Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on August 12, 2016 and has been revised.
Several months ago, I wrote a post regarding one of the strangest books I have ever read in my entire life. In “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences” (1995), evangelical theologian, Norman Geisler (d. 2019), examined the many doctrines that separate evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Most importantly, Geisler noted that Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit was not in accord with the Biblical Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Nevertheless, Geisler still somehow concluded that Catholicism is a Christian entity. Huh? It was like a courtroom prosecutor closing his presentation by ripping up his water-tight evidence and turning to the judge and asking that the case against the clearly-guilty defendant be dismissed. Needless to say, ecumenists loved Geisler’s book. See my review here.
I’ve come across Geisler’s name several times recently. While he’s certainly not a household name, Professor Geisler is esteemed in evangelical academic circles as one of the most respected theologians, philosophers, and apologists. I’ve learned that several of evangelicalism’s most popular apologists were mentored by Geisler; men like Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, and Lee Strobel. Ahhh. Now I get it! The apple never falls too far from the tree. I’ve mentioned Zacharias’ ecumenical leanings here. I’ve also read a couple of offerings from Strobel’s best-selling “The Case for…” series, but I jumped off that assembly line, never to return, after he cited Roman Catholics, Mother Teresa, pope John Paul II, G.K. Chesterton, and Saint Teresa of Avila as exemplary Christians in “The Case for Faith.” I’ve also documented Craig’s ecumenical compromise (see here).
While searching on Amazon the other night, I came across a book titled, “Why I Am A Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe” (2001), which was edited by Geisler. Among others, contributors include Zacharias, Craig, and Roman Catholic philosopher, Peter Kreeft. Kreeft, a convert to Catholicism from the Dutch Reformed Church during his college years, is definitely one of Rome’s most prolific champions. He has authored many books which proclaim and defend Rome’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Isn’t it strange that a Catholic philosopher would be invited to contribute to a book devoted to evangelical apologetics? Not if the editor is Norman Geisler. Imagine Catholicism’s EWTN or Ignatius Press inviting John MacArthur or R.C. Sproul to contribute to a book on Catholic apologetics! Oy vey! The concept is laughable from either side. But accommodators like Geisler would much rather err on the side of “Christian unity” than be known as – heaven forbid – “uncharitable” Protestant sectarians.
Kreeft’s false gospel of salvation sacramental grace and merit is NOT the genuine Gospel of grace. Including Kreeft in “Why I Am A Christian” blurs the Gospel just like Peter’s accommodation of the legalistic judaizers in Antioch. Shame on accommodator and compromiser, Norman Geisler.
“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” – Galatians 2:11-14
Note from 2022: Readers of this blog know I’ve been critically examining Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018), every Friday. Chapter after chapter in that book, Kreeft has disparaged the genuine Gospel of grace and Gospel Christians and advanced the RCC’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Norman Geisler’s influential role as an accommodator and compromiser is manifested even more clearly in the reading of Kreeft’s anti-Gospel apologia. Many people within the evangelical camp have contributed to the ecumenical compromise with Roman Catholicism, but none more so than Billy Graham, Charles Colson, and Norman Geisler. The argument is made that Geisler and cohorts got a lot of things right, so it’s unfair to judge them solely on their acceptance of RC-ism. With my background as an ex-Catholic who escaped the RCC and its false gospel, I can only view these accommodators and compromisers as traitors to the genuine Gospel who regrettably influenced many others.