Twelve Things from Doctor Geisler for His Students

written by Dr. Doug Potter

Forgive me, my heart is still heavy, and my eyes still cry. I will tell my Norm stories later, but for now I just lost my teacher, boss, colleague, and friend. All and all, sometimes more and sometimes less, I studied under, worked for and with him for 25 years. I miss him. He meant so much to me, and I know he did to you too. But don’t fret, as you know we will see him again in the flesh, with the Lord, but for now never forget what he left behind, something the world can’t get rid of. I see it in your own words . . .

Ravi is right: “After graduation, he remained a mentor to me and became a very dear friend. I owe more to him than anyone else for teaching me how to do apologetics for the Christian worldview. His death is a loss beyond words.”

Joe is right: “Dr. Geisler loved to teach and loved his students! . . . 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.”

Tom is right: “He is all these things to me; a mentor, an example, an aspiration. But, what is most important to me is, he is my friend. . . . but who could be in such a class, except of course Aquinas and Billy. I do not use the past tense, because he is still all of these things, and much more than we can imagine.”

Frank is right: “There is no one from whom I’ve learned more about Christianity and the defense of the faith.”

Bill C. is right: “I bear his imprint. He gave me a strong appreciation for the history of philosophy, which has served me well. Most importantly, however, he convinced me of the need for a robust natural theology. This emphasis was and continues to be somewhat out of the “norm” (no pun intended) for Christian philosophers, but those of you who know my work will realize how indelibly Norm Geisler stamped me with his mark.”

Harold is right, “He was much more to me than a teacher. He was more to me than a mentor. He was a friend. . . . He has had more influence on me than anyone else. I will truly miss him.”

Paul is right “While it is true that we gained a wealth of knowledge sitting inside his classroom, we learned the most by what Dr. Geisler taught us outside the classroom.”

Marcie is right: “I can’t think of anyone in academia who matched him in contemporary times for intellect, knowledge, service to the cause of Christ, and dedication to his students.”

Bill R. is right: “The mark of a great leader is found in their ability to live beyond the grave and pass the baton to the next generation. Dr. Geisler has now joined the great host of witnesses that have gone before us and he has passed the baton onto each of us. Therefore, it is now our responsibility to say during this time in history: I am put here for the defense of the gospel.”

Steve is right: “His teaching, training, and writings have left behind an incredible wake of tens of thousands of Christian leaders across the planet who have taken his beautiful balance of grace and truth and applied it to building up the Kingdom of God. He had an unstoppable drive and passion and work ethic. Retirement was not even in his vocabulary, determined to use his final breath to defend and advance the gospel. Only in eternity will we know the true measure of his influence. To the great man we called “Stormin’ Norman” (behind his back of course!), we will miss you!”

Tim is right, “Now it’s time for you [Norm] to rest. Your students will take it from here.”

Unlike you, no one will or can personally experience teaching and mentoring from Doctor G. again. So, remember . . .

  1. “Put the cookies on the bottom shelf.”
  2. “The world view glasses can come off.”
  3. “There is no such thing as a relative truth” (No one ever got the $10 in his pocket.)
  4. “A bad methodology always makes for bad theology.”
  5. “Only one book, the Bible, I read to believe, all other books I only consider.”
  6. “Either this book (Bible) will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book (Bible).”
  7. “Garbage in Garbage out.”
  8. “There is Thomism . . . and false” “Don’t throw out the philosophical baby–Aquinas with the Roman Catholic–bath water.”
    1. “God never bypasses the mind on the way to the heart.”
    2. “Be aware of philosophy . . . by knowing it”
    3. “Immanuel Kant has influenced your life more than Jesus Christ!”
  9. “The body is just as important as the soul, balance your scholarship with manual work or exercise.”
  10. “Everyone’s cup in eternity will be overflowing, but not everyone’s cup will be the same size”
  11. “Don’t be a saved soul with a wasted life. . . .You’re going to be dead a whole lot longer than you will be alive.”
  12. “Go and do likewise . . . ”

Watch out wild world, there is an army of Christian soldiers Doctor G. left behind . . . Never to be heard about in the news or the movies, they don’t wear fatigues or berets and the world rejects them and what they say, but demons shudder, here we come . . .

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