”

Farah concludes,“What Hanegraaff is saying and writing is dangerous. It is untrue. It defies history. It defies logic. It defies common sense. And it makes both Americans and all of the people of the Middle East less safe and less free.”

Sadly, Hanegraaff, the so-called Bible Answerman heard on radio around the world, has an audience of over 7 million listeners. Many are confused; others are buying into his twisted theology.

Anyone believing in Preterism will never understand the times. It will only cause confusion and neither the Bible nor the issues of the day will make sense.

Jan is founder/director of Olive Tree Ministries and a contributing editor to the Omega Letter. For more information, her free print newsletter, or e-updates, visit her Web site, www.olivetreeviews.org. You can also listen to archived radio programs at the site. Jack Kinsella is a frequent guest.)

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