Support, Outrage, and some Unfortunate Approval in Response to the Satirical YouTube Video(s) that Slander Dr. Geisler
“It has come to the attention of the President of SES that a student has made a video about the controversy between Dr. Licona and Dr. Geisler. We believe this video was totally unnecessary and is in extremely poor taste. At SES we demand a high standard of conduct in the way we interact with others. Whenever there is a disagreement on any issue, there is a respectful way to handle it. As Christians, as brothers in Christ, there are occasions when we may have differences, but as members of one Body, we need to resolve our differences according to Scripture. Publically embarrassing anybody is totally unacceptable….” (emphasis is added in all these quotations). — Acting President of Southern Evangelical Seminary
I saw the YouTube video and was appalled at it. It was not only in the poorest of taste, it also grieved me to watch it. It was unkind, uncalled for, and so sad to see something like this happen. I wrote Bob Westra to thank him for the letter he sent out. …[T]he student related to Licona should have been dismissed from the college. –SES Alumnus
“I watched the video. Wow, it was immature, inappropriate and distasteful. If an SES student made this video, I would recommend they be brought before the school for review–not based on their view, but based on the fact that they made the video and for the following reasons: 1) They used the classical Christmas Carol story in a very distasteful way…. 2) Like Dr. Geisler or not, he deserves respect. Furthermore, Dr. Geisler is far more accomplished than the youngens who made the video. 3) The video was sarcastic and put words into Dr. Geisler’s mouth. This shows not only immaturity,but further strengthens Dr. Geisler’s position…. 4) He makes the point repetitively that those who support Dr. Geisler’s view are clones of Dr. Geisler, eluding that all who hold to the position that Dr. Geisler does are non-thinkers…. I happen to agree with Dr. Geisler theologically. Furthermore, this video attacked me and every other Alumni and Student who holds to the same view. 5) This video seems to mock inerrancy despite the fact that it tries to skirt that it is the main issue…. 6) Lastly, while he illustrates physical attacks on Dr. Geisler in humor, it is still depicting physical attacks. It also explicitly is threatening to take action against Dr. Geisler…. This is stooping to verbal threats and scare tactics.” –SES Alumnus
“The recent You Tube cartoon caricature of Dr. Geisler is a repugnant setback to open cordial debate among Christians and brotherly love. This is clearly an Ad Hominem attack of the worst kind,since 1) it mocks and ridicules a brother in Christ, who is among the greatest Christian apologists of our time, and who has fought in the trenches of worldview warfare for over 50 years, 2) it misrepresents the previously expressed viewpoints of Dr. Geisler, 3) it offers an imbalanced and inappropriate trivializing to the serious matter of the inerrancy of Scripture which requires cordial and measured responses, 4) it confuses and obfuscates the really important issues related to the debate, 5) it reflects the flawed methodology of an individual(s) who seeks to win a debate at all costs rather than searching out the issues in order to discover the truth of the matter. The only fitting response by Christians, regardless of one’s position on the inerrancy issue, to such a grievous attack of this kind is to openly denounce those involved in this attack on a Christian brother and the immature and flawed methodology it represents. It is in the best interest of all Christians, that Dr. Licona and Dr. Habermas who supports him join Dr. Geisler in an open and clear rejection of this unchristian and unwise attack that can only bring shame to the cause of Christ.” —President of a Seminary
“Well,…that moves the discussion to a new low and clearly makes only an abusive ad hominem argument. I find it not only in very poor taste, but sad.” — a Seminary Professor*
“The material that you have written is very straightforward and it seems to be fair. The material that has surfaced on personal blogs and YouTube, however, has been ridiculous. It seems that some people have taken your comments personally and have resorted to personal attacks. I am sorry that you are having to deal with these ridiculous asides. These personal attacks and attempts at humor certainly obfuscate the issue and make profitable, scholarly dialogue very difficult” — NT Doctoral Student
“Dr. Geisler has most probably done more research on the issue of inerrancy than any other philosopher/theologian alive today; he is worthy of respect. Ad hominen attacks and ridiculous videos add nothing to the debate but sadness, grief and disregard–it’s shameful and lack of a Christ-like spirit. On a different note, Geisler’s willingness to meet with Licona to hammer out the “real” issues…and biblically so, is a kind and praiseworthy act. The same spirit ought to come from Licona and his defenders but is not, for the most part…. Let us also not forget that Geisler not only served as one of the framers of the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy but also founded EPS and was a president of ETS. Again, show respect where respect is due.” —-an Author and Lecturer
“I have heard [of] the debate between you and Dr. Licona. It surprises me that he takes the position that he does. Before this, I respected him as a scholar. I always thought the evangelical philosophical society was a conservative evangelical society. In fact, I was going to try and join it. Since many of them endorse Licona, I don’t know if I will pursue this.” —Ph.D. student in New Testament
grieves me. I am so sorry. [My husband] rightly calls you a ‘watchdog for the Christian faith’ and we will act on this news. Our love and prayers are with you.” ––a Layperson
“Thanks for keeping me in the loop and thanks for defending inerrancy. Defending inerrancy is crucial! It is a sad commentary that the issue has degraded to personal attacks on you.”
