There are moments when I am proud to be an Evangelical. This is not one of them.

I was listening to a discussion between two gentleman at the Credo House this afternoon. The conversation started as one man introduced another man to a guest scholar we have invited to the Credo House for our “Coffee and Scholars” in two weeks: Mike Licona. He will be here speaking about the historicity of the resurrection of Christ. His recent work The Resurrection of Jesus hit the stands last year and I was glad to get this resource in my hands and glad to have Licona get it into the public stream of scholarship. Proud. Maybe that is not a good word for someone like me to use of someone like Mike Licona. But ever since I was introduced to Mike a few years back, he has made me proud. Proud to be an evangelical. Proud to be a Christian. But most of all, today, proud to have such a resource that defends the resurrection of my savior with such persuasiveness.

My ears perked up to the conversation between the two gentlemen at the Credo House. Hoping against hope that I would not hear what I thought I might hear, longing for the conversation to dignify truth, justice, and the evangelical way, I tuned in to see how this invite to hear Mike tell his testimony might play out. From behind the bar, this peaceful coffee barista’s countenance turned red-nosed in anger as I heard how Licona was introduced. “You know Mike Licona,” the one man told the other, “the guy who Norman Geisler called on to repent because of his view of the dead saints that rose in Matthew. He believes . . .” I told the guy to stop. I took over and told about the Mike Licona who just produced what might be the best historic defense of the resurrection that an evangelical has ever had his thumb print on. I told about the Mike Licona who is traveling all over the world in the power of the Spirit persuading people that the Christ is alive right now. I told about the Mike Licona who is out on the front lines debating atheists with grace, kindness, and resolve. I told about the Mike Licona who reaches out to those who are doubting their faith with mercy, gently giving hope back to them one gentle spoonful at a time. The Mike Licona that Norman Geisler has created should be nothing more than a parenthetical afterthought.

(Warning: Anger laden satire forthcoming with multiple mixed metaphors. Cover your ears and allow me to vent.)

Unfortunately, the Mike Licona that Norm Geisler has created is in the spotlight. With gloves on and mouthpiece in, Mike’s image and priorities have been changed. He is on the defense as his own blood relatives with Jesus DNA and tiger’s blood are tag-teaming with one purpose: to bring Mike to repentance. “In this corner,” the announcer screams, “‘Team Inerrancy’: Norman Geisler and Alber Mohler.” The stands behind them, filled with life-long followers, scream and cheer. “In the other corner, ‘Team Resurrection’: Mike Licona.” The stands behind him have just a few brave souls. The empty seats have personal letters to Mike expressing their support and sorrow that they could not attend to give public support. Mike came to this ring expecting discussion, dialogue, or maybe (God forbid) a pat on the back and invitation to join the team. But as he arrived he found only a tribunal. His new book was laid on the table. The men point to the book and say, “Did you write this?” Mike says, “That’s my name on the cov . . .” They responded before he was finished, “Are you ready to recant!” Taken aback, Mike said “Of what am I to recant? My belief in resurrection of Jesus?” “No,” they responded, “Of your denial of inerrancy.” “But I don’t deny inerrancy,” Mike said. “Yes, you do,” Geisler’s voice become distinct, “I wrote the book on inerrancy. I say who denies it and who does not. And you, sir, deny inerrancy due to your faulty interpretation of Matthew 27:52-53.” “No, I don’t. I just said that it might be apocalyptic, the same as many others evangelicals have said.” “Well, I don’t accept your interpretation as being a valid option. If you will turn to the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy, page 4, you will see . . .”

“Let’s just hold him until he recants.”

“Wait, wait . . . the prisoner wishes to say a word . . .”

