Hanegraaff’s Handy Headknowledge Helpers

I’m currently reading through Hank Hanegraaff’s new book, The Apocalypse Code (2007, Thomas Nelson Publishers). Now I already knew that Hanegraaff is a huge proponent of the use of mnemonic devices, specializing in acronyms and alliterations, but as I was reading through chapter three, “Illumination Principle,” the rate of alliteration had become so high that I began to feel like I was reading a book by Gail Riplinger. First, though, take a look at his table of contents, in case you’ve never had any real exposure to his writing.

Introduction
Resurrection of Antichrist
Racial Discrimination
Real Estate

Exegetical Eschatology (e2): Method vs. Model
Literal Principle
Illumination Principle
Grammatical Principle
Historical Principle
Typology Principle
Scriptural Synergy

Literal Principle: Reading the Bible as Literature
Form
Figurative Language
Fantasy Imagery

Illumination Principle: Faithful Illumination vs. Fertile Imagination
Two Distinct People
Two Distinct Plans
Two Distinct Phases

Grammatical Principle: “It depends on the meaning of the word is”
This Generation
The Pronoun
You
The Adverb Soon

Historical Principle: Historical Realities vs. Historical Revisionism
Location
Essence
Genre
Author
Context
Years

Typology Principle: The Golden Key
The Holy Land
The Holy City
The Holy Temple

Scriptural Synergy: The Code Breaker
Supreme Rule
Substance or Shadow
Sacrificing Traditions

Riplinger, the author of such enduring KJV-Only classics as New Age Bible Versions and In Awe of Thy Word: Understanding the King James Bible/Its Mystery & History Letter By Letter, making a case for the greater mnemonic benefit derived from translating in the inspired King’s English, generally attempts to emulate the KJV’s memorability by resorting not only to alliteration, but also to clever turns of phrase and at times resorts to rhymes (sorry, just couldn’t help myself). Here’s a sample from New Age Bible Versions . . .

“The fiery dragon, first emblazoned on the Gate of Ishtar in ancient Babylon, was to journey round the girth of God’s earth. He soon parched a path in the orient whose aftermath scorched souls from pole to pole. His fiery breath still speaks death, yet in today’s New Age, he’s all the rage” (NABV, 1993 AV Publications, p. 74).

Now compare this with the way Hanegraaff almost alliterates an entire paragraph on page 53 of The Apocalypse Code:

“As God had promised Abraham real estate, he had also promised him a royal seed. Joshua led the children of Israel into the regions of Palestine; Jesus will one day lead his children into the restoration of Paradise. There they will forever experience rest. From Adam’s rebellion to Abraham’s Royal Seed, the Scriptures chronicle God’s one unfolding plan for the redemption of humanity. Far from a postponement in God’s plans because the Jews crucified Jesus, Scripture reveals the fulfillment of God’s plans in the crucifixion. For only through faith in Christ’s death and his subsequent resurrection can God’s one covenant community find rest from their wanderings (Hebrews 4:1-11). In Christ—“the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45)—God’s promises find ultimate fulfillment. As Paul so elegantly put it, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). [emphasis mine]

Now, I agree that it is indeed helpful to receive a memorable outline, and alliteration can help the reader associate parallel concepts. For this I do not fault Hanegraaff. It was simply the rate of such devices, especially in chapter three (so far) that got me giggling about his how his writing was reminiscent of Riplinger (there I go again!).

The Apocalypse Code, overall, is a very good book, but it seems to desperately try to tick off Dispensationalists, especially by associating Dispensationalism, Darby’s quaint nineteenth century theory from the British isles, with evolution, Darwin’s quaint nineteenth century theory from the British isles which lead to the fallacious science of eugenics and culminated in the twentieth century holocaust. Hanegraaff likewise charges that Dispensationalism may create its own self-fulfillment of their literal interpretation of the Battle of Armageddon, resulting in a future holocaust of the Jews they so mean to bless (Gen. 12:3). While the two seem to parallel effectively, Hanegraaff may deserve whatever charges of sensationalism he may receive.

Buy the book and read it. It will aid in communicating the heterodoxy of Dispensationalism to its victims, and will help lead many of them toward more orthodox eschatology. And enjoy the entertainment value eminently evidenced in Hank’s exposition of “exegetical eschatology.”

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3 responses

  1. this is just a test

  2. John D. Chitty | Reply

    You passed!

    Penny for your thoughts. Now don’t take that literalistically the way Tim La Haye and Hal Lindsey would. It would be less than cost effective to mail you a penny.

  3. […] has reviewed Hank Hanegraaff’s latest book on eschatology, The Apocalypse Code. Kim agrees with me that it resorts to sensationalism, and how sad I am to see it. I hoped better for Hank’s […]

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