Notable Christian apologist and philosopher Norman Geisler, will be retiring from his teaching position at Southern Evangelical Seminary, which he helped found, over undisclosed health issues.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based Seminary sent out a press release on Monday announcing the 86-year-old Geisler’s retirement, explaining that it was “due to health reasons.”
SES President Richard Land, who also serves as executive editor of The Christian Post, said in the press release that Geisler was “the pre-eminent Christian apologist of the past half-century.”
“If they ever construct a Christian apologists’ Mount Rushmore, they would unquestionably start with Dr. Geisler’s visage. He has truly been one of God’s great gifts to His church,” stated Land.
“Southern Evangelical Seminary would not exist without Dr. Geisler’s vision and dedicated service over the past 27 years. Dr. Geisler has assured me that he wants to continue to support SES in any way he can, as his health allows.”
Born on July 21, 1932 in Warren, Michigan, Geisler graduated with honors from Wheaton College in 1958 with a bachelor of arts in Philosophy, received a master’s in Theology from Wheaton Graduate School in 1960, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago in 1970.
Geisler frequently participated in academic debates on topics like creation and evolution, humanistic ethics, sexual morality, and the existence of God. He is also a prolific author.
“Norm has authored or co-authored over 100 books and hundreds of articles. He has taught theology, philosophy, and apologetics on the college or graduate level for over 50 years,” noted an entry on his website.
“He has served as a professor at some of the finest Seminaries in the United States, including Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Dallas Seminary, and Southern Evangelical Seminary.”
Geisler was one of about 300 signatories of the influential 1978 document “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.”
“The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God's written Word,” read the Statement’s Preface.
“To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.”
In 1992, Geisler co-founded Southern Evangelical Seminary along with evangelist and former Calvary Church pastor Ross Rhoads, who passed away in 2017.
“Pastor Rhoads’ burden for evangelism and Professor Geisler’s concern to defend the historic Christian Faith combined in the two-fold vision of the seminary to evangelize the world and to defend the historic Christian Faith,” noted SES.
“The Seminary grew rapidly, attracting students from all over the United States and several other countries; from the beginning it attracted national attention by its unique program in evangelism and classical apologetics. In 1995 the first graduate received his degree.”