A personal tribute to Dr. Norman Geisler

Norman Geisler speaks at the Southern Evangelical Seminary's 23rd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina, October 14, 2016. | (Photo: Screengrab/Southern Evangelical Seminary Conference)

As I was processing the fact of Dr. Geisler’s homegoing to be with Jesus for eternity, a flood of memories flashed across my mind.

I had known about Norm since I was a seminary student in the early 1970s. Along with my fellow conservative classmates, we eagerly awaited Dr. Geisler’s latest article, tape, or book defending the historic Christian faith in powerful, articulate, and exhilarating ways. For us, Dr. Geisler’s latest defense of the faith was like a long drink of cold water in the midst of what was too often an arid and sterile theological landscape.

Dr. Geisler has been the “go to” authority for more than two generations of evangelical seminary students who were looking for a bold, erudite, and uncompromisingly faithful defense of the inerrant, infallible Word of God and the historical doctrines of the Christian faith. His ministry was invaluable, and his influence incalculable.

I first met Dr. Geisler personally while he was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and I was a Dean and professor at Criswell College in the same city. At that time (ca. 1977) he was the guiding force behind what became the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy and its strategic and invaluable defense of Holy Scripture.

Along with legions of Christians across the globe (his books have been translated into multiple languages), I owe an incalculable debt to Dr. Geisler for his indelible impact on my life and ministry.

It has been very meaningful to me to get to know Norm in a more personal way during my now six years of service as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, the school he co-founded almost three decades ago. As I sit here at the desk he used as president to put these thoughts down on paper, I am reminded of how much I, and all of us in the SES family, will miss his reassuring presence and helpful ministry in our lives.

We are all aware that a spiritual giant walked among us, and he will be missed. We can take comfort in the fact that the prodigious work product he left behind will continue to inform us and to equip us more ably to fulfill God’s purposes for our ministries. And, as Christians, we also know that at some point in our future we will be reunited with Norm at the feet of our Lord and Savior.

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of The Christian Post.

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