SEBTS Denied

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’d like to take a look again at what has been going on in the controversy between Norman Geisler and my father-in-law, Mike Licona. (Yes. I am aware of a possible bias, hence I state it upfront) Though it has not been as widely discussed, Geisler has put up a letter stating why he is not meeting with SEBTS per Licona’s suggestion to have a round table discussion. A link will be at the end of the post.

To begin with, we are told that Geisler has interacted with Licona’s views, but how has this been done? Sure, there have been open letters, but would not face-to-face discussion before a panel of experts count as a better medium to discuss something? Furthermore, several of us have interacted with Geisler’s arguments and found them lacking, even though many of us disagree with Licona’s interpretation. As I have stated, I have no firm opinion on the matter. I am open, but I would want to examine the case closer.

The second is that the issue has been spoken of in two books that will turn out shortly. Now that’s fine to be releasing books on the issue, but if you’re going to do so, then surely one should be willing to face someone who you think disagrees with your view being presented in the book.

If the idea will stand up to scrutiny, then it will be fine and the books will further demonstrate that. If they do not stand up to scrutiny, then the books will only prove to be at best superfluous, at worst, monuments to an idea that could not stand up under scrutiny.

The third is that many Seminaries have spoken on this matter. Indeed they have, but what reasons have they stated? This is simply being an appeal to authority again which is what we have seen going on. We have seen ICBI and ETS pointed to again and again. Geisler has said that as a framer, he knows that Licona’s view was in mind. Well it looks like Moreland and Yamauchi who signed the document as well did not think Licona’s view was in mind. Geisler cannot speak as if he alone knows what was meant and Yamauchi and Moreland do not.

In fact, it seems that’s been something in all of this. Geisler knows what Matthew meant and Licona has it wrong. He knows what ETS and ICBI meant and thus Licona is wrong. What we are not seeing is the arguments that need to be there.

Keep in mind also that ICBI and ETS are not infallible groups. This is especially revealing since it seems ETS is not always as pleasing to Geisler as he’d like. ETS was right when they went against Gundry we are told. They were wrong when they went with Pinnock. They did not take as firm a stance on Inerrancy as they should. However, in this case, we are only to listen to the fact that they were supposedly right on Gundry. In other words, ignore those times they made a bad judgment. It just has the appearance that the reason they are used is because they could be seen as agreeing with Geisler.

As for ICBI, was it really composed of 300 scholars? Going through the list, as my ministry partner is doing at the moment, turns up a number of pastors and others who cannot really be found to have something substantial to them on Google. Very few have the qualifications to address Licona’s work.

Geisler says SEBTS should issue a statement on the matter. That would be fine. But what difference would it make? SEBTS comes out against Licona let’s suppose. Well what will that mean? It will mean they have, but it will not mean Licona is wrong. You can be sure it’d be sounded as a victory.

Let’s suppose however that SEBTS comes out in favor of Licona. What will that mean? Well they would be seen as suspect. Then would come the time to examine the reasons for why they are saying his view is not in conflict with Inerrancy.

Now there’s an idea. Examining the reasons. That’s the kind of thing that can be done at a round table discussion. Unfortunately, the option of meeting in discussion has been turned down. From this point on it would seem that nothing can be said against Licona for when Geisler speaks out it can be said “Well he offered to meet with you and discuss it and you said no.”

While at the start, I believe Geisler did what he did to further show the strength of ICBI, it has done the opposite. Its weakness has been shown. If someone like Licona can be said to be denying Inerrancy, then the statement needs to be amended. Note I am not saying we need to drop Inerrancy. Not at all. We need to have more there however concerning genre interpretation and the role of extra-biblical sources on interpretation.

That will be the work of this generation of scholarly apologists and will continue to be worked on by upcoming generations. We dare not throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

Geisler’s letter can be found on the front page of his website here:

Tags: , , , ,

11 Responses to “SEBTS Denied”

  1. J. P. Holding Says:

    Geisler turned down the invite based on the idea that it may be like foxes guarding the henhouse. Which leads to the analogy of him being one of the chickens for not showing up.

    I’m up to G on that list of 300, by the way.

  2. rsnblf8h81 Says:

    This whole thing is a shame! I have heard his view expressesd in several forums and, the probability of his view, to me, is probable. Its well within the pale of Orthodoxy if you ask me!!!!

  3. Tim Says:

    After reading through many of your blogs, I would like to quote Nick from another page to summarize what all of this is really about for him. Even if he denies it, all of these long ranting blogs are proof to the contrary, for he is really doing this all because of personal bias.


