Advanced Praise for Truth Matters, Life Matters More
Hank Hanegraaff’s Truth Matters, Life Matters More is a remarkable tapestry of vast historical and scriptural knowledge, woven from personal experience, chronicles of faith journeys, and marvelous spiritual insights that mesh to create more than a compendium of theology. Indeed, he pulls the strands together with deftness and devotion, such that they form a map, a sacred topography of the life in Christ. And as a good cartographer would do, Hanegraaff makes sure that the reader has all the keys and legends to read his map. He knows how to point the reader in all the right directions, but he also knows that it is grace that “will lead us home.”
—Fr. Alex Karloutsos, Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Quoting from a wide range of sources, Hank Hanegraaff makes an impassioned case for calling the church back to her earliest roots in this book that is sure to stir and provoke any reader. “Participation,” “union,” and even the controversial word “deification” have been making a quiet comeback in the wake of more and more calls to broaden our collective understanding of what salvation entails. In this book, Hanegraaff wages a battle on two fronts. On the one hand, he wants to maintain that biblical truth matters. On the other hand, he insists that this truth is neither abstract nor impersonal, but a living truth because it is anchored in the living Christ. As someone passionately interested in recovering the reality of our union with Christ, I hope readers will thoughtfully engage with Hanegraaff’s challenging conclusions.
—Rankin Wilbourne, Pastor of Pacific Crossroads Church Los Angeles
and author of Union with Christ and The Cross Before Me
As Hank masterfully points out, “there can be no life without truth, but above all, no truth without life, deification is God’s greatest gift. It is the high peak truth of redemptive revelation.” Hank elucidates this life-changing lesson revealing that “while truth is necessary, it is hardly sufficient. That the map is not the territory. That the menu is not the meal. That we must never mistake the cradle for its occupant. And that we are destined even now to experience life that is life to the full.” This book will further allow us to take His life as source of our living, in our church life, for His satisfaction, to bring to light the Kingdom of God on earth.
—Samuel Nee, a fellow lover and partaker of Christ, nephew of Watchman Nee
Truth Matters, Life Matters More is a cornucopia of good, nourishing things, the fruit of Hank’s many decades of reading, reflection, and prayer. His gift for taking in complex ideas, digesting them, and then presenting them to readers clearly and briefly, make his latest book a wise companion and enjoyable friend.
—Frederica Mathewes-Green, author of Welcome to the Orthodox Church:
An Introduction to Eastern Christianity (Paraclete Press, 2015)
Hank Hanegraaff’s Truth Matters, Life Matters More is a wonderfully written reminder that we are made for more than merely knowing the truth about God — we are made to be Christ’s brothers and sisters, and the Father’s sons and daughters, through deification. This is a forgotten, deeply biblical truth that the early Christians well understood, and one that all Christians must recover.
—Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D., is the author of A Meaningful World and many other books. He is Professor of Political Science and Director of Human Life Studies at Franciscan University
Hanegraaff’s masterpiece guides us toward ultimate Truth in the context of Christ’s promise that He has come to give us life—deified life that is life to the full.
—Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D., author and Emmy Award-winning executive
producer and director, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer
This book portrays what the flower of a beautiful life looks like when it blossoms from the rich soil of Christian truth. The author is widely read and theologically astute in his articulation of selected doctrines of classical Christian faith. The book instructs, inspires, and bears witness to a godly life that blooms from our union with the Incarnate God.
—Bradley Nassif, Ph.D., Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, North Park University, and co-editor of The Philokalia: A Classical Text of Orthodox Spirituality (Oxford University Press)
The truth here is that salvation is so much greater than most people allow themselves to believe. We have been saved not only FROM sin, but FOR divine life. God has shared his inner life with us and made us partakers of his divine nature. This book tells how the Bible Answer Man arrived at the Bible’s most important answer.
—Scott Hahn, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization
at Franciscan University of Steubenville
Truth Matters, Life Matters More details Hank Hanegraaff’s life journey from his childhood to the present day, a voyage guided by Providence. Hanegraaff rightly recognizes salvation as a step towards a higher state — deification — which is not a reality to be expressed conceptually but lived out through the transformation of our life in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, by means of the grace communicated in the Church by the sacraments and the personal practice of spiritual disciplines.
What makes Hanegraaff’s approach interesting is that it is not a theoretical presentation but a testimony of his personal journey. Though Hank’s reflections are rooted in personal experience, there is a clear desire for others to experience similar spiritual growth, exhibiting a youthful enthusiasm for evangelism. In traversing the stages of the long way that led him to True Life, he does not forget to pay homage to those who, often without knowing it, illumined his path.
