Caveo Cavi Cautum–A Second Look at Geisler’s Petition Against Licona

by Max Andrews

I have to give credit to someone else for the post.  I never went back through Norm Geisler’s petition to check if his reference to the ICBI statement was accurate.  I guess most of us simply took him to be honest and quoted it accurately.  To much disappointment it appears that we have been mistaken and Geisler conveniently left out important statements from the ICBI statement.  Below is the comparison between the ICBI statement and Geisler’s use of it.  For complete transparency, please view the ICBI document here. (What appears in black is taken from the ICBI statement, what appears in red is Geisler’s use of the statement, and what appears in blue is a note of comment).

Article XII

We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.
We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes,
exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

Article XII

WE AFFIRM THAT SCRIPTURE IN ITS ENTIRETY IS INERRANT, BEING FREE FROM ALL FALSEHOOD, FRAUD, OR DECEIT. We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in THE FIELDS OF HISTORY AND SCIENCE.

NOTE: Geisler completely leaves out the section of the article that relates to scientific hypotheses about earth history. Couldn’t the young earthers use this against him?

Article XIV

We affirm that the biblical record of events, discourses and sayings, though presented in a variety of appropriate
literary forms, corresponds to historical fact.
We deny that any event, discourse or saying reported in Scripture was invented by the biblical writers or by the traditions they incorporated.

Article XIV

WE DENY THAT ANY EVENT, DISCOURSE OR SAYING REPORTED IN SCRIPTURE WAS INVENTED BY THE BIBLICAL WRITERS OR BY THE TRADITIONS THEY INCORPORATED.

NOTE: Geisler again leaves out the affirmation section prior to the denial that talks about the variety of literary forms used in scripture.

Article XXII

We affirm that Genesis 1-11 is factual, as is the rest of the book.
We deny that the teachings of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.

Article XXII

IT “AFFIRMS THAT GENESIS 1-11 IS FACTUAL, AS IS THE REST OF THE BOOK.”
The denial makes is evident that views which redefine error to mean what ‘MISLEADS,’ RATHER THAN WHAT IS A MISTAKE, MUST BE REJECTED.

NOTE: Geisler leaves out the denial section of this article which one would think could be used against his old earth position and certainly against Packer’s framework theory. I have to wonder if he did this in order to be able to garner the support of young earthers who may have noticed the inconsistency.

Most grievous of all is that Geisler did not mention the following article at all:

Article XX

We affirm that since God is the author of all truth, all truths, biblical and extrabiblical, are consistent and
cohere, and that the Bible speaks truth when it touches on matters pertaining to nature, history, or anything
else. We further affirm that in some cases extrabiblical data have value for clarifying what Scripture
teaches, and for prompting correction of faulty interpretations. .
We deny that extrabiblical views ever disprove the teaching of Scripture or hold priority over it.

NOTE:  The selective use of quotes from the ICBI and ICBH along with his misquoting Mike leads me to believe that this is a conscious effort to mislead in order to get the results Geisler desires. It doesn’t matter if he has to use dishonesty in order to get those results. The end justifies the means since, in his mind, it is for the greater good.

I find Geisler’s use of the ICBI statement dishonest, intentionally deceitful by omitting conflicting statements, and a complete abuse of the ICBI document.

To view Geisler’s petition and to get my commentary on the petition please view it here:  In Promptu Ponere–A Response to Norm Geisler’s Petition Against Mike Licona.

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14 Responses to “Caveo Cavi Cautum–A Second Look at Geisler’s Petition Against Licona”

  1. This is becoming more and more of a Waterloo for Geisler with every post.

  2. Game, Set, and Match? I think so. There can be no doubt. This is taking an interpretive issue and making it a test of faith, pure and simple. Whether Geisler is losing it or is being dishonest I will not commit, but I would still like to give him the benefit of the doubt (though neither side seems very charitable, I can’t think of another plausible scenario).

  3. I recently read up on this controversy, Max… Is it true that Licona got fired from his job over this?!

  4. B.P. I’m married to Mike’s daughter and have been on the inside of all of this. Yes. He’s lost his job both at NAMB and SES over this. Yes. There is a petition going around to say he is denying Inerrancy.

  5. Brothers Max and Nick,

    There seems to be some seriously flawed positions that you two seem to manufacture. First, Dr. Geisler never tried to mislead in his use of the ICBI. He clearly point to the areas that Dr. Licona was outside over the guidelines. Your blue commentary has nothing to do with the issue. You are trying to create a divide where there is no divide between young and old earth scholars. Also, your use of the questions concerning Dr. Geisler’s points clearly have no basis as everyone uses various statements without including the entire statement in order to make their point.

    Second, either Nick places an intentional erroneous statement in public or he really does not accept the public position of his Father-in-law and the entities he served. In the CT article it is reported the following;

    Licona, former research professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Licona voluntarily resigned from the seminary on October 4 after the print version of this article went to press.