— a Seminary graduate
“As a graduate of the seminary, and fellow brother in Christ, I want to inform you of a slanderous video by current SES student [name] on the internet against SES co-founder Dr, Geisler…. I am actually ashamed, saddened and embarrassed by this type of activity on [name] part. I know that I and numerous people have personally confronted [name] about such behavior and he refuses to listen.” — a Southern Evangelical Seminary [SES] graduate
“I am very disturbed by this personal attack on you! I will not stoop to watch it. I’m grateful that you are a staunch defender of the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. I thank God that you continue to be a gatekeeper of our orthodox Christian faith…. I pray that Dr. Licona has a change of heart.” — a Layperson
“Satire is one thing but bearing false witness and slander are quite the other. We need men like you who see subtle dangers and point it out to the flock. They’re ‘worthy of double-honor.’ These videos didn’t give you the honor you deserve. The fact remains that those who hold this apocalyptic interpretation of the end of Matthew 27 are still denying that what the Apostle presented as historical events are in fact historical events. After all the smoke and sleight of hand has passed, isn’t that what it still boils down to? The heavy burden of the proof lies on those who are audacious enough to make the claim to the contrary. The ‘proof’ offered is highly speculative, quite subjective, and wholly external to the text its self. I don’t see why its controversial to anyone for you to offer correction and warning about things like this. It deserves honor, not derision.” — a layperson
*Names are omitted to protect anonymity and avoid annoyance. Letters are on file.
“Let’s be clear. A story, an affirmation, is either true or false, but not both true and false in the same way at the same time. That is a long accepted law of logic, and no amount of fudging can make it change. While I have no reason to question the sincerity of the author and while only God can judge his heart, Southern Baptists paid far too great a price to insist on the truthfulness of God’s Word to now be lured by a fresh emergence of the priesthood of the philosopher, especially when a philosopher raises a question about the truthfulness of Scripture.” (1/9/2012) — Dr. Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Mike Licona Refuses to Condemn YouTube Video Attack on Dr. Geisler
Licona’s daughter, son-in-law, and his friend admit putting together the YouTube cartoon caricature demeaning Dr. Geisler for producing scholarly critiques of the in-print views of Mike Licona’s which deny the ICBI view of inerrancy (www.normangeisler.net). After a recent blog (12/27/2011) defending his actions in helping to produce this video, Mike Licona wrote a blog of approval about his son-in-law’s part in the objectionable video, saying, “Nice blog. I want everyone to know that I’m proud to have you as my son-in-law! You’re a good guy with a good heart and mind. I thought J. P. Holding’s “Geisler’s Christmas Carol” was hilarious and done in good taste. Debbie and I watched it several times. We laughed at the humor and sighed that there is so much truth in it.I have received numerous emails from highly respected evangelicals who enjoyed the video as well. Keep up the good work, son. I truly believe you’re going to be one of the leading Christian bloggers within the next few years.”
Dr. Geisler has written a personal appeal to Mike Licona asking him to condemn the video and restrict the discussion to the theological issues involved, rather than approving of demeaning attacks on the character of other scholars who are seriously attempting to defend the inerrancy of Scripture. Pray that he has a change of heart.
To see an index of other articles on the “Licona Controvery” please click here.