Our History

The Christian Research Institute (CRI) was founded in 1960 by the late Dr. Walter Martin, the first evangelical Christian clergy to recognize the threat and opportunity presented to the Christian church by cults and alternative religious systems. First Peter 3:15 was the inspiration for CRI: “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Recognizing that the American Christian church had abdicated its position as the spiritual conscience of America’s social, political, and ethical systems, Dr. Martin committed CRI to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

More than 40 years later, CRI is the largest, most effective apologetics ministry in the world. The Bible Answer Man daily live call-in radio program syndicated nationwide and available internationally via Web Site/Internet simulcast, two award-winning periodicals, hundreds of teaching cassettes and videos, a comprehensive resource catalog and bookstore, personal correspondence and customer service, research correspondence, and publications, CRI is living out Jesus’ parable of the salt of the earth. CRI President Hank Hanegraaff, host of The Bible Answer Man, author of the award-winning bestsellers Christianity in Crisis , Counterfeit Revival, The Face that Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution, The Millennium Bug Debugged and Resurrection and internationally popular conference and pulpit speaker, has taken CRI into the next generation of apologetics with a vision for eternity: Mainstreaming apologetics, taking it out of the seminaries and into the hearts and hands of Christians everywhere, is the vision of CRI. We must take the best apologetic thinking by the best minds in church history and communicate it in a popular, memorable way. We do not ­dumb down apologetics, but we take the complex and make it simple, the obscure and make it clear, and the difficult to remember and make it memorable.

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