Letter From Hank

“The more I contemplate the Incarnation, the more staggered my imagination. The very thought that the one who spoke and a hundred billion galaxies leapt into existence should cloak Himself in human flesh is, well, unthinkable. To imagine that the one who knit me together in my mother’s womb would Himself inhabit Mary’s womb boggles the mind. Yet this is precisely what Christianity proffers—a Creator beyond comprehension who has revealed Himself in Incarnation.”

November 2014

HHHS-200rb
Dear CRI Partner:

I have a difficult question for you:

If you had to list the five greatest events in the history of the human race, what would they be?

Hold that thought just a bit longer. That’s actually worth pausing to think about.

On reflection, many serious students of history would no doubt point to the development of agriculture, an event that radically transformed human life and made possible the development of civilization and culture.

Others would point to the development of writing and how this made possible the recording, accumulation, and transmission of knowledge. Still others might point to the birth of science and the profound impact this would have (and continues to have) on life around the globe.

I’m not sure what would appear on your list, but let me share my top two:

The Incarnation and the Resurrection.

While I can’t even begin to unpack both of these in the brief space of this letter, my book Resurrection tackles the latter in some depth. Regarding the former, the quote at the top of this page is from the opening lines of my new book, Incarnation: The Ultimate Self-Revelation of God.

As we prepare to enter the season of Advent, I’d like to send you a copy. And for reasons I can only briefly touch on here.

First and foremost, I want to send you this book because I think it will bless you. Just as I have consistently sought to mine the Bible for all its wealth, I have likewise tried to pack this brief book with priceless gems from God’s Word.

Second, I’m confident that Incarnation will inspire and edify you. As Christians who look to God’s revelation of Himself to grasp what could never be fathomed by human reason alone, the Incarnation is the ultimate self-revelation of God.

Third, even more than a blessing and inspiration to you and perhaps to your loved ones, Incarnation has apologetic value. Not only because of its content but also because I’ve worked to distill key truths about God into a simple but powerful memory tool (see below).

But before I share just a brief glimpse of this tool, let me give just two of the reasons why I’m persuaded that the Incarnation is one of history’s two greatest events:

First, because without the Incarnation (needless to say), there could be no Resurrection!

And as the apostle Paul said, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:13–15).

Second, without the Incarnation and Christ’s subsequent atoning death, far more critical than just not having the fullness of God’s revelation, we would still be dead in our sins and utterly estranged from “the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17–19).

When viewed through that lens — and the lens of eternity
many of the other great achievements of human kind understandably
begin to pale in comparison!

As proof that Jesus was indeed “God in flesh,” Incarnation includes an easy-to-remember “ABCs” tool (under each of these letters in the book you’ll find the “gems” I mentioned earlier):

  • Ancestry – tracks the lineage of Jesus in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
  • Birthplace – identifies Jesus as the only one who can emerge through the doorway of Old Testament prophecy.
  • Crucifixion – long before crucifixion was invented by the Persians and refined in its horrors by the Romans, the prophets portrayed a crucified Christ!
  • Date – how in the span of history the timeframe set for the Incarnation was narrow indeed.
  • Extraordinary miracles – how Jesus’ extraordinary miracles attested to His claims to indeed be the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  • Fulfill – how Jesus fulfilled not merely a prophecy but multiple Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah.
  • Gentiles – how, rather than an exclusively Jewish kingdom, the Messiah’s reign extends to faithful Gentiles throughout the earth.

And this is just the first chapter.

In later chapters you’ll read about:

  • the most famous Incarnation prophecies
  • how “Immanuel” was indeed the fullness of the Deity in bodily form
  • the mother of all questions (“Who do you say I am?”)
  • Advent (literally the “coming” of Messiah)
  • and a personal “Afterword” where I share my conviction that “to experience Christ is to know Him in inner, intimate, interactive communion. More than knowledge this experience involves transformation.”

That last word — transformation — is also one of the reasons I’d like you to have a copy of this book.

Not only because I think it will be a welcome resource in your ongoing journey of personal transformation and discipleship but also because your gift today to support the outreaches of CRI means that that transformation is made possible for others here at home and around the world.

To receive your copy of Incarnation: The Ultimate Self-Revelation of God, you can conveniently make your gift online.

As CRI is in “full stretch” to equip Christians at home and abroad with hope AND practical tools for abundant living and fruitful witness, the simple truth is that your support and partnership are vital.

For the transformation your gift today can mean to so many, and for the encouragement your support provides to me and to the team here at CRI, I’m more grateful than you know.

May God bless and strengthen you in your labors to be an agent of transformation for the kingdom!

Standing with you for life and truth,

Hanksignaturegold

President

P.S. Someone once noted that, “2,000 years ago, God discovered that human flesh was a great conductor of divine electricity.” It’s my hope and prayer today that you and I can likewise incarnate the Spirit’s power to lighten dark places, mend what is broken, and share urgently needed life and truth with a world that is clearly “out of joint.”

More Questions and Answers with Hank

The Seed of the Woman, and Q&A

Answers on Origins, and Q&A

Hank Hanegraaff with Special Guest, Max McLean

Q&A: Tongues, Christian Rock, and Animal Rights

Experiencing the Incarnation, and Q&A