I have had the great honor and privilege of serving as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary for seven years as of today, July 1, 2020. I can think of no better way to commemorate that seventh anniversary than by recognizing and praising the magnificent contributions to the kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, made by our co-founder Dr. Norman Geisler. In addition to my anniversary, today marks one year since Dr. Geisler’s home-going.
A prolific author, professor, speaker, lecturer, philosopher, apologist, evangelist, and theologian, Dr. Geisler has been aptly described as a cross between Thomas Aquinas and Billy Graham. All of us in the SES family were well aware that a spiritual giant walked among us, and he has been greatly missed. As I said at the time, he was quite simply the most important defender of the full inerrancy of Holy Scripture in the last third of the 2 century and the first quarter of the twenty-first century. His influence both here in America and on the mission fields around the world has been incalculable.
Upon his retirement from ministry in his eighty-seventh year, Dr. Geisler wrote to supporters and colleagues and said, “It is my fervent prayer that I have left a legacy of right belief about God and stood firm on the inerrancy of Scripture. So many of the challenges we face in our world today are rooted in our inadequate view of God and His Holy Word.” His diagnosis of the problem was, and is, absolutely correct, and his legacy has been, and will continue to be, priceless.
Each year on July 1, I use the occasion to renew my dedication to keeping his legacy alive and to fulfill the goal he set for SES many years ago: “to train trainers, teach teachers, and disciple disciplers, so the cycle never ends.” I have had this challenge from Dr. Geisler painted on the wall in a prominent place on our campus to remind us every day to keep our “eye on the ball.”
As I thought about Dr. Geisler on this anniversary of his home-going, I pictured him living out the lyrics of his favorite song.
Face to Face with Christ, My Savior
Face to face—what will it be
When with rapture I behold him
Jesus Christ who died for me.
. . . .
Face to face, oh, blissful moment
Face to face, to see and know
Face to face with my Redeemer
Jesus Christ who loves me.
Amen. We can all look forward to being reunited with Dr. Geisler one day for eternity in heaven.