Dr. Norman Leo Geisler
1932 – 2019
“I am put here for the defense of the gospel” ~ Philippians 1:16
It’s with deep sadness I share with you that our beloved co-founder, distinguish professor, Chancellor, brother and friend, has entered eternity into the blessed arms of our Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Geisler meant so much to so many, equipping an entire generation of apologists, theologians, pastors, and Christians with his incisive and humble teaching and publishing ministry. I am only one of a multitude of individuals who have been enriched by him in very significant ways. Simply put, his widespread influence and investment in the lives of his students and colleagues have made him the greatest apologist of the last half-century. His profound presence and Christlike example will be greatly missed!
Dr. Geisler’s legacy stretches far and wide, there is so much that could be said about his immense accomplishments. He has authored or co-authored 127 books and hundreds of articles, has debated scores of atheists and skeptics, and has shared the gospel around the world. In addition, he co-founded two graduate schools, Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte (NC) and Veritas International University in Santa Ana (CA), and has taught theology, philosophy, and classical Christian apologetics on the undergraduate and graduate level for nearly 60 years. Dr. Geisler loved to teach and loved his students!
Dr. Geisler’s professional experience began as a graduate assistant in the Bible/philosophy department at Wheaton College in 1959, but more recently he served in various significant capacities which include, but are not limited to: first president of Evangelical Philosophical Society (1976), President of the Evangelical Theological Society, 1998, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, 1999-2006, Dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary, 2006-2007, Distinguished Senior Professor of Theology and Apologetics and Chancellor of Veritas Internal University (2008-present) as well as at Southern Evangelical Seminary, 2014-Present, co-founder of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, 2006, President of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, 2006-2008, and general editor of the Defending Inerrancy initiative, 2014-2018. He has also served as a professor at some of the most well-known seminaries in the United States, including Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Southern Evangelical Seminary (co-founder), and Veritas International University (co-founder). Though his accomplishments are powerfully influential, he is best known for his uncompromising defense of the Christian worldview, love for his family, humility, sacrificial love for all, and tireless work ethic. All of us here at VIU, and with our brothers and sisters in Christ, are forever grateful for Dr. Geisler’s impact on our lives and for making the church stronger.
Dr. Geisler is also recognized for his involvement in the historic International Council of Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) from 1979-1989. During his time with ICBI, he was a founding member, chief editor, and a framer of the Chicago Statement on Biblical inerrancy (CSBI) and Chicago Statement of Biblical Hermeneutics (CSBH). These statements would eventually be signed by some 300 evangelical bible scholars and adopted by the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) as their working definition of biblical inerrancy.
What is more, VIU would not have been born without Dr. Geisler’s dedication, vision, and tireless support over the past eleven years since its founding. We will continue to honor him and his influential legacy by working hard to train trainers, teach teachers, and equip equippers, to share the gospel and defend the historic Christian Faith as he would have wanted us to do. We are forever grateful to Dr. Geisler for investing his unique knowledge and giftings into VIU students and the body of Christ.
Dr. Geisler is survived by his gracious wife, Barbara Jean (married 64 years as of 2019), a graduate of Fort Wayne Bible College (Taylor University), their six children, fifteen grandchildren, and in October (2019) will have nine great grandchildren! We pray for Barbara and the Geisler family who are facing the loss of Dr. Geisler’s profound presence with them. They are grateful for the opportunity to have enjoyed a strong and rich life in their years with such a man of God. We all take comfort knowing Dr. Geisler is in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will see him again!
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
In His Service,
Joseph M. Holden, PhD
President, Veritas International University
July 5, 2019, Friday 6-9pm
Forest Lawn East Cemetery and Heritage Funeral Home
3700 Forest Lawn Drive
Matthews, NC 28104
July 6, 2019, Saturday 3pm
5801 Pineville-Matthews Rd
Charlotte, NC 28226
All correspondence of sympathies and well-wishes should be addressed to [email protected]