Norman Geisler

Norman Geisler
Norman Geisler
Full name Norman Geisler
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Moderate Calvinism, Christian philosophy
Main interests Philosophy of religion, Christian Apologetics, Moderate Calvinism

Norman L. Geisler (born 1932) is a Christian apologist and the co-founder of Southern Evangelical Seminary outside Charlotte, North Carolina, where he formerly taught. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Jesuit Loyola University. Geisler is well known for his scholarly contributions to the subjects of Christian apologetics, philosophy, and moderate Calvinism and is the author, coauthor, or editor of over 60 books and hundreds of articles.



Geisler left the Evangelical Theological Society in 2003, after it did not expel Clark Pinnock, who advocates open theism.[1] He also testified in McLean v. Arkansas, defending creationism.[2]

Geisler is an evangelical scholar, and the author or coauthor of over fifty Christian books defending the Christian faith through logic, evidence, and philosophy. He has also authored many articles and theses on other Christian topics. Dr. Geisler has taught at the university and graduate level for over forty years. Geisler's work Baker Encyclopedia of Christan Apologetics has been well received and is considered a systematic and comprehensive work of Christian apologetics.[original research?]

Geisler is also known for holding many debates with various scholars, as well as for frequent Christian radio guest appearances.[original research?] He is considered by many[who?] to be a conservative evangelical and signed the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. He holds a B.A. and a Th.B from Wheaton College and William Tyndale College (1960), and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University (1970). He is former professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and professor of Philosophy of Religion at Trinitiy Evangelical Divinity School.[citation needed]

On December 11, 1981 Norman Geisler testified in court in Little Rock, Arkansas, about how creation should be taught in public schools and said he believes UFOs exist and are the work of Satan. The states first witness in a case filed by the ACLU that challenged a new law that says creationism and evolution should be given equal time in Arkansas schools. He believes that UFOs are, "a satanic manifestation in the world for the purpose of deception."[3]

In the late 20th Century, Geisler entered the anti-Mormon arena. In 1997 he co-authored When Cultists Ask: A Popular Handbook on Cultic Misinterpretation, with Ron Rhodes. Forty-seven of the articles listed in the index, regarded Mormonism. In 1998, he helped put together a book entitled The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism, published by Harvest House publishers in Eugene, Oregon. His chapter in this compilation regarded Mormon Scripture. Detailed reviews of this chapter by Mormons appeared in 2000. Danel W. Bachman has accused Geisler of plagiarism.[4]

In 2009, Geisler co-founded Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta California. The seminary offers masters degrees in Theology, Apologetics & Divinity. Geisler currently serves as Chair of Christian Apologetics at the school.[5]

Moderate Calvinism

Geisler claims to be a "moderate Calvinist".[6] Geisler rejects the traditional Calvinistic concepts of unconditional election (arguing that there is no condition only on God's part), irresistible grace (arguing instead that God persuades those who are "receptive to God's work") and limited atonement (arguing that the atonement is limited only in result). Yet critics reject the term "moderate Calvinism". James White calls it "merely a modified form of historic Arminianism."[7] Michael Horton notes that historically "moderate Calvinism" referred to Amyraldianism, but "Geisler’s position is much further from Calvinism than Amyraldianism."[8] While Geisler contrasts his position with what he calls "extreme" Calvinism, he does concede that "theologians we classify as extreme Calvinists consider themselves simply ‘Calvinists’ and would probably object to our categorizing them in this manner."[9] Geisler contributed to the book Four Views on Eternal Security (ISBN 0310234395) under the term "moderate Calvinism" but the general editor did not allow Geisler to use the term "extreme Calvinism", only "strong Calvinism".[10]

