John D. Hannah

Dr. John D. Hannah (Dallas Theological Seminary) One of the most insightful and honest realistic man I’ve sat under at Dallas Seminary. He is the professor of Historical Theology, and his quips, quotes, and stories are very revealing of the grace of God and the frailty of man. 32 pages of his wisdom can now be viewed or downloaded >> UNIVERSALS: a balanced view of some particulars (PDF format, 1.5MB) – Quotations from DTS classes with Dr. John D. Hannah, compiled by Douglas J. Vardell in 1989. Posted with permission.

Read his profile, as published in Kindred Spirit (DTS Magazine); cf. Wikipedia entry



  • About the Thirty Years War: events prior to the Enlightenment (12/4/92)
  • Lecture Excerpts: “History of the Charismatic Movements in America” (Sept.-Dec. 1993)
    • 9/1/93 “The issue isn’t really did the gifts continue…”
    • 9/22/93 “the question is not is it true.. but what does it mean.. and is it normative..”
    • 9/24/93 “We have made our faith so rational, so clear cut, that it is impregnable to threat..”
    • Lesson 3 “I don’t look upon the Bible as giving us the inspired ecclesiology.. I think it gives us an inspired embryonic nebulous variety of ecclesiology..”
    • 10/1/93 “there is no magical teaching, there is no magical experience.. it’s Christ and Calvary, and you can wrap that any way you want, but if it’s there, you witness some growth..”
    • 10/20/93 “you can deny depravity, but it don’t make it go away.. you can claim eradication, but you don’t got it, to be quite frank..”
    • 10/27/93 “they’re not afraid of technology..”
    • 10/93 “I’m just saying, you know, life is a supermarket, buy wisely.. don’t suffer needlessly, that’s stupidity.. suffer wisely..”
    • Lesson 19 “there is a conservative movement in this country that goes by a variety of names..”
    • Lesson 20 “there’s always a tendency to be chaste when you’re writing..”
    • Lesson 21 “..a lot of movements seem to have prospered in a sociological setting..”
    • Lesson 22 “any gift now signifies this really profound mercy of God..”
    • 11/5/93 “we look at the silence of God, through a grid of prejudice.. prejudice isn’t a bad word, it’s just what all of us possess.. and we say, how do you explain that.. “
    • 11/17/93 “You don’t bring an issue into the text that is not in the context of the text.”
    • 12/3/93 “..sometimes you read the Bible, you get better [passages for] arguments than those people use [for their proof text]..”
    • about healers


  • UNIVERSALS: a balanced view of some particulars (32 pages in PDF format, 1.5MB) – large collection of aphorisms and quotations from DTS classes with Dr. John D. Hannah, compiled by Douglas J. Vardell in 1989. Posted with permission.
  • Life is a wonderful thing. Life can be mundane, unless you know God has ordained it.
  • There are three things that will surprise us when we get to heaven,
    First, those who are there
    Second, those who are not there
    Third, that I am there. [thanks Matt for remembering!]
  • Pain and pleasure is an interesting thing. You try to obtain the maximum amount of pleasure with the least amount of incurring pain. But when the pain becomes great, you’re willing to give up some pleasure. We all do that.
  • Apathy is worse than hatred. You can deal with hatred, you can’t deal with apathy. You can’t dialogue with apathy, you can dialogue with hatred.
  • What is a Christian nation? Answer: they don’t exist, they never did. Depravity is depravity, and it won’t go away, until the Savior comes.
  • Reading them [books] and remembering are two different things.
  • Know what the important thing is.
  • Foster an internal life of quality.
  • Don’t take whatever anybody says for reality or truth. Be sure there is data to back it up.
  • Being a cynic has its own problems.
  • I have nothing to hide, but to trust someone is very different. I don’t trust many people, rather very few people. Trust is a precious valuable thing.
  • Paul is clear that marriage is not the desirable state. But 99% of the people still should get married. For the Western culture, it is a selfish pursuit, rooted in individualism. For the Chinese culture, perhaps one of progeny and esteem of family structure.. Important thing is to be content in whatever state you’re in. A different state of circumstances brings its own set of problems.
  • So I decided, you know, with my talents, which are very few, what can I do that will honor the Lord, given what I am and am not. I figured since there weren’t many teaching history doing all that well, I could be average or poor and do very well. Predicated upon that insight, I chose that profession. It’s funny how you do those things.. Right? Because all of us want to do some good, so you got to find a place where you can do it.
  • I have learned that in preaching the gospel, people don’t really mind my preaching Christ, but that they really mind me preaching on sin. But it’s related to Christ.. it really is. You’ll never understand the solution, ’til you perceive the malady. And I don’t hear much preaching about sin or hell in the evangelical pulpits that I’ve seen. In other words, Christianity has been simply inculturated, and you can’t find the Christ, it seems to be {hidden}… if there is only one book to study all your life, read it once a month and keep reading it forever, I have a friend who [in] his entire ministry was teaching one book in the dormitories of the University of Oklahoma, that one book was what? Romans. Because everything you need to know is right there. What sin is, what justification is, what walking with God is about, and what sovereignty is about, and then what morality is… you’ll always have trouble with sin; [and] that’s sad.


“Our Father in Heaven, we gather this afternoon, your day, to worship you and sing the illustrious Hark the Herald Angel Sing, Glory to the Newborn King. We thank you for Him who divested Himself of heaven’s glory, to be draped and wrapped in human flesh, to come upon this earth to be a Servant, He who made the world came into the world to meet us. And we thank you our Father that by your spirit you’ve opened our eyes to the beauty of this man, who has touched us so profoundly… We thank you for this season of the year in which it seems that even the world becomes a different place. But for we who have been redeemed by this one that we have not seen yet, it’s a special season, in which we gather with those we love, and celebrate together by the giving of symbols, the reality of our affection for you, you who have given us the greatest gift, the Redeemer. We thank you our Father that we know that our sins have been washed away, and that our dark night is forever over, and for reasons that we don’t understand, you have granted us forgiveness in your Son. We do labor laboriously in this life, in which the residual effects of the dominion of sin… we cry out with Paul that what we should
do, we don’t. And that which we do, we shouldn’t. Who can deliver us from this body of sin? We look forward to the day when that burden will be lifted, and we will be ever gracious for it. In the interim, give us the grace, we pray, to abide faithful, however unsuccessful we may be, as we struggle with our own selves in order to do your will. Thank you our Father for the guarantee of joy. I pray Father for these who are your servants, that you will be pleased to give them a wonderful weekend, a good night, a good day tomorrow, a wonderful Lord’s day, as we reflect upon this Savior that we love. We pray that for each of us, that you give us the ability to do the things we need to accomplish, always reminded that our purpose in life is to glorify you, in all we do. We commit our few moments to you, we pray that according to our needs, and according to your mercy, you will deal with us. We give you praise in Jesus’ name. Amen.” (12/4/92)

“Our Father.. we love you, you are a great God.. you have spoken such a peace to us… we are recipients of your mercy.. when we are but creatures.. and vile creatures at that in the sight of a holy God.. is beyond anything we shall understand.. and we just don’t understand why you would be so kind to us.. you give us the most precious object in all of heaven.. and that is the Lord Jesus.. that you might come to this world, and bear on our behalf… to place your own body on a tree.. all the wickedness.. all the debt.. all the guilt… all of that is transferred upon you… the penalty paid at Calvary.. you have given his righteousness to us.. and that transaction… burn that message upon our hearts…. Father, we pray for what we have been asked to pray for… the coming missions conference…. give us a heart and compassion for people in our own world..” (Oct.1993)