Book Review -- By: Thomas Ice

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 13:1 (Spring 2008)
Article: Book Review
Author: Thomas Ice

Book Review

Thomas Ice

The Apocalypse Code: Find Out What the Bible REALLY Says about the End Times . . . and Why It Matters Today. By Hank Hanegraaff. Nashville: Nelson, 2007. 300 pages.

Over the last fifteen years, whenever I have heard Hank Hanegraaff—host of the Bible Answer Man radio program—field questions on eschatology (the study of “last things”), it has been clear that he has a presuppositional bias against the futurist perspective. Hanegraaff has told his audience for years that he was studying the field of eschatology and would announce his views in a book one day. That book has now been released. Entitled The Apocalypse Code,1 it serves to confirm the harsh rhetoric and tone that Hanegraaff has employed on the radio against dispensationalism, treating it—and this is no exaggeration—as if it were a cult. Although Hanegraaff has always insisted on his openness to different eschatological views, and contrary to his claims that he has not personally adopted a specific view of eschatology, it is evident to anyone with a background in eschatological studies that he had all along rejected dispensationalism and embraced his own version of a preterist/idealist scheme. He has never admitted this bias, and even after the release of the book he still refuses to classify his own conclusions, despite his penchant of assigning labels to virtually everyone else.

Humble Hank

“Humble” Hank Hanegraaff ridiculed Hal Lindsey’s 1997 book Apocalypse Code2 on the grounds that Lindsey was arrogant enough to claim to understand the book of Revelation. “Until the present generation,” smirked Hanegraaff, “the encrypted message of the Apocalypse had remained unrealized,” but now Lindsey had finally cracked the code.3 However, Hanegraaff himself has now apparently cracked the “code.” He meekly downplays the significance of his new book: “I think it will create a major paradigm shift in our understanding of the end times that is long overdue.”4 Needless to say, he believes this “major paradigm shift” will depart from dispensational futurism and toward his preterism/idealism scheme.

Hanegraaff contends that his book is “to underscore that above all else I am deeply committed to a proper method of biblical interpretation rather than to any particular model of eschatology.”5 If that is his goal, then he has fallen far short of the mark! Hanegraaff’s proposed interpre...

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