“Freeeeeeeedooooooooommmmm”

(Satire over…I hope)

For those of you who don’t know, Christian apologist and New Testament scholar, Mike Licona, has been publicly called to repentance by theologian and author Norman Geisler and the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler. The accusation is that he has denied inerrancy (the doctrine that the Bible contains no errors, historic or scientific) because he suggested in his book The Resurrection of Jesus that the account of the dead saints rising in Matthew 27:52-53 might be apocalyptic. One statement in this 718 page book that Craig Keener says is “the most thorough treatment on the resurrection and historiography to date [building] a coherent case showing that the best explanation for our evidence involves Jesus’ historical resurrection” has caused Geisler to issue a personal call to repentance followed by three open letters and five public reprimands for Licona’s interpretation. So prominent is this issue that Norman Geisler’s website has a section on the front page devoted to this issue called the “Licona Letters” (source). Albert Mohler followed Geisler’s call to repentance with one of his own making a shocking statement that “Licona has handed the enemies of the resurrection of Jesus Christ a powerful weapon” (source).

First, let me say this: I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Geisler and Mohler. Geisler’s A General Introduction to the Bible was instrumental for me early in my studies. I have just about everything he has ever written and have loved and benefited greatly from most of it. Mohler deserves no less a commendation as he has contributed greatly to the cause of Christ. Both will forever be heroes of mine. However, I can’t think of anything else in the last ten years that has disturbed me as much as this controversy. A few months ago, I avoided interaction at all costs. While Licona’s first response to Norm Geisler was placed on our blog, I did so reluctantly for two reasons: 1) I did not and do not want Credo House Ministries to be involved in controversial issues involving specific personalities if at all possible. 2) I did not like to give “air time” to an issue creating dirty laundry where none really exists. After all, I thought (hoped), Norm Geisler’s open letters are not very accessible as his website gets very little traffic. And he is only one person involved and most “insiders” already call him “Stormin’ Norman” due to his slight theological temper. I just thought (hoped) that it would die.

However, I think I have stood by and watched my friend Mike Licona take enough shots. Not that there is anything personally I can do or that my voice is that loud or deep. And it is not as if I am the only one coming to his defense. But when Albert Mohler joined the tribunal, I knew that this controversy would go viral and have terrible effects on many levels. Now that this controversy makes up the first point of contact on Mike’s Wikipedia legacy (sigh . . . can someone please edit that out?) and Google’s search engine produces the suggested query “Mike Licona Norm Geisler” when “Mike Licona” is all I am searching for, it is time to realize that the cat is out of the bag and making a spectacle of evangelical theology. But most importantly, as I reluctantly caught up on all that has been written about last Saturday, I came to morn greatly when I found out that Mike’s recent job transitions out of the North American Mission Board and Southern Evangelical Seminary were not coincidental. This great apologist’s life and family is being deeply affected by the unrelenting crusade of very few, but powerful, evangelical brothers. It is a spectacle and a travesty.

Three points of concern:

1. I don’t agree with Mike Licona about the possibility that Matthew 27:52-53 is apocalyptic imagery rather than describing historical events. Let me make that clear. I have read his defense and dug into it just enough to say that I think that the raising of the dead saints, while odd, is meant to be understood as historical. However, this is an issue of interpretation, not inerrancy. I believe in inerrancy, but I also believe that we have to separate inerrancy from particular interpretations. Just about anything could be tied to inerrancy when disagreement about interpretation is at issue. I have seen people say that those who deny that Revelation 20 is speaking of a literal thousand year future millennium are denying inerrancy. While I believe it is a literal thousand years, I don’t say that inerrancy says you can’t interpret it any other way than literal. There is symbolism in the Scripture, even in historic narrative. However, even if one completely thinks someone else has lost their interpretive marbles when they spiritualize some passage through appeals to apocalyptic, symbolic, or, even, allegorical interpretation, the issue is one of hermeneutics, not inerrancy. In other words, you cannot tie inerrancy to a particular interpretation.

