Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I certainly hope that you all have had a very Merry Christmas. My wife and I had a great time with my folks and we have a lot of important decisions ahead of us so please be praying for us in this. For now, I think it’s time that I spoke on the latest goings on in the Geisler controversy.
A large part of it came with the release of Geisler’s Christmas Carol, hence the name of the blog. I will put a link to the video below.
My thinking was people would find out about the video before too long on their own so I might as well release the news. Thus, I went to my Facebook and posted a link to the video for people to see. What a surprise I had when it turns out that people were saying that I produced the video.
My wife would tell you that I could not even draw a stick man.
Anyone else could tell you that I constantly have to call anyone I can to help me with really technical things on the computer. I don’t know how many of you have told me to fix the date set-up on the blogs. I can’t figure out how to do that kind of thing.
But I’m supposed to have produced the video….
Now did I do voice work on this? Yep. So did my wife. That’s about all that we do in these videos. My ministry partner, J.P. Holding of Tektonics produced it.
The rumor was spread, despite evidence to the contrary that anyone who watched the whole video could have seen, with a letter coming out from a president of SES saying that a student had produced a video. It is incredible that this conclusion was reached since it is directly said to be a work of Tektonics ministries. For those interested, Holding’s response to this will also be seen at the bottom.
Consider me also quite a bit irritated at the thought that what has been done in this cartoon is considered unnecessary and offensive and it needs to be taken down. Let’s see. My father-in-law has lost two jobs, been put in a hard financial situation that affects my wife and I as well with our already poor finances, had his wife and mine gone through considerable stress over this, has been uninvited from speaking engagements along with his friends that have supported him, been the object of phone calls to Seminary presidents warning about him, had his reputation smeared on the net by the Geisler camp, and had a petition going around behind the scenes claiming that he is out of line and his methodology is unorthodox and that he’s denying Inerrancy.
All that is okay, but putting together a little satirical video is not.
What reason are we given? Some people find it offensive! No doubt, these people think it was probably ridiculous how Muslims went on a rampage over a cartoon. No doubt, several of these people do not hesitate to pass around political cartoons going after a candidate they don’t like. These people would normally also encourage us to learn to be willing to take a stand for Christ and that we need to get out of the tolerance trap that we should not say something just because it offends someone.
What’s offensive about it? Who knows.
Seriously. Who knows? We’re just not told. We’re just told that it is. Now is it sarcastic? Yep. Is it satirical? Yep. Nothing wrong with that either. Both methods were used in Scripture.
Interestingly, when Geisler writes about this in his letters, he writes about Mike’s son-in-law and friend. Geisler goes out of his way to not even mention me by name nor to mention my ministry partner by name. He should know my ministry partner’s name however. After all, it was the person who’s challenged was deleted from Geisler’s Facebook page.
Geisler has also complained that Mike Licona has not stopped his son-in-law, being myself, and others from writing on this on the net. Well sorry, but if you open Pandora’s Box, you have to deal with the consequences. If you don’t want this talked about publicly, then don’t make it public. Had this been settled in the scholarly venue like Mike had suggested, none of this would have happened.
And believe it or not, Mike did do something of trusting me with his daughter so maybe it could be that he actually trusts my judgment in the area of writing and thinks that I’m big enough to think for myself and write for myself and he will not force me to do something. Of course, he is my father-in-law and we do discuss matters sometime, but I get nothing but respect from him as I hope he gets from me. He also realizes that I can argue on my own.
Now some of you might be saying “Well Nick, maybe Geisler just doesn’t know who you are so that’s why he says son-in-law over and over.” Nice try, but no. Geisler knows me. I was one of his students in his classroom, he was present when I spoke at ISCA, he received an invitation to our wedding, he was one of the first people my wife and I saw when we returned from the time at Christmas when I proposed to her, and he and his wife have had dinner with us even since we’ve been married.
Could it be that if my name is mentioned, that could get someone to look me up and if they look me up, they’ll find that in fact, my blog is loaded with counter-arguments to Geisler’s position?
It seems Geisler has availed himself of some resources, such as his statement that he knows that Mike said on a podcast that he has not read Geisler’s critiques. Well who can blame him? What some of us have noticed is that when you read one, you’ve read them all. They all run the same and after awhile, it gets to the point where anyone could write a Licona Letter.
Sorry, but Mike has been busy with other important tasks. You know, tasks like starting a ministry, finding support for it, and studying for debates. These are the kinds of things that you tend to have to do when you’re unemployed because the activities of someone has caused you to lose your job.
However, in spite of Geisler listening to this, he still says that on page 306 of Mike’s book, Mike denies that the guards fell back. No. He doesn’t. He says that in looking for embellishments, that text is brought forward. He admits for the sake of argument that it could be an embellishment. In the podcast however, Mike does state that he does not believe the New Testament has embellishments.
It’s Geisler getting that wrong that is even making me have this question in my mind. Has Geisler even read Mike’s book? I’m really no longer sure that he has.
