Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Norman Geisler (1932 – 2019)
I am sorry to report that philosopher and theologian Norman Geisler has died. Geisler stood out as a Protestant who took a broadly Thomist approach to philosophy and theology, and as an evangelical who vigorously defended the classical theist conception of God against the currently fashionable anthropomorphism he aptly labeled “neo-theism” (and which Brian Davies calls “theistic personalism”). Those of us who sympathize with these commitments are in his debt.
The first philosophical or theological event I ever attended was a debate between Geisler and the process theologian John Cobb in Claremont, California in the late 80s. I vividly recall his emphasis on upholding the tradition of “Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas” against theological innovators like Cobb. It was only years later that I really understood what was at stake in this dispute, but I was impressed by the depth of the philosophical issues that arose in the course of the debate – issues that usually don’t occur to the average believer, but have implications for him all the same.