    To begin with, I will state my own bias. I am Mike’s son-in-law (And I thank him for giving me his daughter in holy matrimony), but I do try to be as objective as possible. I hope I have done so here. Without further ado, my review

    –Apologia Phoenix- August 21, 2011:

    Without further ado, our review is: you are showing little sign of objectivity, and more bias, pride, and arrogance. Your blog is nothing worthy of scholarship, but shows a personal vendetta to defend your family, and possibly your own “view” of inerrancy. Please do us all a favor and find another topic to talk about, for this blog and your “ministry associates” blog, are the most ad hominem attacks about this issue on the internet, and not showing anything worthy of facilitating true dialogue about the subject matter.

  4. apologianick Says:

    Would you like to make an argument to show that, or do you want to just assert it? If the argumentation is so terrible, surely it will be easy for you to answer it.

  5. Tim Says:

    Nick says: I’m full of pride and have to argue with everyone on their blogs, websites, etc. which really shows that I have nothing better to invest all of my time in doing.

    Reply: yea, pretty much!

    Nick says: That’s not an argument

    Reply: See, he won’t even respond to the fact that he is quoted as being “bias.” We all see his diversion tactics. Maybe all of the rest of us “nonscholars” will just use deversion tactics too. So, do you really think you are a scholar? (This is my answer a question with a question tactic…)

    And a usual Nick rat race begins…….

  6. apologianick Says:

    my my my. Someone sure is feeling hurt for something. I’m quite sure I know who it is and if that’s the case, someone is doing more looking. No. I’m just someone who uses my free time well.

    I find it revealing that rather than answer what I say, you choose to just ruin credibility.

    Wasted effort. Even if all you said were true, which it isn’t, my arguments still stand out there. You’ve yet to deal with them.

    Spend some of your free time studying the topic rather than trolling. Okay?

  7. Tim Says:

    Know me? We’ve never met. And offended? Yeah, when I ask a close friend of mine Jerry Corbaley for over 20 years what he knows about this trussel in the SBC and then I search google just to see that you you are saying he’s a Mormon and that the fall of the church is becaus of him. I guess I’ll stick with my friend, remember his response:

    You are unpleasant, Nick. I find interaction with you so distasteful that I will avoid the experience altogether.

    I apologize for ‘assuming wrong’; I thought we might have more in common.

    Your comment linking me with Mormonism in any way is offensive to me.

    Your comment linking me with the ‘fall of the church’ is offensive to me.

    Your comment implying I do not appreciate the ‘life and mind of the academic community’ is offensive.

    Your comment linking me to the notion that ‘the Holy Spirit must be confused’ is offensive.

    Your illustration that puts words in my mouth is offensive.

    Your linking me in any way to ‘encouraging laziness’ or that ‘the apostles needed an education and we do not’ is offensive.

    Your assertion that I am confusing ‘moral will and intellectual knowledge’ is offensive.

    Your assertion that I am ‘refuting John’ is offensive.

    Your comment linking me in any way as being ‘against teaching’ is offensive.

    Your assertion that I am ‘close to idolatry’ is offensive.

    Your comment implying that I believe ‘Jesus is the Bible’ is offensive.

    Your comment that I affirm a faith that relies on the Holy Spirit ‘without doing study’ is offensive.

    In my opinion, your condescension from virtual anonymity is difficult to ignore.

    By worldly rules of debate you may declare yourself the winner, for I windraw.

  8. Dave Says:

    Dude, switch to decaf (and see a therapist). If anyone has an ego problem here, it’s you, with the sound and fury of that last post. And where did Nick claim you were a Mormon?

  9. J. P. Holding Says:

    Tim is a perfect example of why the Western church is such a robust failure at defending the faith and why fundy atheists are running rampant, and Bart Ehrman and his ilk are deconverting students in droves.

    Thank you, Tim. Now sit down and shut it.

  10. apologianick Says:

    Considering I never said someone is a Mormon, it looks like you were reading with a bias. Dude. Calm down and breathe before you post again.

    You post a list of things you find offensive. Perhaps I could just say I find it offensive that people find things offensive.

    Okay. You find stuff offensive. So what? I find it offensive that the church is dying here in America and people aren’t thinking and that they’re more concerned with how they feel than about what the truth is.

    Or do you think the rest of the world is to cater to your feelings?

    Here’s what you do instead of saying you find something offensive. You actually look at the arguments and state what’s wrong. Even if I was as terrible as you paint me out to be, that wouldn’t make me wrong. People who look at bias alone are the ones who do not want to bother looking at arguments.

    So go and review what has been said and then come back once you have an argument.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: