Norman Geisler, RIP. One of the great apologists of the modern era, Dr. Norman Geisler, died Monday at age 86, following a short illness. Christianity Today described him as “a cross between Thomas Aquinas and Billy Graham.” His career in apologetics began when, as a new Christian, he was sharing his faith and encountered questions he could not answer. That sent him on a lifelong search for answers. Along the way he founded two seminaries and was instrumental in the development of the apologetics. (One of those seminaries, Southern Evangelical Seminary, I have had the privilege of serving as a board member.) He was instrumental in the creation of the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, a key document for modern evangelicalism. He also wrote, co-wrote, or edited more than 100 books, including the 2004 best-seller I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
Another Delay. Back in May, the Trump Administration announced new rules allowing medical workers to claim religious exemptions if asked to perform abortions or other procedures that violate their consciences. However, those new rules have yet to go into effect. Lawsuits have delayed implementation, and on Friday the Department of Human Services agreed to delay implementation until at least Nov. 22.
Catholic School Defends Itself. An Indiana Catholic high school fired a teacher in a same-sex marriage this week. The school, Cathedral High School, spent nearly two years deliberating before making the decision. Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson said “continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity” and that same sex-sex marriage was a “contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage.” Archbishop Thompson defended his decision at a news conference last week. “Our society places great emphasis on tolerance,” said Thompson. “But Jesus calls us to more than tolerance. Jesus calls us to love.”
Defending Women and Girls. “Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field,” said Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Holcomb will defend three female high school track athletes in their Connecticut lawsuit against the state’s policy on transgender athletes. The girls say transgender athletes cost them race finishes as well as potential college scholarships. Holcomb added, “Women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX [of the U.S. Education Amendments Act] provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn’t force these young women to be spectators in their own sports.”
Milestones. Olympic great and World War II prisoner-of-war Louis Zampirini, who later traveled with Billy Graham and whose life was made into the book and movie “Unbroken,” died on this date in 2004…. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804…. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on this date in 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which they both signed. The last words of Adams were “Thomas Jefferson lives.” But he was mistaken. Jefferson had died five hours earlier.
Warren Cole Smith is the Vice-President of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
Image: Norman Geisler, normangeisler.com