Geisler's Christmas Carol





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Published on Dec 16, 2011

If you are not familiar with the present controversy involving Mike Licona and Norman Geisler, it is one well worth being acquainted with. The results could well affect the health of the church for many years to come. You can read all the details on postings I have made on my blog; the subject entry link is


Entries will be in reverse chronological order. In this description we will provide only a summary "information key" corresponding with the film.

:35 Geisler had written Licona privately asking for answers on these issues. Licona had informed him that with various commitments -- debate preparations, and a vacation among them -- he would not respond quickly. Geisler nevertheless took it upon himself to post an "open letter" concerning the matter before Licona could respond.

1:31 While I do disagree with Licona's reading of Matthew 27, his reasoning in terms of inerrancy is sound. Please see the Ticker postings for details.

1:58 Licona offered an invitation to Geisler to attend a conference to discuss these issues. Geisler declined, under the premise that it was in essence a case of foxes guarding the henhouse.

2:13 Geisler has repeatedly deleted challenges to his arguments (including mine) from his Facebook page.

2:40 Despite his tactics, Geisler has professed to be acting in brotherly love.

2:57 Because of Geisler, Licona -- one of today's leading apologists and defenders of the faith -- was "disinvited" from a conference in New Orleans, as well as other functions.

3:30 In 1983, Geisler similarly oppressed Robert Gundry for his argument than Matthew intended for his Gospel to be understood as midrash -- a sort of Jewish commentary on other Scriptures -- rather than literal history. While we also do not agree with this view, if Matthew did intend his Gospel to be understood this way, then Gundry is not arguing against inerrancy.

That said, though Geisler has made much of alleged comparisons between that situation and this one, there were more than 1,600 present at that meeting, and the final vote was 116 to 41 in favor of Gundry being ousted, which is hardly overwhelming (less than 10% of the voting bloc). It suggests that the overwhelming majority either didn't care or didn't know what to think. It should also be noted that Geisler himself left ETS some years later under the premise that it was headed in the wrong direction.

I should also confess to an error: I used a recent picture of Robert Gundry and assumed that while he is bald now, he must not have been in 1983. I found out too late that he was bald even back then. I hope he doesn't mind the fresh mop.

4:51 Those scholars who have supported Licona include (pictured left to right, bottom row): Daniel Wallace, Edwin Yamauchi (member of the inerrancy committee), Gary Habermas, and Paul Copan. Standing at right is J. P. Moreland (also on the committee). Standing at left are Nick and Allie Peters, the (modified) voices of the Ghosts of Inerrancy Future and Past, respectively, and also Licona's son in law and daughter.

5:18 Supporting Geisler have been (left to right) Al Mohler, and two bloggers, pastor Tim Rogers, and Ed Dingess.

6:30 Some real concerns indeed, if Geisler takes the day (see my "high stakes" post).

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