Monday, July 01, 2019

Norman Geisler

Norm Geisler passed away today at 86. Geisler was an influential popularizer. He spread himself much too thin, so the quality of his work suffered accordingly. I regard his commitment to Thomism as a weakness, although one can appropriate and incorporate elements of Thomism into an overall apologetic or worldview. An outspoken champion of biblical inerrancy, he was rather better on offense than providing a sophisticated model of inerrancy. He mentored a number of younger apologists. To some extent he was overtaken by William Lane Craig. 


  1. One area where Geisler's popularizing work did significant good was on television. We're so accustomed to the web now, but it wasn't available prior to the 1990s. I remember Geisler being on Christian television somewhat often in the 1980s and beyond (e.g., John Ankerberg's show, D. James Kennedy's). His material wasn't at the level of the best Christian scholarship, but it was above where most Christians are and what you would usually come across on Christian television.

  2. For better or worse, I was never acquainted with Geisler.

  3. To my knowledge he was one of the folks behind the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy. I don't believe I have any of his books other than Inerrancy (1980), which he edited. Although he unfortunately went on to attack Calvinism in his later life, I'd still put him on the happy side of my ledger.

  4. 3 of his good books are:
    Inerrancy - editor
    "The Battle for the Resurrection" (explains the issue of the term, "spiritual body" in 1 Corinthians 15 really well.)

    General Introduction to the Bible - with William Nix

    his OT Survey was too dominated by assumptions of Pre-Tribulationalism and Premillennialism. (Daniel 9, Ezekiel 40-48; Isaiah 65-66, book of Zechariah, etc. and other Prophetic texts)

    It was sad that he had such a "bee in his bonnet" over Calvinism. And his defense of Ergun Caner was really bad.
    But he was a true believer in Christ and good servant of the Lord and he is with the Lord now.

  5. I just saw this for the first time - (how Norman Geisler first got into apologetics) - I agree, especially with the last statement the guy said, "If a person says that apologetics is not needed; they have just revealed that they are not doing evangelism." (something like that)