Is Habermas a Heretic?

Can we trust Gary Habermas any more? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

While checking up on affairs today, I noticed that Norm Geisler has responded to an interview that Mike Licona did.

Yes. That’s right. Responding to an interview.

My ministry partner, J.P. Holding, has already critiqued several aspects of this long article that Geisler has written. Links will be available to both at the end. For now, I wish to take the time to comment on some of the matters that Holding did not.

First off, nowhere in this is a response to the writings that have been put forward against Geisler’s handling of this and nowhere in this is there any recognition that Geisler has decided to deal with the responses that have been put forward. One wonders if Geisler has any problem with Richard Dawkins speaking on topics where the challenges he raises have already been addressed.

Also in here is the idea that Mike’s son-in-law, being me, and J.P. Holding produced a video. Geisler has an odd idea of producing. All that was done was that I did some voice in the film for the ghost of Inerrancy Future. If that is producing, then there are several producers including some members of TheologyWeb who did the voices of Geisler and Licona and my own wife who did the voice of Inerrancy Past.

In case anyone does not know, I don’t have a clue how to do that. As it stands right now, the layout of this blog is not really anything stupendous and the reason for that is that I do not possess the computer knowledge to know how to do that. My reading is in theology, philosophy, history, etc. It is not in computer knowledge. I would not know the first thing about putting together a video and putting it on YouTube. Let alone would I know anything about animation.

Furthermore, Geisler also speaks about the ongoing debate. I used to check regularly on the internet for new mentions of this, but the reality is that no one really writes about this anymore. In the blogosphere, there are far more important issues being discussed. Frankly, Mike has moved on to get a job at Houston Baptist University and has started his ministry going full throttle.

Geisler can complain about being referred to as a tar baby all he wants, but perhaps could it be that there is a grain of truth to the criticism? Could it be Licona is being quite wise in not getting himself tangled into this debate when he could be doing far more important things such as, oh, I don’t know, presenting and defending the Christian gospel in a secular world. Keep in mind, the central proclamation of the gospel after all is “He is risen!” It is not “It is Inerrant!” While Mike and I both hold to Inerrancy, it is not the gospel.

The most unique aspect of all of this now is that Habermas is now definitely included in the Rogues’ Gallery. Anyone can see this in point 9 of the article written.

“Licona also mentions the strong influence Gary Habermas was on him and that they became close friends. Indeed, he refers here and elsewhere to the advice given to him by a close friend not to engage in dialog with me on this matter. However, Habermas’s view on inerrancy straddles both sides of the fence. It is for this that he was let go from the Faculty of Veritas Evangelical Seminary, namely, “It was “…because of your own view of inerrancy that was contrary to the Veritas Seminary doctrinal statement on inerrancy. That is, your view accepts: the belief that inerrancy is consistent with the view that rejects Gospel narratives as completely historical (angels at the tomb, falling down of those seizing Jesus, and resurrection of saints)….” (VES Letter from the president, 11/21/11).”

So now, it’s Habermas. What’s it going to be then? Is Geisler going to take the leading scholars on the resurrection who have done invaluable work for the kingdom and let them be shunned by the Christian community because of this? Is there going to be an open letter to Liberty saying they need to get rid of Habermas for his views on Inerrancy?

Is this really worth it? One gets the impression that this is more about Geisler than it is about Inerrancy.

What needs to be done? First, this whole thing needs to be dropped as several have said on Geisler’s own Facebook page. There needs to be reconciliation. Note that Mike has been the one offering a face-to-face meeting and has even said that if an apology came forward, all would be forgiven. Mike has simply asked for witnesses to be present. There is nothing unreasonable about this request.

Second, evangelicals needs to speak out on this and not just on the blogosphere. Evangelicals in scholarship and apologetics should speak. We can all sit back some and say “He’s going after Licona now and a little bit he’s going after Habermas. He won’t go after me.” How would that be known? Furthermore, even if he wouldn’t, he’s going after someone else in the body in a way that shouldn’t be done and over something that is not worth it.

A silly debate like this is being an embarrassment on the body of Christ. How long will it go on? Will we, the evangelical church who have stood so strong for orthodox beliefs also take a stand for orthodox behavior and how we will handle debates in our midst in a way that avoids bullying?

Let us hope so, for if we cower before those within the church, we will most certainly cower to those without.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Geisler’s article can be found here.

J.P. Holding’s response can be found here.

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One Response to “Is Habermas a Heretic?”

  1. J. P. Holding Says:

    I wonder if Dr. Habermas would prefer to be guised as Thor or the Hulk or Captain America should I see a need to draw him.

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