Matt 18: My Meeting With Hank Hanegraaff

November 2, 2017


Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have had a meeting and some phone conversations with Hank Hanegraaff. I want to take some space here to disclose these events and the conversations that took place. For the record, California law prohibits me from recording conversations with others without their knowledge and consent. Image result for matthew 18Consequently, I can only offer here my own account of the events and statements that were made.  After each encounter, I wrote down what occurred during the conversation and reviewed the notes I took during the conversations when that was possible.

For those who may be new to the ongoing fracas cataloged here, you will find below what I have written so far and some other helpful links.

The Babel Answer Man

A Hankadox Intermezzo

A Response to Cindee Martin Morgan

Footsies with Frederica

Why Hanegraaff’s Conversion is not Really a Big Deal (But It Should Be)

Audit’s Lesson was ‘Painful’ for Evangelist

Hanegraaff Wasn’t Handpicked

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May 2, 2011

For a some time now I have taken more of a back seat to the running and posting on EP. I’ve been very happy to see some of the other contributors step in to fill the gap to keep the blog moving in terms of postings.

Pascha is a good time for new beginings and so I am doing something of a reboot for the blog. I have been doing a few things with the blog behind the scenes. I have expanded the Recommended Reading page considerably and will continue to do so. (Hint-That means go and take a look.) I am in the process of updating the blog links and re-arranging them as well as looking for another blog template to help in restructing the blog.  I have also been working on some very long posts concerning a variety of topics ranging from issues in the metaphysics of causation in Late Antiquity to Reformed and Medeival Latin Christology.  I have also been working to secure a number of interviews with mostly Orthodox academics, which will apear at fairly regular intervals during the remaining course of this year. So far here are some of the persons for future interviews. David Bradshaw, Edward Siecienski, and Archemandrite Cyril Hovorun. For the remainder of the year, there should be six interviews in all.

Along with Harvey the Rabbit, the blog owner, I’ve been kicking around ideas on how to make the blog financially self supporting through a place for small donations to cover the cost of maintaning it, as well as linking the Recommended Reading page through Amazon or some other seller for a part of the selling price for books sold here. In short, there is more coming down the slot.

FLASH!: Florovksy Symposium at Princeton

October 29, 2010

Topic: The Patristic Doctrine of the Atonement.

Speakers include:  Fr. John Behr,

Fr. John McGuckin

Fr. George Dragas

Dr. George Parsenios

Matthew Baker

Dr. Alexis Torrance

I am planning on going with a few other EP readers. If you are interested in co-ordinating with us, please contact me via acolyte4236 AT sbcglobal dot net.

More details are available here.

Old Friends Long Gone

May 2, 2010

“Through the force, things you will see-other places-the future, the past, old friends long gone.”

During holy week this year I received an email from a friend back home in California. An old friend of mine had passed away in his home. His name was Bill Zuck. Some of my readers may have been fortunate to know Bill. He certainly got around. Bill was a very unique individual and and helped to acelerate my theological understanding. I’d like to say my bit here to remember him. 

I can only recall bits and pieces of what Bill related to me of his past. He was raised Plymouth Brethern and was originally from Pensylvannia. He acquired a degree in engineering and he never married. Through time, Bill went through a number of theological and philosophically changes eventually landing in Anglo-Catholicism with Thomism as his theological and philosophical grid. Eric Mascall and Garigou-Lagrange loom large here.  He worked until his retirement as a grocery clerk.

When I met Bill he was already in his fifties, though for a number of us, we were never quite sure how old Bill was really. He was our own Melchizidek. I suppose it wasn’t important.  What was important was that Bill had read everything, or practically everything.  Hence Bill’s eventual nick name-Infalli-Bill. When I was attending the then C.U.R.E Academy meetings in the early 1990’s in Anaheim, I met Bill. C.U.R.E (Christians United for Reformation-eventually this morphed into the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals) was the brainchild of the trinity of Rod Rosenbladt, Kim Riddlbebarger, and Mike Horton (probably with Shane Rosenthaul and Rick Ritche deserving honorable mention).  Every week the “Academy” would meet for a lecture, with usually a few hours with Q & A. They’d bring in some Reformed academic, sometimes a Lutheran or they’d have one of their own come in and do a series on all things related to the superiority of the Reformation to the modern corrupted Evangelical establishment.