    Voluntarily resigning is not being fired. As for NAMB, I have asked everyone including Dr. Licona’s supervisor at NAMB and all have said he was not let go because of his book. They eliminated his position after he offered to resign. Dr. Licona says as much in the CT article.

    The NAMB, meanwhile, eliminated Licona’s position. Licona said the decision came after he offered to resign rather than cast a shadow over the board and its president, Kevin Ezell.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/november/interpretation-sparks-theology-debate.html?start=2

    Blessings,
    Tim

  6. And apparently, Tim has no problem with the behavior of passing around a petition entirely nor does he seem to have a problem with Geisler going after Mike repeatedly even though Mike just wrote a 700+ page book demonstrating Jesus rose from the dead.

    Now Tim, do you want to point to the statement of mine you have a problem with? Obviously, it’s one you have not replied to. (And I do note also you don’t allow me to comment on your blog. I find that interesting)

    Could you explain why Geisler left out the material in blue?

    Also, I know you have not read Mike’s book, but have you bothered to read “In The Beginning” by Henri Blocher, an ICBI signer, who does have a position that the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent, and much of Genesis 1-3 should not be read literally?

    You see, I did actually go to the library, pick up the book, and read it. I did not believe it just because my father-in-law said so. If you read it, would you mind telling me why Mike’s view violates Inerrancy but Blocher’s of Genesis doesn’t? (To which I agree, Blocher is not violating Inerrancy)

    • Brother Nick,

      No, I do not allow you to respond on my blog for two reasons. First, you do not debate the issues that are presented you change the points presented by re-phrasing the statements then blowing it out according to your preference of the statement made. Second, your responses to a simple point is so convoluted that your response is longer than the original post. Let me remind you once again. If have a blog where I post articles the way I see them. If you disagree with various points, fine. However to make your disagreement the point of the original post is another issue. You have Deeper Waters for that type of dialogue. You will not use my readers to make your advertisements for your perspective. You do that to your readers. If any of those who read my blog care to follow your complete argument then fine, they can go to your blog to do that. You will not advance yourself or your ideas on my dime.

      Now, since I have presented the goods concerning your Father-in-Law and his words about his employment ending being his choice not that of another, would you care to recant your words about NAMB and SES firing him?

      Blessings,
      Tim

      PS. As for the books I read, that is my business. If you do not approve of my commenting on a book that I have not read prove to me where my differences are dealt with in the book. Bottom line, is Dr. Licona has violated the principles of inerrancy by giving more authority to Greco Roman literature than to the text itself.

      • I understand block a troll or spammers or inappropriateness but it just seems like you really don’t like dissenting views. You don’t want to be publicly challenged… well, at least to where it’s easy for you readers to see the challenge. Do you have Nick’s site posted somewhere to where they can see the contrasting view? Man, it’s a good thing I let you post 😉

  7. Actually Max, I think it’s more than just that. I think it’s also that Tim can’t deal with what I say so he thinks it’s better to not have it up there. Oh sure. His readers can go to Deeper Waters, but how will they know to go there or know that I have responded to him? Are my responses longer? Yep. That’s because I believe in the style of good argumentation. (Note also the grammar in his post is terrible.)

    Now as for these charges that I’ve said something false, feel free to show where.

    Furthermore, yes. I do think it behooves you to read a book before treating its author the way you have. I see many people quote-mining what Mike says without bothering to interact with it. Apparently, you could take the time to research me and find out I was his son-in-law without my telling you and you could take time for lunch with Geisler, but you never found the time in all these months to read Mike’s book.

    Note also that Geisler goes beyond the text with the age of the Earth when he often points to modern science. Why is that not a problem? Henry Morris would have said it was. That’s why he refused to sign ICBI. It gave too much leeway he thought to old-earth creationists who compromise by letting science help interpret the text.

    Mike does not give more authority to Greco-Roman literature. Your statement is like saying “Mike gives more authority to the Greek language since he thinks it’s important to study what the words meant that Paul used at the time to better understand the Bible.” No. That’s just good language study. It’s the same way studying Greco-Roman biographies is good genre study.

    For all the talk about how great the Bible is, you seem to feel an awful need to safeguard it from any literature of the time. I wonder why.

  8. Pastor Tim is really just a typical scared-rabbit pastor whose mind will never open enough to get beyond the idea that the Bible was faxed from heaven (as Dan Brown also thinks).When I was in my 20s, I used to have a lot of fun with his kind; I’d go up to one and say something about Deuteronomy being an ancient suzerainty treaty, and then gets kicks out of watching the deer-in-the-headlights look that followed.

    That’s one reason why he made it into my vid. 😀

    In a perfect world, Tim would never preach another sermon — he’s too irresponsible to be shepherding a flock with his dismal Biblical knowledge — and spend the rest of his ministry serving soup to the homeless.

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