So where does everything on Deeper Waters come from? Let’s find out as we dive into those Deeper Waters.
A lot of people have said that Mike Licona has been awfully quiet in his debate with Norman Geisler and I have been told by some that there is suspicion that what is really happening is that Mike is quiet in public but is instead using my blog as it were as a sort of mouthpiece. How far this goes I am not sure. Does Mike just give me the information? Does he write the posts wholesale? Does he just tell me what topics to write about?
Here’s the answer to those last three questions. No, no, and no.
There is no one in the family that I agree with entirely. That includes my own wife. We have disagreements. No doubt that some will think that Mike is a respected authority in the area, and I do not dispute that. Despite that, there are areas that I do disagree with him on.
When this whole controversy surrounded him erupted, my wife and I were getting ready to see the Liconas for her birthday and when I went down there, Mike and I spent a lot of time discussing the Bible and how to handle this. Mike has come to me to seek my opinion on some matters. There is a mutual respect there.
Why is he quiet in public? It is because this is not a debate he needs to waste his time with. He needs to be preparing for the more important debates and writing more books. This is something that I have said repeatedly that he just needs to leave to J.P. Holding, Max Andrews, and myself. Of course, there are some things he will share and in fact ask me to not share on my blog, and when it comes to that, I do respect his desire for privacy in that area. I often disagree, but I do respect.
If anyone knows me, they probably know that I am too much of a free agent to be one who will just allow someone else to do my thinking for me and to be used in such a way. I would hope that readers would realize that my own writing style come through the blog and when I write on a topic, I write on a topic because I want to write about it. Now that doesn’t mean that no one else has any impact on what I say, but the final decision comes from me.
What do the Liconas know in advance? Hardly anything. In fact, the time that they read the blog is usually about the same time anyone else has the option, and that is after it has been published. Even in this debate, I have not sent my blogs to the Liconas in advance to have them look over it and see if they approve or not. I’ve just written and published.
Now if I thought Mike was in violation of Inerrancy and Geisler was correct, I would be telling him so, but I have made it a point to be as impartial as possible and examine the evidence and when I do, I just conclude that Mike is not violating Inerrancy and I believe that while his view could be wrong, we need to find out if it is wrong, not by simply asserting by authority and pointing to Inerrancy, but by examining the evidence of the claim. I don’t know about you, but for me, if this is what the Bible is teaching I want to know. On this, Mike and I do agree. He wants to know what the Bible teaches as well.
When you read Deeper Waters, you are not reading the opinion necessarily of Mike Licona. It could be that he agrees with what I say here, but it is not because I have written it. He agrees with something because he believes it to be true and if it is true, then it can be said to be his opinion. It is an idea however that exists independently in my own mind and that I put to the text and share to the world. It is my doing my little part for the future of evangelicalism.
Have I realized the risks for me from the beginning of the debate? Yep. I sure have. Once again, I point to what people know about me. If something is going on that I don’t believe is right, I am not one to sit in the background and do nothing.
Also, for those who need more convincing, my in-laws have areas that they disagree with me on and they think I’m wrong on and they have talked to me about those areas. We’ve had some give and take exchanges and there are a number of areas that today, I still don’t agree with them on, and they know it.
Back when we were engaged, I remember my now mother-in-law being with my wife and I and talking about relationships with parents. My mother-in-law told my wife that she had no doubt that whenever push came to shove, I would not hesitate to stand up to parents in defense of my wife. That has happened a number of times. I have even stood up to her parents before if I thought they were in the wrong concerning her and let them know it.
I have no doubt to them that sometimes that’s annoying to have a son-in-law that can do that, but then at the same time, I think it makes them thankful they have a son-in-law who does not just cave in to pressure like that and at the same time is devoted to their daughter and will defend her at any time if I think someone is in the wrong concerning her.
They also know that if I thought that Mike was in the wrong on this, I would be letting him know entirely. That does not mean in the wrong on his interpretation, but it means in the wrong on Inerrancy. His interpretation could very well be wrong, but that does not mean that he is violating Inerrancy. Is his interpretation wrong? I honestly don’t know. I’m open I’ll say at least.
So for now, let this post stand as my statement that what I write is my own thinking. Now some people might think that this too could be a written post of Mike’s to deny the idea, but if they do, let them present their evidence other than a conspiracy theory. If someone wants to believe that, I probably won’t convince them, but for those who want to know for sure, I hope this settles the issue.