As well, Geisler believes in an old earth. In other words, he does not take the narrative of Genesis 1 and 2 literally. Even though it is embedded in a historical genre, he gives himself liberty to see symbolism in the creation account (probably due to the testimony of modern science). Why does his view of inerrancy allow him this freedom, but when Licona suggests something similar, he is called to public reprimand and repentance? When someone professes inerrancy, our interpretation and hermeneutic cannot be the judge as to whether they really believe in it or not. There has to be academic freedom, even in tighter circles of Protestant theology such as evangelicalism, especially when the discovery of truth is the issue.

2. Norm Geisler and Albert Mohler both call on Mike to reaffirm biblical inerrancy by changing his interpretive position. Their banner flag is inerrancy and they fly it high. But it is not just inerrancy that is written on their banner, it is inerrancy as defined by the International Council for Biblical Inerrancy codified in the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI) of 1978. In fact, as I read through both of their critiques of Licona, I believe they quote from the CSBI more than any other source, even Scripture. The issue, for them, seems to be not whether Mike’s interpretation was valid or even the need to counter his interpretation with their own, but whether or not Licona had violated this 1978 creedal statement. How did the CSBI become the premier standard to orthodoxy? Don’t get me wrong, the last time I read it, I agreed with it all (except for one statement). But as much as I respect the history and personalities behind the CSBI, it is neither infallible nor the norma normans sed non normata norm (Lat. “norm which norms which is not normed”—a statement of faith about the supreme authority of Scripture, not about “Norm” Geisler!). In the end, Geisler and Mohler are not calling on Licona to repent and return to the orthodoxy of this historic Christian faith, but to repent and return to their interpretation of the CSBI.

Now, last time I checked, the doctrine of sola Scriptura is much more a distinctive of Protestant orthodoxy than is inerrancy. Sola Scriptura is one of the two primary battle cries of the Great Reformation (the other is sola fide “justification by faith alone”). As a matter of fact, a few years ago, after the Francis Beckwith issue I suggested an amendment to change the defining characteristic of Evangelical Theological Society from inerrancy to sola Scriptura. The doctrine of sola Scriptura says that the Scripture is our final and only infallible source of revelation. The Scripture, not any council (much less a 1978 Evangelical council), is the norm that norms which is not normed. I think that Geisler (and possibly Mohler) are in more danger of violating the more central doctrine of sola Scriptura than Licona is of violating inerrancy.

3. But there is something that looms much larger than both of these concerns in my opinion. It is the blatant violation of evangelical theological propriety that this issue has raised. Grace is absent. Mike Licona has just written what both men recognize is a (if not the) premiere defense of the central doctrine of the Christian faith: the resurrection of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Licona is not only an evangelical in every sense of the word, he is a rising apologetic leader whose central focus of his life is the risen Jesus. His work on the subject is surpassed by none, even the great N.T. Wright’s Resurrection of the Son of God. It is fine that these two men had concerns with Licona’s interpretation of Matthew 27. It might even be fine that they felt that these concerns could have some significant “slippery slope” repercussions. But their concerns should have been drowned out by the commendation that they gave Licona for his monumental work. Geisler, an apologist of the “old school,” should have written twenty open letters of commendation and praise before he ever even thought of writing his first open letter of criticism which eventually left Mike out of a job. Though I have talked to Mike briefly about this over the phone and he did not seem too discouraged, what a deflation of purpose, drive, and ambition this must be for him. To contribute so significantly to the defense of the core of Christianity only to find his greatest battle coming not from unbelievers, but from his very own kin whose commendations serve only as a prelude to calls to repentance, recantation, and reform must be more than difficult.

Geisler and Mohler should have thrown Mike Licona a parade but instead they have paraded a spectacle of shame and dishonor, elevating a non-essential issue of interpretation to the very test of orthodoxy. Mohler said that “Licona has handed the enemies of the resurrection of Jesus Christ a powerful weapon.” I am beginning to think that just the opposite is true. Mohler and Geisler (and anyone else who has defined Licona  accordingly) are presently giving the enemies of Christ a powerful weapon. Illegitimate weapon, yes. But powerful nonetheless. (Not to mention embarrassing.)