—Jean-Claude Larchet, professor of philosophy in a French lycée in Strasbourg and author of many books including The Theology of Illness (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002)
Truth Matters, Life Matters More:
The Unexpected Beauty of an Authentic Christian Life
This is my story, beginning with my personal search for truth as chronicled in the introduction to part one, Truth Matters, and continuing on with the unlikely discovery that Life Matters More as recounted in part two.
In essence Truth Matters, Life Matters More is two books in one. Part one emphasizes the absolute necessity and criticality of truth. You and I have no hope of standing against the deadly rip current of our insidious post-truth culture unless and until we grasp that the faith once for all delivered to the saints is grounded in history and evidence. That it corresponds to reality.
Part two makes plain that while truth is necessary, it is hardly sufficient. That the map is not the territory. That the menu is not the meal. That we must never mistake the cradle for its occupant. And that we are destined even now to experience life that is life to the full.
If you have suspected that there is more to the Christian life than what you are currently experiencing, read on — and discover the unexpected beauty of an authentic Christian life.
The Father’s greatest gift to those saved through the death of his Son is the impartation of a new order of life. An order of life that is of the same quality as the life of Christ. For that is precisely what it is — the engrafting of the life of Christ. Thus, to be in Christ is more than a changed life; it is an exchanged life — an impartation of life by which the incarnation continues.
Union with the divine is the apex of human existence. It is the high peak truth of redemptive revelation — the Everest of experiential epistemology. In the words of the Apostle to the Gentiles, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Such newness is not relegated to the felicity of forgiveness and purification — though it is most certainly that. It encompasses the great and glorious grace by which the forgiven now live in intimate union with the Triadic One. This is not merely an objective truth to be cognitively apprehended. “Life in the Trinity” is a living reality to be comprehended experientially.
In the West, theology, like politics, has become a veritable blood sport. In the East, things are somewhat different. More than a conceptual framework of faith, theology means something closer to the literal meaning of the word (theos meaning God
and logos connoting knowledge). As such, far from signifying arguments about God, theology signified intimacy and communion with God. The creature encountering the Creator. The theoretical (though important) overshadowed by a living intimacy with the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb.
On the importance of revelation…
It was the realization that revelation is axiomatic to knowledge that led medieval thinkers to crown theology the queen of the sciences. Peter Paul Rubens personified this elegantly in his seventeenth-century painting The Triumph of the Eucharist. Seated in a chariot propelled by angelic beings is theology — queen of the sciences. Walking alongside are philosophy, the wise and grizzled veteran, and science, a newcomer in the cosmic conversation. The point is that theology is never absent philosophy and science. However, philosophy and science absent revelation leads inexorably to the blind ditch of ignorance.
It isn’t that Christian apologists dwarf the intellects of pagan philosophers. The laws of reason are as accessible to one as to the other. It is the failure to apply the explanatory power of revelation to the mysteries of life that trapped pagan thinkers in the intellectual cul-de-sac of their own making. Pagan philosophers and their devotees idealize the world in terms of how they think it ought to be. Christian thinkers turned the pages in the book of nature and discovered how it really was.
From the Epilogue
The goal is not for saved humanity to remain in the port of salvation. It is to continue on a journey whose sole goal is union with God. It is the experience of life. All attempts to understand the Christian ethic from a solely rational perspective remain partial and inadequate. While the life that matters more is not a prohibition upon knowledge, it is the transcending of knowledge. The transcending of all philosophical speculation.
When the disciples saw the face of Jesus shining like the sun, they came face-to-face with the poverty of their own petrified paradigms. The notion that they might be transfigured like unto their Teacher was as remote to Peter, James, and John as E = mc2 would have been to a consensus scientist prior to the genius of Albert Einstein. We are not merely saved from sin; we are saved for sonship, to be divinely adopted sons and daughters of God. The Fathers of the embryonic church “were so bold as to call this process ‘divinization’ and ‘deification,’ because it is the means by which we enter the life of the Trinity.”
God became incarnate in the form of humanity that humanity might rise up to union with God. This, said Maximus the Confessor, is the very purpose for which God created us, “that we may become partakers of the divine nature, in order that we may enter into eternity, and that we may appear like unto Him, being deified by that grace out of which all things that exist have come, and which brings into existence everything that before had no existence.”