Question about the legacy of Norman Geisler, the apologist who trained Ravi Zacharias

What is your opinion of Geisler as an apologist and of his dealing with the science-faith issue?

He spoke with Probe Ministries about ID before his death.

In Cru he was known as “Stormin Norman”

He trained Ravi Zacharias, about whom you may know today new revelations have come out.

But leaving Ravi to the side, what do you think about Geisler?


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Curious as to your thoughts. I have a few of his books–“When Skeptics Ask” and “When Critics Ask,” “Answering Islam”. I think he was broader minded toward the end, because he helped Andy Stanley explain his emphasis on Jesus over the OT as first importance. However, I thought some of his explanations about biblical violence a bit callous (killing Canaanite children prevented their reaching the age of accountability and they avoided Hell. By the same argument, given that the vast majority of children in the world never become evangelical, a mass extermination of those younger than the age of accountability would be beneficial).

Geisler was very smart and, I think, lay down some good points.

However, his works (as do many apologists’) deserve improvement and constructive criticism.

A pastor recently quoted Peter Stoner’s somewhat erroneous estimates of the likelihood of Jesus fulfilling all prophecies about himself…using retroactive, appropriated, vague statements as well to make an impossible number probability illustrated as covering Texas in silver dollars a foot deep and finding the right one. The pastor meant no harm. However, I had to tell my sons that I could not agree with the approach. It would not be honest of me to use false arguments to get them to agree with a premise I want them to believe (to follow God).

In the same way, I have to be honest to myself and others in critiquing arguments

Thanks for this discussion.

He was big on inerrancy. I always put him in the “traditional fundamentalist” category and never read much of what he wrote.


I had his apologetics textbook in Bible college back in the late 70’s. I was really excited about the class when I signed up, thinking I would gain new insights but quickly feeling let down. My impression was “is this the best you got??”. It is too long ago for me to recall the particulars, just that I thought he was stronger on theology, but embarrassingly thin on science.

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