“We have met the enemy and it is us.” This comic strip phrase captures the essence of how evangelicals often eat their young. I have met the enemy and it is not Mike Licona.

Mike, for what it is worth, I stand behind you even understanding that my ministry could suffer indirectly due to my support. I commend you as I did on your Facebook page right after I got your book on the resurrection. I commend you as I did after I handed out your Evidences for God book on the airplane to a grateful gentleman. I commend you as you, four years ago, patiently came on our “Converse with Scholars” program and settled people’s fears about the Talpiot tomb. I commend you as you are open and brave to express your understanding, doubts, and struggles yet glorify God in defending the faith. I pray that the stands are full in your corner during this battle. There are so many of us who appreciate what you are doing and are praying for you.

I think that Max Andrews said it best when he brought Wormwood into the mix:

“My Dearest Wormwood,

Whenever you find an expert defense of the enemy’s resurrection marshall the forces of the fundamentalists to marginalize it by ceaseless debates over ‘inerrancy’ in minor, inconsequential details.”

There are moments when I am proud to be an Evangelical. This is not one of them.

Mike’s site: http://risenjesus.com/, Support him.

cta-free-28min-video-of-apologetics


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    181 replies to "Mike Licona, Norman Geisler, Albert Mohler, and the Evangelical Circus"

    • Ed Kratz

      Truth,

      It is not about tone, but what the tone represents as a Magisterium is present in Protestant Evangelicalism and its threats not only to sola Scriptura but what defines an Evangelical (i.e. subscribing to one or two people’s interpretation of ICBI).

      1. That Geisler and Mohler and do what they did the way that they did it and influence so many people in Evangelicalism evidences a problems. Why does Geisler think he has to receive a response from Licona at the threat of going public? What if everyone did that with every issue they have in any book they read? Is this the proper way to handle a situation?

      2. That Mike has been let go from three positions and that Geisler is actively attempting to keep him from others. This is beyond doctrine and a significant problem in Christian practice. How can someone turn a Christian brother into a beggar on the side of the road and not only drive by but actively be engaging others to drive by? This alone should cause much greater credibility issues than the charges he is bringing against Licona.

      3. How does someone like this still have credibility anywhere in Evangelicalism. While I appreciate his contributions (and forever will), he has done this over and over again and somehow still has the ability to win friends and influence people. Not sure what that says about the divide in Evangelicalism, but it shows that one is definitely there.

      4. What might be typical with Geisler given his track record, is tragically typical with Mohler right now. Mohler should be writing another blog telling those who are blocking Mike’s livelihood and profession to cease. He should also be writing an open letter to Geisler exposing him. In fact, they both need to write open letters to themselves.

      I am glad that I am an Evangelical due to higher ideals than the fraternity among Evangelicals themselves. “Love one another” is not present here and, ironically, seems to be more absent when the passion people defend intellectual consent to a particular Evangelical theological position becomes the only placeholder for Evangelical love.

    • BlueCat,

      I don’t see the use of “Catholic” with the capital C as belonging to Rome, but perhaps it should be a small c? Note we Anglicans consider ourselves “Catholic” also, just not Roman Catholic. And I am myself something both “reformed” and “catholic”! Note, I even like and read Karl Barth, though I am not “Barthian”.

      Indeed Lewis was somewhat eclectic, as many Anglicans, I am too eclectic myself! But, on matters of faith and doctrine I would surely see myself as a conservative, just not an American one! 😉

    • BlueCat57

      Re: C Michael Patton says: December 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

      CMP says that he is an “Evangelical.” That statement reminds me to remind those here that whenever you are involved in a debate one of the first things you should do is agree on a definition of the terms that are being used in the debate. At the very least you should take the time to try and figure out how the others involved are defining the terms.

      I’m not going to take the time right now to cull through the comments for key terms but I’m sure that if you asked 10 people that have made comments in this thread that you would get at least four or five definitions and that not everyone would agree on a single definition for “evangelical” to use in this discussion.

