Most helpful critical review
86 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
Norm Geisler is a well-known and respected Apologist. He has contributed much to the defense of the Scriptures and the gospel in this post-Christian western world. It is clear that he is man who cares deeply for the faith and desires to see it defended. He has shown that in his many others works and it is present in his most recent volume Defending Inerrancy.
Geisler begins this defense of inerrancy by examining the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. He looks at the document itself, the events which culminated in its creation and its influence upon western Christianity. His purpose in this book is not necessarily to present a new argument in support of inerrancy, but to re-affirm the previously established view as represented by the Chicago Statement.
From here he moves on to explore recent challanges to inerrancy and their respective works. There are many included here who are of little surprise to evangelicals: Bart Ehrman, Clark Pinnock and Peter Enns. But, there are also some which left me scratching my head: Kevin Vanhoozer and Darrell Bock. I found Geisler saying on a number of occasions that these two particular authors denied such accusations, but because of their association with this person or that idea, they were suspect at best. For an established apologist I couldn't help but see this as a mild form of the 'guilt-by-association' fallacy. Because Vanhoozer accepts speech-act theory (or parts of it) he is guilty of denying inerrancy. Because Bock wrote a book with someone who denies inerrancy, he is now suspect.
I found this part of Geisler work disappointing. It seems that he has begun a 'witch-hunt' to root out all those who deny inerrancy. He is insistent upon finding these culprits and exposing them even if they vehemently deny the charges. It also leads me to question the reason for writing this book and its value. Both Bock and Vanhoozer are employed by evangelical schools which make the affirmation of inerrancy a requirement for employment. Are we to question the orthodoxy of these institutions as well?
What could have proven to be a helpful and valuable resource for another generation of evangelical pastors and scholars has instead proven to be nothing more than evangelical McCarthyism. As a committed conservative evangelical studying at a conservative seminary (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) I affirm inerrancy and understand the importance of the issue. However, I cannot support these sorts of unfounded accusations against brothers in Christ and these well-established and well-respected evangelical educational institutions. I only hope that those who read this work will accept his arguments but not follow in his accusations.
NOTE: In accordance with the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission I would like to state that I received a complementary copy of the aforementioned text for the purposes of review. I was not required to furnish a positive review.