For conservative and evangelical Christians, Hank Hanegraaff has long been a "go-to guy" for help in untangling a thorny Bible text or theological conundrum, says Mark Rumsey, WFAE 90.7, Charlotte, North Carolina's NPR News Source, reporting on the conversion of the 'Bible Answer Man' radio host from evangelical Protestantism to the Greek Orthodox Church.
The radio station says Hanegraaff has tackled listeners' questions for nearly three decades as host of the nationally-syndicated "Bible Answer Man" radio show, broadcast since 2004 from the headquarters of the Christian Research Institute in Charlotte's Blakeney area.
Lately, though, Hanegraaff has been fielding questions of a more personal nature. That's because on Sunday, April 9, he officially became an ex-Protestant, according to the media outlet.
Hanegraaff stunned many supporters by joining St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in south Charlotte.
"April 10th I came into the office and there were news agencies from all around the world that wanted to talk to me. A picture had gone out over the internet. There were postings that said Hank Hanegraaff had walked away from the Christian faith -- the fallout was dramatic," said Hanegraaff.
Less than two weeks later, two conservative Christian radio networks had pulled the plug on the Bible Answer Man broadcast on nearly 120 stations. That left Hanegraaff's show on 60 stations.
"We have a specific point of view that we represent, and we try to make that as close to a biblical worldview -- a literal interpretation of the Bible," says Michael Carbone, Chief Operating Officer for the Winston-Salem-based Truth Network. "The eastern Orthodox faith has some positions that are antithetical to a traditional evangelical Biblical position."