For those who've pooh-poohed Dr. Norman Geisler's questioning of former North American Mission Board apologist, Mike Licona, concerning his entirely unacceptable view of the resurrection saints in Matthew 27:52-53, dubbing Matthew's meaning as little more than "special effects" which the Apostle “added” as a “poetic device” to show a great king had died (i.e. the “Son of God”), and consequently judgment awaited Israel (The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, pp.552-553) need to listen carefully to Dr. Al Mohler in his latest post >>>
The question of biblical inerrancy has recently arisen in connection with a book written by Michael R. Licona and published by InterVarsity Press last year. Licona is a well-known evangelical apologist who has served as Research Professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and, until recently, on the staff of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is based in Atlanta... .
This past summer, evangelical philosopher Norman Geisler addressed two open letters to Michael Licona, charging him with violating the inerrancy of Scripture in making his argument about Matthew 27:52-53. Licona, Geisler argued, had “dehistoricized” the biblical text. As Geisler made clear, this was a direct violation of biblical inerrancy. Licona’s approach to this text, Geisler argued, “would undermine orthodoxy by dehistoricizing many crucial passages of the Bible”
Geisler called upon Michael Licona to change his position on this text and to affirm it as historical fact without reservation. But Geisler, a member of the Evangelical Theological Society [ETS] for many years, made another very important point. He reminded Licona that such arguments had been encountered before within the ETS, and it had led to the expulsion of a member. ...
We can only hope that Michael Licona will resolve this inconsistency by affirming without reservation the status as historical fact of all that Matthew reports in chapter 27 and all that the New Testament presents as historical narrative. He needs to rethink the question he asked himself in his book — “If some or all of the phenomena reported at Jesus’ death are poetic devices, we may rightly ask whether Jesus’ resurrection is not more of the same”... .
It is not enough to affirm biblical inerrancy in principle. The devil, as they say, is in the details. That is what makes The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy so indispensable and this controversy over Licona’s book so urgent. It is not enough to affirm biblical inerrancy in general terms. The integrity of this affirmation depends upon the affirmation of inerrancy in every detailed sense. ...
Michael Licona is a gifted and courageous defender of the Christian faith and a bold apologist of Christian truth. Our shared hope must be that he will offer a full correction on this crucial question of the Bible’s full truthfulness and trustworthiness. I will be praying for him with the full knowledge that I have been one who has been gifted and assisted by needed correction. Leaving his argument where it now stands will not only diminish the influence of Michael Licona — it will present those who affirm the inerrancy of the Bible with yet another test of resolve.
After rehearsing Licona's position, Al Mohler goes to work with a hermeneutical sledge hammer leaving nothing standing in Licona's backyard but a pile of interpretative rubble.
It really is about the integrity of God's infallible Word.
Thank you, Dr. Mohler, for climbing up the wall and standing in the tower.
With that, I am...
Read Dr. Al Mohler's entire piece, "The Devil is in the Details: Biblical Inerrancy and the Licona Controversy"