News > 2017 July > 'Bible Answer Man' Urged by Founder's Family to Resign
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'Bible Answer Man' Urged by Founder's Family to Resign


Can Hank Hanegraaff continue to be the “Bible Answer Man,” daily answering questions about faith and practice posed by a largely evangelical Protestant audience of radio listeners after converting to the Greek Orthodox Church last spring?
Hanegraaff believes so, contending that in the spirit of “mere Christianity,” he remains a defender of the essentials of the faith.
But family members of the founder of the organization he leads, the Christian Research Institute, are calling on him to resign. They argue in a statement it is “fundamentally dishonest” for Hanegraaff on CRI’s call-in radio show to try to reconcile Protestant doctrinal principles such as “sola scriptura” — the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice — with the Eastern Orthodox belief in the on-going, Spirit-led authority of church tradition.
Jill Martin Rische, a daughter of the late CRI founder — renowned cult expert Walter Martin — was one of five family members to sign a statement urging Hanegraaff to resign.
Hanegraaff has led CRI since 1989, when Martin, who founded the organization in 1960, died at the age of 60.
Rische told WND she’s in no position to judge Hanegraaff’s faith but contends he can no longer promote the mission established by her father with integrity.
“If Hank’s joined the Orthodox Church, that’s his decision. Fine, teach Orthodox theology. Go create an Orthodox ministry,” she said. “But don’t think that you can do that and still run an evangelical Christian ministry. It’s not right.”
Rische leads Walter Martin Ministries with her husband, Kevin Rische, who both signed the statement urging Hanegraaff to resign. They were joined by her stepmother, Darlene, and siblings Daniel, Elaine and Debbie Martin. Her sister, Cindee Martin Morgan, whose husband, Rick Morgan, is CRI’s webmaster, did not sign the statement. She told the Christian Post her father would argue the Eastern Orthodox Church holds the “core” doctrines of Christian faith.


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