On this special edition of the Hank Unplugged podcast, Hank is joined by Cindee Martin Morgan, the daughter of Dr. Walter Martin (founder of the Christian Research Institute), who interviewed Hank last year for a personal project. One of the objectives of the Hank Unplugged podcast is to offer a more leaned back, less didactic version of Hank Hanegraaff, and the staff at the Christian Research Institute enjoyed this interview so much that we are offering it as a special edition of the Hank Unplugged podcast. The conversation displays a deeply personal perspective on Hank’s early life, transition into ministry, and reflections on what has now been thirty years leading the Christian Research Institute. This is truly a unique episode of the Hank Unplugged podcast that you won’t want to miss. [Editor’s Note: This conversation took place before Hank’s cancer went into remission.]
Topics discussed include: despite Hank’s background as a Dutch immigrant in the Christian Reformed Church, he considered himself to be a practical atheist until the age of twenty-nine, when he accepted Christ and began to truly live as a Christian (3:00); Hank recalls what it was like growing up as the son of a Christian Reformed pastor (7:35); the story of how Hank met his wife, Kathy, who taught him to evangelize as his trainer in Evangelism Explosion (11:55); Hank recalls some of his greatest mentors in the faith, such as Dr. Walter Martin, Chuck Colson, and R. C. Sproul (14:45); how Hank first met Dr. Walter Martin (18:30); the greatest lesson that Hank learned from Dr. Walter Martin (19:35); what motivated Hank to join the Christian Research Institute (20:45); where Hank was when he heard that Dr. Walter Martin had died (24:30); Hank recalls some amusing anecdotes about his relationship with Dr. Walter Martin (26:55); what inspired Hank to write his first book, Christianity in Crisis (32:00); Hank discusses why he is so passionate about his book Has God Spoken? Memorable Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration (37:45); why Hank has always been firmly and unapologetically pro-life (40:05); Hank’s initial reaction to being diagnosed with cancer, and why Hank considers his battle with cancer to have been one of the best experiences of his life (44:35); learning to trust God “in the midst of our whys,” through the midst of uncertainty (52:50); how Hank’s tight-knit family rallied around him during his battle with cancer (55:55); what led Hank to become a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church (57:05); the problem with a transactional view of Christianity as opposed to the transformational purpose of Christianity leading to union with God, also known as theosis (1:07:30); discussing Martin Luther and his belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (1:13:35); Hank’s response to those who claim that he left the Christian faith by joining the Eastern Orthodox Church (1:15:55); remembering Elliot Miller, longtime friend, colleague, and editor of the Christian Research Journal (1:25:40); discussing threats to the church and why the greatest modern-day threat to the church is not external but internal (1:33:30); the criticality of the church recognizing the importance of the doctrine of unity, uniting in the essentials of the historic Christian faith, or, as C. S. Lewis put it, Mere Christianity (1:39:00); reflecting on the individuals that Hank looks forward to reuniting with in heaven, while taking into account that our perspectives will vary greatly upon arriving in heaven (1:41:30); words of wisdom that Hank lives by and would like to pass on to the next generation (1:44:15); and addressing one of Hank’s favorite Bible verses, 1 Timothy 4:16 (1:47:45).
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