View of Hank Hanegraaff; Bible Answer Man


#1

I have been listening to The Bible Answer Man Debate with James Akin vs. James White, moderated by Hank Hanegraaff. I found this to be a great debate, very even handed.

I have heard Hank on many occasions, and I find him to be only mildly anti-catholic, and when his callers attempt to bash Rome, he tends to defend Catholics.

He is extremely knowledgable of the Bible.
How close would he be to converting to Catholicism? I think he would be a terrific addition.


#2

He certainly would, jonm, but how close he is to converting only he knows - or maybe he doesn’t and the Holy Spirit will suddenly surprise him. :wink: This is definitely something for which to pray! His headquarters is right down the road from my parish, so if he converts, I’ll let you know. :slight_smile:


#3

I used to listen to him years ago, and from what I remember, he didn’t sound like he was close at all to convert to Catholicism.
I remember one of his biggest issues with the Catholic church was he believes that we are saved by faith alone, and the fact that Catholics teach that works are “meritorious”. He knows that faith must be accompanied by works, but he didn’t believe that they are meritorious.
He would quote from the Catholic encyclopedia as a source of Catholic teaching, and then argue against that, instead of the quoting from the Catechism, or other official church documents.

He did have a lot of good arguments for orthodox protestant Christianity as opposed to liberal theology and the different cults.

I also remember when a baptist who was married to a Catholic called because their spouse would not convert, and the wanted to know if it was OK to divorce them for that reason. Hank defended Catholics as Christians to that person.
But that is a long way from him wanting to convert.


#4

Not sure how close he is to converting, and he was charitable in that Akin-White debate, but he often does not articulate Catholic positions well.

I heard a caller to him the other day ask him why Catholics teach infant baptism and referenced Acts 16:30-33 that because the jailer’s whole family was baptized that the Church teaches there must have been children there so let’s baptize children. Hannegraf said that the jailer’s household believed first and then were baptized…but what he missed was that this passage is 1 of at least 3 I can think of where a household was baptized, or brought to the Lord on behalf of another. Hannegraf seemingly didn’t know this or didn’t realize that the other passages don’t describe an assent to faith by the members of the household, rendering the non-Catholic to believe that none of these households or people had any infants. See Acts 16:15, Acts 2:39, et al… And he didn’t get into any of the other Catholic Scripture or Tradition on this at all, or mention that he didn’t have time to do so.

A year or two ago I heard him trying to explain to a caller who asked where Catholics came up with the idea of Mary’s sinlessness (I believe was the topic), and he just said he didn’t know, but that it was wrong.

He does seem to be charitable toward Catholics, but he just doesn’t seem to get the teachings right.

Scott Hahn and others have been guests on Hannegraf’s show as well. Scroll to bottom of this page to listen.


#5

He is far away from converting. Since we lost our Catholic radio in Houston I listen to him from time to time and fill that he misleads his listeners about Catholicism. Every time a caller ask him about purgatory or praying to Mary he misleads our allows them to continue to believe that the teaching of purgatory is a stop over for bad Catholics to get a second shot at Heaven or that we pray to Mary as a form of worship. I wish a solid Catholic would call in and challenge him on this; in the year I have been listening I have yet to hear this happen.


#6

I tend to think they don’t take those kind of callers. I’ve tried on his and other shows or emailed the shows and those explanations never make it to the air. Maybe that’s why Akin and Hahn haven’t been on the show for almost 20 years.


#7

I had thought that, but never heard from anyone who had tried. Now I have:thumbsup: It goes to show that Catholic Answers doesn’t hide from opposing question about the Catholic faith, with the Q&A shows and even one show solely for Non-Catholics to call in. I’d like to see the Bible Answer Man do that.


#8

I would have to agree that he is a long way from converting. He has a long way to go because he continues to misrepresent Catholic teaching as savedsinner, MarcoPolo and Hap gave examples of. I want to give him some credit for having integrity but he has the Catechism; there’s no excuse for saying we teach otherwise.


#9

we should confine the discussion to the man’s work, as I think speculation about possible conversion of public figures is a banned topic.


#10

(…)
I wish a solid Catholic would call in and challenge him on this; in the year I have been listening I have yet to hear this happen.

It’s been about 7 years since I’ve listened to him regularly but for several years before that I listened you him almost everyday.

I have heard (solid) Catholics call in and try to engage in apologetics with him. He is a master of keeping control of the conversation and no matter how knowledgeable they might be he wouldn’t have assented to what they were saying.

I’m glad he doesn’t allow Catholic-bashing (that says a lot) but he’s not going to give Catholics a forum for Catholic apologetics. I would imagine that since the increase of Catholic radio, this and other fora, Catholic websites, that their are burgeoning apologists just chomping at the bit to excercize their newly discovered skillz and he gets a lot of those kinds of calls, letters, etc. all the time.

He’s not stupid and I bet he’s heard it all. It’s up to the Holy Spirit now. Always has been, thanks be to God.


#11

I have only been listening for little over a year now, and come to think of it I do remember hearing one catholic call in and try to correct what was being said about purgatory and your right he is a master of controling the conversation. When she made the point that only those who are saved can go to purgatory he quickly glossed over her point and stayed on track with his point, thanked her for her kindness in the one sided discussion and went to the next caller.


#12

And purgatory is an easy one to keep control of. Most Protestants listening are likely to already have their own misinformation about it and are not open to learning (and I don’t mean embracing just knowing) Catholic teaching on this. He almost doesn’t have to worry about his listeners being “misled” by Catholic teaching on that one; they’re predisposed to thinking it’s wierd.


#13

On occasion when I have heard him defend the Catholic Church it was against callers who would call Catholics not Christians or the Whore of Babylon and even recently a Seven Day Adventist called claiming it was a Roman Catholic conspiracy behind changing the Sabbath to Sunday. After defending the Catholic Church against these outlandish Anti-Catholic claims he will end by saying that this is just another attack on an already vulnerable church? Not sure what he means by that?


#14

:hmmm:


#15

You’re correct about this. Now that I think about it, those are the exact circumstances when he defends catholics, and when someone says that Catholics are a cult like Jehovah’s witnesses.

James Akin had a few zingers on the debate with White on Bible Answer Man show.

On the Akin-White debate, Hank refers to Akin as a personal friend. Wasn’t James Akin a key in Tim Staples converting?


closed #16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.