    • BP57: Yeah, even with us Brit’s we have what is called, ‘Open Evangelicalism’, and people like Tom Wright claim that aspect. So that is not much help! Perhaps “brotherhood”, and to my mind, “man-up” should be applied here? I mean what has happened to Christian Manhood? Especially with those who claim pastoral & theological leadership? Indeed this is also a major issue to my mind! Is it gonna take an Evangelical synod to approach Pope Giesler? Sorry, but I am angry somewhat for Michael Licona’s sake! It’s time for all to simply ‘man-up’!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      I understand that some folks are peeved at Geisler and Mohler for their admonishments of Licona for his scholarly writing about Matthew 27.

      Here’s what helps me remain detached (to some degree):

      (o) As “evangelical scholars” do Mohler and Geisler have reason and liberty (or even responsibility?!) to offer substantive critique to “evangelical scholar” Licona’s writings about Matthew 27?

      I can’t see a convincing reason to shut down Mohler and Geisler’s freedom to rebut Licona’s writings about Matthew 27.

    • Danny Zacharias

      Truth Unites… and Divides:

      “All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.” (1 Cor 10:23)

      We’re called on to submit our will to Christ for the building up of his body and the proclamation of his Gospel, not to exercise our “freedom” as if that trumps everything else.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Faithful proclamation of (and fidelity to) Historical Truth builds up the Body of Christ.

    • Andrew T.

      As much as Norman Geisler seeks to defend orthodoxy, this isn’t a case of him defending scripture, rather it is a case of him defending his interpretation which he views as just as inerrant as scripture.

      This is a case of mistaking interpretation with text; of muddling tradition (ecclesiastical orthodoxy) and orthodoxy.

    • Jonathan Perreault

      Hello “Truth Unites…and Divides”:

      Speaking generally here – I like your comment about the Tone Police vs. the Truth Police…that’s pretty good!

      JP

    • It is interesting that really neither Geisler or Mohler have even tried to give a full historical exegesis of Matt. 27: 52-53, save to say it is and MUST be historical! I have in fact not seen myself a solid historical presentation yet, and as I noted, not even with the literal-minded EW Bullinger! And even John MacArthur uses the word “Evidently” (apparent), and likens this as – “a kind of foretaste of 1 Thes. 4:16”. But how he arrives at such a conclusion is simply not exegetical. So the whole literal, historical, is both a supposition and a presupposition. The only real reality here is as the text, the death & resurrection of Christ, itself! The details and the timing are just simply not clear! And so this does appear to be best seen within the Apocalyptic genre. But then thats my exegetical take anyway.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Thanks Jonathan Perrault for your “like” of my earlier comment.

      (General observation) In the interaction between folks who generally lean towards the Tone Police and folks who generally lean towards the Doctrine/Truth Police…

      is that they occasionally speak past one another.

      (Another general observation) Tone Police tend to be dogmatic, ironically enough, in their subjective assessments as to what constitutes “inappropriate” tone.

      For example, as regards this post, I did not find anything objectionable in either content or tone in the blog post written by Albert Mohler about Licona’s writings on Matthew 27.

      On the other hand, some folks found Mohler’s post to be objectionable in his tone. Whereas I thought Mohler lauded and extolled Licona’s contributions quite a bit before constructively critiquing Licona on Matthew 27.

      Which makes me think of a subsidiary question:

      Did Jesus’s opponents ever object to Jesus’s tone or word choice(s) when He addressed or responded to them? If they did, were they justified in objecting to His tone that He used with them? Moreover, did His tone prevent them from truly hearing the truth and substance of what He was conveying? Or did they have such a pharasaic obsession with tone and propriety that their obsession prevented them from receiving the substance of what Jesus was saying to them?

