Monday, March 4, 2013

#449: John Ankerberg

John Ankerberg is a Tennessee-based televangelist whose work is mostly concerned with “cults”, which means everything apart from Southern Baptism, and especially Roman Catholicism. His rival used to be televangelist Jim Bakker, a rivalry Ankerberg and his ally Jimmy Swaggart resolved by revealing Bakker’s adultery to the public. Ankerberg’s show deals with contemporary spiritual issues and deliver biblical answers. You can guess approximately what this part of it looks like. Ankerberg is also part of the Presidential Prayer Team.

His ministry, the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, even has a wiki. The wiki includes such sections as “science”, which deals with profound scientific questions such as whether the Genesis Creation Days are 24 hours or long periods of time, and “Scientific Evidence for Skeptics” (also a DVD).

Ankerberg has written some 91 books (lots coauthored with John Weldon), many of them concerned with combating evolution – Conservapedia tends to cite them – and the Freemasons who in reality run the government. Others books have such enticing titles as “Fast Facts on Islam”, “Fast Facts on Mormonism”, and “Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs”, and (with Weldon and one Dave Hunt) “One World: Bible Prophecy and the New World Order” as well as (with Weldon and Dillon Burroughs) “The Facts on Halloween” and “The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses”. It would, of course, have helped if Ankerberg were able to distinguish facts from garbedly insane fiction, but I guess you can’t have everything. “One World” is concerned with the “Power Vacuum in the Middle East, Russia’s role in the Future, The European Common Market, The Emerging Role of the U.N. in World Politics, and The U.S. in a Possible World Coalition,” and is – as expected – pure Alex-Jones-style conspiracy theory, framed by the Book of Revelations to give it an extra flavor of hysteria, and glorious in its abject insanity.

At least Ankerberg is known to debunk woo; the problem is that his problem with woo such as reiki is that it is unchristian, which is, frankly, not the main problem. He is shocked at people who call parapsychologists to remove poltergeist, for instance, since everyone knows poltergeists are the work of Satan and needs an exorcist.

Diagnosis: A fundie’s fundie. Hugely influential, and some people actually manage to confuse his theological rants with science. Tells you more about the sordid state of science education, really.


  1. Yes, but like Warren Zevon's werewolf, his hair is perfect.

  2. Although it's common (especially among those who claim to believe it) to refer to the text as "the Book of Revelations," the actual title is "the Book of Revelation."

    Just a little nit I like to pick.

  3. you guys should do his buddy john weldon next, his hair isnt nearly as good as ankerbergs!