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.