Bill visited a number of theological discussion groups that existed in the Southern California area. He obviously came to rain on CURE’s parade.  Frankly, Bill either annoyed the hell out of people there or scared the living snot out of them. I was in the latter category. Bill had a grasp of the theology and literature of the Reformation that was every bit as good, if not better than our local advocates of the Reformation. He also had something else that Horton’s crew didn’t seem to have the slightest inkling of. He also knew Rome’s theology via Aquinas quite well. He was patient and fairly quiet, until Q & A came along. To be sure,  Bill was always in line to ask a question or rather to plant a theological bomb.  People became annoyed it seemed to me either because they couldn’t understand what he was asking (he was speaking Thomism after all and they had no translator) or they were peeved that he was making their pet teachers look bad.  Eventually things got so bad that they tried ways to keep Bill from asking questions. It didn’t work. Either he’d get in line any way or a proxy (like me) would pose essentially the same question. Or Bill would just wait until after Q & A was over and then ask Mike or Kim his question afterward. This gave to my eyes the first time I saw a Calvinist literally run away from a Thomist. ( Horton turned white as a sheet one evening when he saw Bill comming to ask a question and just ran away.)

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Eat, Drink and Buy Books

September 3, 2009

Every year for Labor Day weekend my parish has a rather large Greek festival. It is the largest in the state. Of course I help work at the festival with other parishioners. In the great wisdom of my fellow parishioners and clergy I work the book table and jointly give tours of the church. The book table is a load of fun. You never know who you are going to meet. And every year I manage to pull away a few new stories. We not only have the usual weird people that any event in a large city draws, but we have about four seminaries of various theological persuasions which makes discussions at the book table very interesting.  Its like a box of chocolates.

A good amount of the books are hand picked by me and are not only of superior quality but I pretty much sell them fairly well below retail. The proceeds go the church. So if you are in the Saint Louis area this weekend and you are looking to get out of the house and perhaps learn something about Orthodoxy, come visit the Greek Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

The Parting of Ways (with Musical Accompaniment)

August 12, 2009

A Fresh Start

This last week I arrived safe and sound back home from spending time with my family in California. Needless to say I miss home. After getting away from things here in St. Louis I took our return as a fresh start. To that end I took the opportunity to send a note on Friday to Daniel Jones, aka Photios. As many readers know, Daniel and I founded this blog together after we met on Kimel’s Pontifications. Daniel eventually moved from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. I had been received about four years earlier.

In any case, the note consisted of a few points on the direction of the blog, who I wanted to bring on board and more specifically the tone of some of the comments. It has been a long time in coming but I have felt that many of the comments have been far too confrontational and unproductive. They tend to be rhetorical without argument or just the stating of a conclusion, usually with a load of jargon. And some have been rather dictatorial and condescending. Everyone blows their stack now and then, but a pattern of bad behavior isn’t appropriate and it doesn’t help our cause and certainly won’t help persuade people of the truth of our position.

I suggested to Daniel that we needed to move away from this mode of engagement since it is counter-productive. Even if one is correct, without explaining a view and leading the reader through the argument, we aren’t going to persuade people but turn them off and play into the hands of our critics. It is far better to state something dispassionately so that your discussion partners are simply forced to address the argument.

I also suggested that a number of discussions in the comments had gone off the rails and so we needed to work on keeping discussions on track more or less. I also suggested that I really didn’t want people who advocated conspiracy theories, bordering on anti-Semitism and who endorsed other kooky stuff to be commenting so as to use our blog to generate traffic for their own blogs.

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The Cat Came Back

March 2, 2009

I am now back in Saint Louis from my trip to Denver. A shout out goes to all the of the wonderful people I met there at St. Spyridon’s GOC for the Hatfield’s Chrismation. If you are ever in Loveland, CO, it is a great parish to visit. For those I met there considering Orthodoxy, please feel free to contact me via the blog. I would be happy to address your questions and suggest some reading material.

As for the blog, it seems that while I was away, a few visiting commenters have forgotten that this isn’t their venue as well as how to dialog with other human beings in a civil and dispassionate manner. Little mice, play time is over.

As for Steve Hays’ response to my post We Have Met the Enemy,  I am thoroughly undwerwhelmed and will address it in due time. I am not suprised that Turritanfan did not respond to the two posts that I put up and that Steve had to be brought in to address them. That by itself says it all.

It is good to be back home with my wife and three kids even after being pampered by the Hatfield’s personal Hotel Royal. Now back to my regularly scheduled war with the squirrels in my attic and the search for gainful employment. (Squirrels 0, Perry 4)

UPDATE: Squirrels 0, Perry 5)

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