M.R. De Haan (1891-1965)
M.R. De Haan (1891-1965) was a pioneer in Christian broadcasting with the weekly radio program Radio Bible Class. Many listeners did not realize that De Haan trained as a medical doctor, receiving his M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School. After practicing medicine for several years, De Haan’s greater love of teaching the Word of God led his to study Bible and theology at Western Theological Seminary. He carried this ministry forth as a popular public teacher through radio and as an author. He wrote more than twenty-five books and published countless daily devotionals in Our Daily Bread. De Haan focused on medical themes with books like Chemistry of the Blood, Dear Doctor: I Have a Problem, and Genesis and Evolution. He also had a love of teaching Bible prophecy as evidenced by Coming Events in Prophecy, Daniel the Prophet, Revelation, The Second Coming of Jesus, and Signs of the Times.
In the study of prophecy, De Haan was a thoroughgoing premillennialist and dispensationalist. Over and over again in his writings he reminded his readers of the difference between Israel and the church. Because of the explosive nature of world events following World War II and at the urging of his radio audience, he wrote his well-known commentary on the book of Daniel. He was the nations, and especially those countries in the Middle East, moving toward the prophesied end times. Daniel, he noted, gave his attention to the times of the Gentiles while in the first of the book of Revelation, John concentrated on the church during this present dispensation. John gave most of his space to the Tribulation period, but both authors, “present to us a very graphic description of the chief actor of the end-time…the ‘man of sin.’”
In lay terms, De Haan often reminded his audiences of basic interpretative principles. He liked to point out that: 1) all Scripture has one primary interpretation; 2) all Scripture has several practical applications; and 3) most Scripture passages have also a prophetic revelation. “To ignore the primary…and to be occupied only with its practical applications may result in fanaticism and losing the real purpose for which the revelation was given.”
Few Bible teachers have sustained their ministry as long and been as popular as De Haan.