Graded Absolutism

  1. REDIRECT Graded absolutism

Geisler advocates the view called graded absolutism, which is a theory of moral absolutism which resolves the objection to absolutism that in moral conflicts we are obligated to opposites. Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Graded absolutism is moral absolutism but clarifies that a moral absolute, like "Do not kill," can be greater or lesser than another moral absolute, like "Do not lie". According to graded absolutism, in moral conflicts, the dilemma is not that we are obligated to opposites, because greater absolutes are not opposites of lesser absolutes, and evil is not the opposite of good but is instead the privation of good. Since evil is the privation of good, only the privation of the greater good counts as evil, since whenever there is a moral conflict, we are only obligated to the greater good. The real dilemma is that we cannot perform both conflicting absolutes at the same time. 'Which' absolutes are in conflict depends on the context, but which conflicting absolute is ‘greater’ does not depend on the context. That is why graded absolutism is also called 'contextual absolutism' but is not to be confused with situational ethics. The conflict is resolved in acting according to the greater absolute. That is why graded absolutism is also called the 'greater good view', but is not to be confused with utilitarianism.


  • General Introduction to the Bible (Moody Press, 1968; revised and expanded, 1986);
  • Ethics: Alternatives and Issues (Zondervan, 1971);
  • The Christian Ethic of Love (Zondervan, 1973);
  • Philosophy of Religion (Zondervan, 1974; revised 1988);
  • From God to Us (Moody Press, 1974);
  • To Understand the Bible—Look for Jesus (Moody Press, 1975);
  • Christian Apologetics (Baker Book House, 1976);
  • A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Baker Book House, 1977);
  • The Roots of Evil (Zondervan, 1978);
  • Inerrancy (Zondervan, 1979);
  • Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective (Baker, 1980);
  • Options in Contemporary Christian Ethics (Baker Book House, 1981);
  • Biblical Errancy: Its Philosophical Roots (Zondervan, 1981);
  • Decide for Yourself: How History Views the Bible (Zondervan, 1982):
  • The Creator in the Courtroom—Scopes II (co-author, Baker, 1982);
  • What Augustine Says (Baker Book House, 1982);
  • Is Man the Measure? (Baker Book House, 1983);
  • Cosmos: Carl Sagan's Religion for the Scientific Mind (Quest Publications, 1983);
  • Religion of the Force (Quest, 1983);
  • To Drink or Not to Drink: A Sober Look at the Problem (Quest, 1984);
  • Perspectives: Understanding and Evaluating Today's World Views (Here's Life Publications, 1984);
  • Video Series: Christianity Under Attack, in 6 parts (Quest, 1985); also in book: Christianity Under Attack (Quest, 1985);
  • False Gods of Our Time (Harvest House, 1985);
  • Reincarnation Sensation (Tyndale, 1986);
  • Origin Science (Baker, 1987);
  • Signs and Wonders (Tyndale, 1988);
  • World's Apart (Baker 1989);
  • Knowing The Truth About Creation (Servant, 1989);
  • The Infiltration of the New Age (Tyndale, 1989);
  • The Battle for the Resurrection (Thomas Nelson, 1989);
  • Apologetics in the New Age (Baker, 1990);
  • Come Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking (Baker, 1990);
  • Gambling: A Bad Bet (Fleming H. Revell, 1990);
  • The Life and Death Debate (Greenwood, 1990);
  • In Defense of the Resurrection (Quest, 1991);
  • Thomas Aquinas: An Evangelical Appraisal (1991);
  • Matters of Life and Death: Calm Answers to Tough Questions about Abortion and Euthanasia (Baker, 1991);
  • Miracles and the Modern Mind: A Defense of Biblical Miracles (Baker, 1991);
  • When Critics Ask: A Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Victor, 1992);
  • Miracles and the Modern Mind: A Defense of Biblical Miracles (Baker, 1992);
  • Answering Islam (Baker, 1993);
  • Roman Catholics and Evangelicals (1995);
  • Love Is Always Right (Word, 1996);
  • Creating God in the Image of Man? (Bethany House, 1997);
  • When Cultists Ask (Baker, 1997);
  • The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism (Harvest House, 1998);
  • Legislating Morality (Bethany House, 1998);
  • Baker’s Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker, 1999);
  • Chosen But Free (Bethany, 1999);
  • Unshakable Foundations (Bethany, 2001);
  • Why I Am a Christian (Baker, 2001);
  • Battle for God (Kregel, 2001);
  • Living Loud: Defending Your Faith (Broadman & Holman, 2002);
  • Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 (Introduction – Bible) (Bethany, 2002); Vol. 2 (God - Creation) (Bethany, 2003); Vol. 3 (Sin - Salvation) (Bethany, 2004); Vol. 4 (Church - Last Things) (Bethany, 2005);
  • I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Crossway, 2004);
  • Is Your Church Ready? (Zondervan, 2003);
  • Who Made God? (Zondervan, 2003);
  • Bringing Your Faith To Work (Baker, 2005);
  • Correcting The Cults (Baker, 2005);
  • A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Baker, 2008).
  • A Popular Survey of the New Testament (Baker, 2008).
  • Love Your Neighbor (Crossway, 2007);
  • Conviction Without Compromise (Harvest House, 2008);
  • Is Rome the True Church?: A Consideration of the Roman Catholic Claim (Crossway, 2008).
  • When Skeptics Ask (Baker, 2008).
  • The Big Book of Bible Difficulties (Baker, 2008).
  • The Apologetics of Jesus (Baker, 2009).
  • Making Sense of Bible Difficulties (Baker, 2009).
  • If God, Why Evil? (Bethany, 2011).

