But now he is embracing the sacraments and other beliefs of Eastern Orthodoxy, including the doctrine of theosis.
He is foreswearing Protestantism, but he is continuing his work with the CRI and the Bible Answer Man.
Last Sunday, 67-year-old Hank Hanegraaff and his wife entered into Orthodox Christianity at St. Niktarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The former Protestant is well known among evangelicals as the Bible Answer Man. Since 1989, Hanegraaff has been answering questions on Christianity, denominations, and the Bible on a nationally syndicated radio broadcast.
A champion of evangelical Christianity, he’s best known for arguing against cults, heresies, and non-Christian religions. His 20 books include titles like Christianity in Crisis, Counterfeit Revival, and The Kingdom of Cults.
Part of being the Bible Answer Man also includes running the Christian Research Institute (CRI), an apologetics ministry that Hanegraaff has been president of since 1989.
This week, Hanegraaff spent some of his airtime answering questions about his decision to leave Protestantism for Orthodoxy.
“People are posting this notion that somehow or other I’ve walked away from the faith and am no longer a Christian,” Hanegraaff said on his Tuesday broadcast. “Look, my views have been codified in 20 books, and my views have not changed.”
Hanegraaff and his wife Kathy have been attending the Orthodox church for more than two years, he said on his Monday broadcast.
His journey to Orthodoxy began with a trip to China, when “I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life,” he said.
On the flight back, Hanegraaff wondered if he was even a Christian. “I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I’ve been impacted by the whole idea of knowing Jesus Christ, experiencing Jesus Christ, and partaking of the graces of Jesus Christ through the Eucharist or the Lord’s table,” he said. “Nothing has changed in my faith.”
Photo of Hank Hannegraff, by Timseid1 at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9653052