Remembering Michael Heiser

Many of us still feel his absence, and we will for some time come.

February 20th, one year ago in 2023, Michael S. Heiser passed into the unseen realm. Many of us still feel his absence. Heiser’s scholarship left a mark. But he was more than merely a scholar.

Simply, as the scholar Carmen Imes puts it, Heiser “singlehandedly changed what it was possible for a biblical scholar to accomplish.” Before Heiser, who could have known that academic and detailed exposition of weirdest parts of the Bible would gather a world-wide audience of so many?

Heiser was also courageous, willing to advance controversial ideas he believed would serve the Church. It certainly took courage to discussed with me, on his podcast, how evolution can be consistent with his reading of Genesis. Then, at an academic conference, he went on to present a detailed defense of God having created people outside the Garden, alongside Adam and Eve. In doing so, Heiser legitimized constructive dialogue with science, still holding fast to the supernatural, even in the troubled waters of the origins debate.

We asked him a weird question, just before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“What would you do if your daughter wanted to date a Neanderthal,” I once asked Michael S. Heiser, the great biblical scholar. I meant a literal Neanderthal. This was a thought experiment, in which the thick-browed cave man was not fully human, and not in the image of God.

Admittedly, this is a weird question. The easiest response would be to sniff, reject the premise, and move on.

But Heiser was up for the question. He was, after all, the scholar of the weird. Thinking of Genesis 6:1-4 and Psalm 82, Heiser often said “if it is weird, it is important.” So, how would he respond to this weird question?

The linked video shows his answer.

Feb 20, 2024
Feb 20, 2024
Feb 20, 2024
Apr 13, 2024

Join the conversation...

Come to understand and to be understood.
Whatever your personal beliefs, we saved a chair for you.

Suggest Changes Revision History