    • The very title of Mohler’s post, was.. ‘The Devil Is In the Details, etc.’ So this is hardly an open minded look from the very beginning!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Albert Mohler: “Michael Licona is a gifted and courageous defender of the Christian faith and a bold apologist of Christian truth. Our shared hope must be that he will offer a full correction on this crucial question of the Bible’s full truthfulness and trustworthiness. I will be praying for him with the full knowledge that I have been one who has been gifted and assisted by needed correction.”

      Looks good and sincere and genuine to me.

    • Eric Miller

      The conflict isn’t simply that “Resurrection of the Saints” isn’t historical. That is a blatant misrepresentation of the controversy. The issue IS inerrancy. Dr. Licona has said:

      “It can forthrightly be admitted that the data surrounding what happened to Jesus is fragmentary and could possibly be mixed with legend, as Wedderburn notes. We may also be reading poetic language or legend at certain points, such as Matthew’s report of the raising of some dead saints at Jesus death (Mt 27:51-54) and the angel(s) at the tomb (Mk 15:5-7; Mt 28:2-7; Lk 24:4-7; Jn 20:11-13”

      If there are embellishments and legends in Scripture that undercuts any view of inerrancy. I like Dr. Licona but people need to stop downplaying the seriousness of his assertions.

      http://normangeisler.net/public_html/ResponseMLEPS.html

    • You cannot see his presupposition that Licona is already wrong? I am right here to tell you that it is both Mohler and Geisler who are really wrong, and should listen to the work of Licona! Indeed the majority of the Christian academy see this as “Apocalyptic”, in Matt. 27: 52-53! Its really just that simple! Now if one “wants” to hold and believe in the historical idea of details here, they are quite welcome! But, it really just cannot be seen exegetically!

    • Eric: It is quite unfair really to jump right into the middle of a scholastic and scholars argument on the Resurrection. As Licona here! The view of inerrancy is really not the subject here. I myself believe in the classic idea of inerrancy, but I also believe in the Apocalyptic nature and interpretation of Matt. 27: 52-53. And I am most certainly a conservative Christian and Anglican!

    • BlueCat57

      In response to:
      Truth Unites… and Divides says: December 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm
      “I understand that some folks are peeved at Geisler and Mohler for their admonishments of Licona for his scholarly writing about Matthew 27.
      Here’s what helps me remain detached (to some degree):
      (o) As “evangelical scholars” do Mohler and Geisler have reason and liberty (or even responsibility?!) to offer substantive critique to “evangelical scholar” Licona’s writings about Matthew 27?
      I can’t see a convincing reason to shut down Mohler and Geisler’s freedom to rebut Licona’s writings about Matthew 27.”

      Based on what I’ve seen here Geisler and Mohler are not admonishing Licona nor are they offering substantive critique, they are calling him a heretic and demanding he recant.

      It also appears from many posts that Matt 27 is open for debate.

      Others have indicated that they are not aware of scholarly papers on the subject by any of those involved that have been published in peer reviewed journals, so there is nothing to rebut except statements made almost in passing without any details about how their respective positions were arrived at. We are discussing conclusions without the supporting facts. Sherlock Holmes would be ashamed of us.

      If Mohler and Geisler were actually rebutting Licona then they are free to do that, but they are calling him a heretic. And while they are free to do and say whatever they want, they should extend that freedom to Licona as well. They just have bigger pulpits to broadcast their opinions from.

      They are not presenting scholarly arguments and debating the passage in the appropriate forum which would be in an academic setting. Of course I have such a low opinion of academia, both secular and religious, that I doubt Licona would get a “fair” hearing. Either Mohler/Geisler would demand he present in front of a Southern Baptist audience or they would refuse to attend a debate in a more “liberal” setting.

