Ergun Caner’s Muslim past, “evangelistically speaking.”

Back in the day, in a previous incarnation as a theology major at Oral Roberts University, the term “evangelistically speaking” was used to describe blatant exaggerations from the pulpit. For instance, if on a Saturday evening the preacher at a revival spoke of many dozens coming to the Lord during the week, and you knew from your own attendance there that the vast majority coming forward were counselors and not seekers of salvation, that was speaking “evangelistically.”

Ergun Caner, dean of the seminary at Liberty University, went a good way beyond evangelistically embellishing his biography, it appears. Christianity Today’s last article on the Caner controversy reports Liberty’s seemingly final response to the situation and contains links to their other articles about the Caner matter. For a hysterical response to the claims about Caner’s falsifications, check the last link as well as the writer’s earlier posts on the matter. A Liberty student news site provides on site reactions-the comments section is especially interesting. Dr. Norman Geisler, an evangelical writer of books on apologetics, holds forth in Caner’s defense in a response to Caner’s critics. And in the Reformed apologetics blog Thoughts of Francis Turretin, the writer posting under Turretin fan thoroughly eviscerates Geisler’s less than convincing apologia for Caner. A July 4th post links to his previous fiskings of Geisler’s piece.

Update: A July 5th post on Thoughts of Francis Turretin provides a list of what the author describes as “some troubling issues in addition to the many that Dr. Geisler identified.” TurretinFan (the author) is providing essential research into the Caner controversy, and doing so while avoiding ad hominem attacks on Caner or his supporters. The questions he raises deserve to be answered without obfuscating them by attacks on Caner’s critics.

Update: July 6, 2010: From the blog Just One Question, Justin Taylor addresses one salient question regarding Liberty and their treatment of Caner:  “But at the very least, Dr. Caner and the Liberty University trustees owe the Liberty community and the evangelical world an answer to one very simple question: Was Dr. Caner raised in Turkey as a Muslim terrorist trained in jihad? All of the evidence—see the end of this post—suggests that this cannot be the case.” Read the entire post at the link.

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2 Responses to Ergun Caner’s Muslim past, “evangelistically speaking.”

  1. Craig Daliessio says:

    Not quite sure you realize exactly who Norman Geisler is. And as for criticizing those attackers of Caners…have you actually read the despicable vile wretchings they have thrown at this man? Now a legend like Norma Geisler is in their crosshairs. James White and his stooges (Turretinfan, et al) are unfettered cultists with White at the helm. Their attack on Ergun Caner was shameful. They have even gone so far as to attack his wife and children now. A pox on their houses

    • Wool Hat says:

      I know exactly who Geisler is. I’ve been reading him for years. Calling him a legend is a bit much, and devalues the term. His work in apologetics is valuable. but hardly unique. If Geisler’s a legend, then what are C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton?

      Geisler’s defense of Caner is sloppy, cites no references for most if not all of his assertions, and skirts over the obvious falsifications in Caner’s stories. Your own ad hominem attacks on Caner’s critics, rather than dealing with the substance and implications of Caner’s false statements, is exactly the type of tactic that the left took from Saul Alinsky’s playbook and applies to conservative argumentation: ‘Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.’ Who Caner’s critics are is irrelevant. Whether or not Caner’s false statements are intentional is the issue.

      Scrupulous adherence to the truth is absolutely crucial in the presentation of the gospel. (James 3:1 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”) If Caner had relied exclusively on the truth of the faith and preaching Christ crucified, and left off trying to impress people with his own story, this situation would have never arisen.

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