What do we see when the time comes? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
For those who don’t know, Norman Geisler passed away today. I heard the news probably within the last hour. It is official as it is on his own Facebook page and has been confirmed numerous times.
Many of you know that Dr. Geisler and I weren’t on the best of terms. Being the son-in-law of Michael Licona, I didn’t really care for when he went after my family and made charges against my father-in-law. That being said, some of you could be surprised to see me writing something about him.
It’s easy to write about those who love us and those who appreciate us. It’s not the best way though. When my wife and I heard about him having bleeding in the brain late at night due to a tweet from Bill Roach, we prayed for him. We had already prayed for the night, but we did so again for him. I saw last night about him being in a coma and checked this morning thinking it would happen any day now. I wasn’t really surprised when I saw it today.
Many of you know my wife is exploring Eastern Orthodoxy and is going down that path. I am not going down that road, but I do think there is some wisdom there. I do know that when we’re in a service, at one point the priest says “For those who love us and those who hate us.”
I am not saying Geisler hated us. I doubt that at all. But I am saying that those people sometimes who we seem to have something against or seem to have something against us or both are still made in the image of God. They make mistakes. We all do. Do I think Geisler treated my family right? Nope. Have I always treated everyone else right? Heck, no. Should I not show the grace that has been shown to me?
I also do appreciate the contributions Geisler made to the field in his early days. Many people got their start in apologetics because Geisler carried the ball and passed it on to us. When I went to SES, it was because of Geisler and he did treat me well for the time being there, but then the event happened with Mike and things went sour.
While things weren’t the best, if anything has been being shown to me lately, it’s that any anger towards someone else like that really doesn’t do any good. I can be angry with my fellow man all day and he’ll be just fine, provided I don’t act out on him in my anger. Who will be hurt the most? It will be me. It will also be those closest to me who have to put up with my attitude.
So as we come to this time, I choose to look back on the good. Honestly, when my time comes, there will be enough bad things I have done in my life that are shameful. I would hope people would not remember me for those. As the priest told us all in a service once, we should not refer to the apostle as Doubting Thomas because if we all took a snapshot of ourselves at the lowest point of our lives, we’d all look bad. This doubter most likely died a martyr for Jesus in India. Let’s remember that.
Geisler did much good for the kingdom and most apologists today owe some debt to him. While there were disagreements, there is coming a kingdom where all of us will embrace. Every argument we had down here will seem petty by comparison.
Maybe we should start treating them that way right now.
RIP Norman Geisler.