    • We should note that the so-called doctrine of inerrancy is itself quite hard to define! Charles Spurgeon said he would as soon defend a lion as the Word of God! Yes the Word of God is its own defense! Just speaking for myself, I don’t need to “define” how the Bible is inspired or the Word of God, it just IS! Note, here I tend toward the presup ideas. I say “ideas”, for humanly speaking we are found always stumbling & grappling before and with the God who is Totally Other! (To quote Barth)

    • Wow, I just realized that this really is about fame, fortune and books! Norm Geisler is coming out with a new book in the Spring (2012), called: Defending Inerrancy, etc. So his name and position is on the block! (Or so he sees it no doubt) And Al Mohler is writing in support of it! More Classic Fundamentalism!

      Rally round the flag boys!

    • Eric Miller

      The conflict isn’t simply that “Resurrection of the Saints” isn’t historical. That is a blatant misrepresentation of the controversy. The issue IS inerrancy. Dr. Licona has said:

      “It can forthrightly be admitted that the data surrounding what happened to Jesus is fragmentary and could possibly be mixed with legend, as Wedderburn notes. We may also be reading poetic language or legend at certain points, such as Matthew’s report of the raising of some dead saints at Jesus death (Mt 27:51-54) and the angel(s) at the tomb (Mk 15:5-7; Mt 28:2-7; Lk 24:4-7; Jn 20:11-13”

      If there are embellishments and legends in Scripture that undercuts any view of inerrancy. I like Dr. Licona but people need to stop downplaying the seriousness of his assertions and stop disrespecting those who do not support him.

    • Nick

      @Eric.

      Do you know what Mike Licona’s book really is?

      Do you know who his audience is?

      Do you know what the word “may” means?

    • After reading from Geisler’s own site, I can see that the only thing that one can really do, is to let Geisler and Company go their own way! I know easy for me to say, but not for Michael Licona. Reading Geisler’s Letters, he is comparing Licona to Robert Gundry, and speaking both ad hoc and ad hom, therein. I loathe this method of Geisler myself, but it is the nature of such mentality. So he/they are no going to listen or dialogue, sadly. But welcome to the Church today in postmodernity. It seems many still retreat back into Fundamentalism at such a time. But in reality this won’t work either! I value many in Fundamentalism, but in the end it just won’t work or feed the soul!

    • Ed Kratz

      Although I have not had much time to keep up on these comments (!), I think SOME of you are missing MY main point: like I said in my most recent post (and the reason I put it up), these are twinkling lights that serve to overshadow the significance of the contribution that Mike has made. It is so sad to recognize the reality that if Mike would not have produced this work, he would not be out of a job. That is unimaginable! Seeing how both Geisler and Mohler have reaceted one in silence one in promotion of Mike’s loss of job, I would say that both of them think all the lights are better off not being on at all if they are not going to twinkle.

    • C. Michael,

      I have said perhaps too much here already, but I am certainly baffled somewhat, and very sad about this whole issue and treatment of Mike Licona! But again reading Geisler’s site, he is just bent on his own course, hell or highwater! And he is just a Christian Fundamentalist, not much else can be said. So we all should just move on, and leave this man behind! Again, easy for me, but perhaps harder for Licona. So again, those that support and stand with Michael, from his place of Evangelical fellowship, etc., should stand up against this base Pharisaism of Geisler and Company! And I hope his fellow scholars stand with him too!

      I think I will retire from this debate, and move on, but certainly I will keep standing with Mike Licona, prayfully and spiritually! God Bless you all in this desire!

    • Ed Kratz

      Good word. I think we will close these comments. It is hard to moderate.

    • […] my strength I want to push back against your recent shenanigans against Michael Licona. I believe Michael Patton already pointed out how much of a circus this “controversy” has become. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said better by Patton. Yet I continue to read […]

    • […] some background and commentary that hits the nail on the head, read Michael Patton’s excellent post here. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

    • […] us are not inerrant, anonymously and not independently written, which is good enough for me. And Even other evangelicals find Norman a bit much sometimes. I mean, he's a smart guy but some of his reasoning is priceless. […]

    • […] more baffling is the fact that Mike Licona got fired, tough he is himself a conservative Evangelical. He wrote in one of his books about the […]

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