External links


  1. ^ Why I Resigned from The Evangelical Theological Society, Norman Geisler, November 20, 2003
  2. ^
  3. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, December 12, 1981
  4. ^ Danel W. Bachman, "The Other Side of the Coin: A Source Review of Norman Geisler's Chapter," FARMS Review of Books, 12/1 (2000): 175-213.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Norman Geisler, Chosen but Free, 129.
  7. ^ James White, The Potter's Freedom, 29.
  8. ^ Michael Horton in J. Matthew Pinson (ed.), Four Views on Eternal Security, 113.
  9. ^ Norman Geisler, Chosen but Free, 20.
  10. ^ J. Matthew Pinson (ed.), Four Views on Eternal Security, 63

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Christian apologetics — Part of a series on Christianity   …   Wikipedia

  • Biblical inerrancy — is the conservative evangelical doctrinal position [ [ Doctrinal Statement Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) ] ] that in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all… …   Wikipedia

  • Christian countercult movement — The Christian countercult movement is a social movement of Christian ministries and individual Christian countercult activists who oppose religious sects thought to either partially abide or do not at all abide by the teachings that are written… …   Wikipedia

  • Bible — For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible …   Wikipedia

  • Open theism — is a recent theological movement that has developed within evangelical and post evangelical Protestant Christianity as a response to certain ideas that are related to the synthesis of Greek philosophy and Christian theology. Several of these… …   Wikipedia

  • Ravi Zacharias — Infobox Person name = Ravi Zacharias birth date=1946 birth place=Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India nationality = Indian, Canadian and American residence = Atlanta, Georgia, USA occupation=Christian apologist, President of Ravi Zacharias International… …   Wikipedia

  • Moderate Calvinism — (or moderate Arminianism) is sometimes called the non traditional view of Calvinism. It is a medley of Calvinist and Arminian soteriology. Prominent apologists for and supporters of moderate Calvinism have included theologians James Orr, Henry C …   Wikipedia

  • Théologie de l’Église adventiste du septième jour — Jésus Christ, le centre de la théologie adventiste La théologie de l’Église adventiste du septième jour se centre sur la personne, la vie, l’activité et les enseignements de Jésus Christ : sa préexistence, son incarnation, sa mort de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Arminianism — is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560 1609) [Magnusson, Magnus (ed). Chambers Biographical Dictionary (Chambers: Cambridge… …   Wikipedia

  • Perseverance of the saints — Calvinism John Calvin Background Christianity …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.