“Reviews of two Norman Geisler books” are two previously unpublished book reviews from Dr. Gordon H. Clark’s papers. It is presented to the public for the first time here on the Gordon H Clark Foundation website. If you notice any typos on the typed document please email the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org
**Items from the unpublished papers of Dr. Gordon H. Clark should not be considered his definitive statement on the particular topic addressed. These papers are being provided for educational value. For Dr. Clark’s official positions consult his published writings.**
Unpublished 30. Reviews of Two Norman Geisler Books (typed)
Notes: From the Sangre de Cristo Seminary library. The following are two brief (originally handwritten) reviews of Norman Geisler books by Dr. Gordon H. Clark, c. 1982. According to my records they have never been published. – DJD, 28 Nov, 2014.
The Creator in the Courtroom Norman L. Geisler, Mott Media, 1982, pp. 242.
The first of these two books reports, in detail and extremely well documented, the 1981 Arkansas Creation – Evolution Trial. Geisler is particularly well fitted to write this book, as he himself was one of the actors in the fracas. Since the material is almost entirely a recital of events, both in court and in the news media, it seems useless to write a review. Those who wish to understand the case should just read the book.
Miracles and Modern Thought Norman Geisler, Zondervan, 1982, pp. 168.
The aim of this book is to prove the possibility and historicity of miracles and by so doing to prove or corroborate the existence of God. The method is Thomistic-Arminian. On p. 68 the author briefly rejects the Reformed view of presuppositionalism.
Much of the first half of the book analyzes the attack on miracles by mechanistic science. In one place the author seems to accept Heisenberg’s indeterminism. If it is an acceptance, one can remark that Heisenberg’s argument is fallacious.
More space is accorded to Hume’s arguments, both in their original form and in their later modifications. A reader must examine Geisler’s refutation for validity and also for scientific accuracy. For example, he appeals several times to the second law of thermodynamics. In spite of the fact that the laws of physics change every decade or so, Geisler seems to believe that this law is final and unchangeable truth. He also, with superficial plausibility, rejects the idea that the downward graph of the law during the present age is only a fraction of a much longer sine curve. The long footnote on page 18 is untenable on several counts.
On page 69 the author gives what seems to be one of his more important arguments. “The following premises … are all apparently true … even nontheists generally hold them to be true … (1) something exists. … (2) nothing cannot cause something … (3) the effect resembles its cause. The second and third premises are obviously true as well [as the first].”
Granting the first premise, most scientists, I imagine, would deny the second. Causality plays no role in modern physics. Its’ differential equations supposedly describe the motions of bodies; but even Newton refused to suggest any cause for gravitation.
The third premise is totally useless. If there were such things and effects, they would surely resemble each other, for the simple reason that any two things resemble each other. A giraffe resembles an elephant because both have four legs. A football player resembles the Empire State building because both occupy space. Actually Geisler had said, “the effect resembles its cause in some significant way(s).” Even with the insertion of the term significant, difficulties remain: (1) there is no reason to believe the statement to be true, and (2) if it were true there is no method by which to determine what is significant.
The reviewer, obviously, takes the book as an example of the uselessness of empirical apologetics. The reader is invited to study the philosophy of science and come to his own conclusions.