Talk:Norman Geisler

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WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 04:19, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The ironic tone of the following line seems inappropriate for Wikipedia: "He is regarded by some as one of the foremost living semi-retired Popular (non-Scholarly) American Evangelical Protestant Gilsonian NeoThomistic Pre-Millenial Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalist Cessationist Inerrantist Moderate-Realist Moderate-Calvinist Abstentionist apologists of the Christian religion." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.74.233.161 (talk) 19:48, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely. It's been removed. StAnselm (talk) 20:55, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't think the "official webpage" reference is accurate, as far as I can tell from here the official Norman Geisler website is http://www.normangeisler.net/ , not http://www.normgeisler.com/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.100.28.120 (talk) 18:44, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Moderate Calvinism[edit]

Quote from this section - "Geisler rejects the critical Calvinist tenets of unconditional election, limited atonement, and irresistible grace, yet retains modified versions of total depravity and perseverance of the saints. Yet critics reject the term "moderate Calvinism". James White calls it "merely a modified form of historic Arminianism."[6] Michael Horton notes that historically "moderate Calvinism" referred to Amyraldianism, but "Geisler’s position is much further from Calvinism than Amyraldianism."[7]"

Geisler does not reject these tenets. In fact Geisler affirmed these tenets in his book Chosen But Free 2nd ed. p. 120-121:

Concerning unconditional election, Geisler said there is “no condition for God” in election. Concerning irresistible grace, Geisler stated that God persuades those who are “receptive to God's work.” In response to James White, he does reject the idea of irresistible grace on the unwilling. Concerning total depravity, he said that the image of God in humanity was corrupted or “effaced.” And concerning perseverance of the saints, he said “no saint will ever be lost.”

Concerning limited atonement, Geisler stated that the atonement was "limited in result" and applied only to the elect. Geisler - along with other moderate Calvinists - also hold that the extent of the atonement is available for all. Also James White in his book The Potter's Freedom claimed Geisler rejected 3 points and modified 2 others. However in response Geisler in Chosen But Free 2nd ed. p. 253 stated: “To begin with, it (The Potter's Freedom) misrepresents my view by claiming it has only two Calvinistic elements (PF, 20), when in fact, I agree with all but one of PF's definitions of its six points of Calvinism – irresistible grace on the unwilling (PF, 39-40).”

Geisler's explicit affirmations are in line with the beliefs of moderate Calvinism/4 point Calvinism, so I think the statements should be removed. James White in The Potter's Freedom advocates a much more narrow definition of Calvinism than what has been used historically. So White's criticisms end up excluding not just Geisler but all moderate Calvinists from what he calls Calvinism. Horton's quote does the same, since he equates "moderate Calvinism" to Amyraldianism - then distances Amyraldianism from "Calvinism." Lamorak (talk) 03:41, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that the sentence "Geisler rejects the critical Calvinist tenets of unconditional election, limited atonement, and irresistible grace, yet retains modified versions of total depravity and perseverance of the saints" needs to go. The tricky thing is how to phrase its replacement: perhaps Geisler rejects the traditional Calvinistic concept of 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). BUT if, when Gesiler says there is "no condition for God" in election, he is implying that there is a condition for man, then he has indeed rejected the traditional Calvinistic conception of total depravity also. StAnselm (talk) 04:17, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
It would be more correct to say that Gleiser equivocates the meaning of each of the tenets of T.U.L.I.P, as he provides an alternative, non-traditional, meaning for each of them. Like calling an apple banana, and saying that bananas taste great without ever eating one of those prolonged and yellow fruits. 150.162.176.151 (talk) 19:38, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
To reject irresistible grace would mean to hold that grace can be resisted. However Geisler's phrase "receptive to God's work" is the equivalent of drawing/to make willing found in irresistible grace. In fact the wikipedia article - like Geisler - quotes Calvinists who distance themselves from forceful and violent ideas in irresistible grace. To reject unconditional election is to hold that election is conditional. However Geisler's statement that in election there is "no condition for God" is the very definition of unconditional election, since God does the electing. Geisler's view of the atonement is in line with what many 4 point and even some 5 point Calvinists have said. Instead of rejecting traditional Calvinist concepts, Geisler's statements affirm them instead. Lamorak (talk) 06:18, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, looking at the article, Calvin distances himself from the idea of violence - but what does he say? "It is not violent, so as to compel men by external force; but still it is a powerful impulse of the Holy Spirit, which makes men willing who formerly were unwilling and reluctant..." And that is the difference, I suspect. With unconditional election, the wikipedia definition is "apart from any conditions related to those persons." StAnselm (talk) 06:46, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry guys, I have to object to the allegation that Geisler accepts four of five Points of Calvinism. He accepts "limited atonement" in the Arminian model: which is not at all on the model of the Canons of Dordt or any other Calvinist model. In fact Geisler's representation of limited atonement is a position shared with the articles of the Arminian Five Points. Cf. http://books.google.com/books?id=tOMma2uXcvoC&pg=PA235&lpg=PA235&dq=geisler+%22particular+redemption%22&source=bl&ots=ihufTDNZCt&sig=ODTeMOg678JZhYn_wb8a9dWNhiA&hl=en&ei=qLw8TbHxLYjEgAfgwpGcCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false , compare with " This does not mean these actions are not free; it simply means that God knew how we were going to use our freedom – and that He knew it for sure." "Chosen But Free", (c) 1999, p. 45. The comparison is direct: Geisler's position is flatly Arminian, even given the definition of "Arminian" in a book he co-authored. Geisler does not address the doctrine of Particular Redemption, which is the specific Calvinistic doctrine of "Limited Atonement". It's clear: Geisler is actually simply a historic Arminian, with some modern semi-Pelagian tendencies. Check into R.C. Sproul's opinion of his view. He is definitely not an Amyrauldian, not a "moderate Calvinist". He's not a conventional or low Calvinist, either (as distinct from a high Calvinist). He's not a Calvinist at all. As far as I can tell Geisler has not one objection to any of the Arminian Remonstrance articles opposing the Calvinists in the Arminian debate. That would make him a five-point Arminian. The Arminian Remonstrance was designed to *widen* the theology to include Arminians; the Five Points of Calvinism were intentionally written to *prevent* this widening. Unless the statements of Dordt are specifically accepted by Geisler, Calvinists conclude he's not a Calvinist of any stripe. Only one qualification, that for Moises Amyrault's theology, has historically been considered an acceptable variation from Dordt Calvinism. -- 68.100.28.120 (talk) 00:01, 24 January 2011 (UTC)michaelwoolsey@hotmail.com —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.100.28.120 (talk) 23:40, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually its only certain 5 point Calvinists who state Geisler is not a Calvinist. 4 point Calvinist writers such as Robert Lightner affirm Geisler as a moderate Calvinist. So Geisler's claim to moderate Calvinism is only controversial with certain 5 point Calvinists and certainly not all those within Calvinism. Stating that Geisler is not a Calvinist because he doesn't hold to limited atonement is implying that 4 point Calvinists are also not Calvinists. So it is not a neutral POV. Opinions of 5 point Calvinists (White, Horton, Sproul) on Geisler's beliefs are not authoritative - they are controversial. Geisler is after all a living person who has written what he believes. So I think there is no need to include speculation on what Geisler might hold when there are already explicit references for Geisler on what he does say he holds. Lamorak (talk) 18:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)