Geisler also states that Mike denies that the angels appeared at the tomb. Where does he do this? Once again, I wonder why I should trust Geisler’s interpretation of the Bible when he can’t seem to interpret contemporary texts correctly, not to mention that he can’t seem to interpret a video.
As for the event in John, what’s the big deal? If John knew the correct date and his audience knew that he knew it and he was making a point by altering chronology, it is not lying. Some say he could have done the same with putting the temple cleansing at the start of the gospel. I wonder if the Geisler camp can tell me in what order the temptations of Jesus took place.
Let us look however at the reasons that have been given to condemn the Christmas Carol video. (All the while, Geisler’s actions have not been condemned. It is quite remarkable.)
To begin with, the one with the video doesn’t even know if an SES student produced the video. Basic fact-checking would have explained that. However, what’s his first reason?
#1-Dickens’s work was used in a disrespectful way.
Reason being? Who knows! We’re not given it. The Christmas Carol has been redone over and over again. I’ve considered before trying to count how many variations of it there are. In Max Andrews’s excellent response, he asks how they would respond to the Muppet’s Christmas Carol.
The second is that Geisler deserves respect. Well respect is earned. It is also lost. Geisler apparently can treat Mike any way he wants to and that’s okay, but if we do something “disrespectful” that’s a no-no.
Third is that it’s sarcastic and puts words in Geisler’s mouth. Sarcastic? You bet. That’s the point. As for putting words in the mouth of Geisler, all that is said is documented on the video description. Which part has not been presented accurately?
Fourth is about Geisler’s followers being clones. The sad reality is that if you go to Geisler’s Facebook page, you can find that over and over, people tend to just quote Geisler’s writings as if that’s enough and none of us have read them. I’m not saying all are like that, but there are a sizable number who are unfortunately.
Fifth, the video is accused of mocking Inerrancy. Not for a second. JPH and I both hold seriously to Inerrancy.
Sixth, the video is actually threatening to take physical action against Geisler.
Oh come on! Anyone who saw me could tell you that I’m not capable of any kind of real physical attack and to think that a snowball in the face means we okay the use of physical force is ridiculous! (Apparently however, this viewer of the video could figure out authorial intent. Perhaps only those in the Geisler camp can know authorial intent.)
It is even more ludicrous in light of the fact that we on the Licona side have had to generally keep silent for a long time because of the fear of what would happen to us. Why are so many evangelicals not speaking out on this issue? They don’t want to be on the receiving end of Geisler. Who really fears being on the receiving end of team Licona? What great action have we taken to people that would make them afraid to stand against us?
In fact, it is quite ironic that the complaint is made about an attack on Geisler (In fact, Geisler’s description of the video calls it an attack on him) while Geisler has endorsements from someone who says the student who made the video should be dismissed from the college.
Note also someone even reported the video. Oh my. YouTube would be busy all day if they had to respond to all complaints like that.
By the way, who are these people?
We don’t know. They could be anyone. They won’t identify themselves but the fact that some nameless people we don’t know don’t really like a video is enough reason to take it down.
Geisler also complains that Mike has not condemned the video.
To that, all we can say is JPH is responsible for the video and he has been fair and given actions that he will accept as enough to take down the video. They can be found below.
Where will this all lead? Who knows again? What is hoped to be accomplished? One would hope that Geisler will read the comments being raised on the net. People are asking if Geisler has a mental illness of some sort. Some have questioned his salvation. Some people are wondering if Geisler is just doing this to promote his latest book coming out. I’m not saying any of these are true, but that they are being raised should be enough to make one think they should be changing their stance.
What can we do? Pray for the good of evangelicalism and do our part. I believe it’s time to revisit Inerrancy as I think the version there is now has been too corrupted by this and I fear the deck had been stacked for a certain view when the statement was being written. We cannot have a free discussion when one man can point to his interpretation of the document alone. We need to have several men being able to state what it says regularly.
Hopefully this is all coming to a close soon. It could get worse before it gets better, but we urge Geisler to put an end himself to what he’s doing. Admit that this has gone on too long and that great harm has happened to the body and to various persons in that body.
Do I think that that will happen? Sadly, no. Until this ends however, I plan to keep my pace going and continue making my stand. I ask for your prayers and support for my wife and I as I continue to do so.
Geisler’s Christmas Carol – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSMEsQkoH3A&feature=g-u&context=G25c7cd8FUAAAAAAADAA
J.P. Holding’s response – http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/2011/12/scrooges-christmas-eve-gift.html
Support Mike’s ministry at RisenJesus.com.
The podcast of Mike Licona on the Theopologetics program can be found here: http://theopologetics.blogspot.com/2011/12/episode-69-when-saints-go-marching-in.html
Max Andrews’s reply can be found here: http://sententias.org/2011/12/26/auctoritas-a-response-to-the-geisler-controversy/
What it will take to take down the video: — http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/2011/12/geislers-demand.html