My Take on Caner (Still)

If you haven’t been following the Ergun Caner controversy, you can find background info on my blog, as well as James White’s blog here.

As of June 30, Dr. Ergun Caner is no longer the President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. After the investigation, Liberty released a statement that Caner would be replaced. Here is how I see it:

Caner is a man of God. Do you think Jerry Falwell would have appointed someone head of the seminary who he did not know, had not vetted, and didn’t trust? Come on. Listen to his sermons, read his books, attend his classes, and tell me he is not sold out for Christ.

Caner is a dynamic speaker, an entertaining speaker. I’ve heard him on several occasions. He has a great sense of humor, on stage, in classroom lectures, and I imagine, at home. As I see it, giving Caner the benefit of the doubt, he misspoke in his excitement on several occasions.  As someone who speaks quite often, I would imagine that I have given facts, figures, etc. wrong on occasion. I’m human. Here’s the point: if someone would just come up and ask me, I would be able to clarify why I mispoke (“Oh I didn’t realize I said that”, “I said that? I meant to say”, “That’s true…let me explain…”, etc.) No one asked him. They blogged instead. ( I have my theories on that. Maybe I’ll share them later). And if you comment on this post, arguing with this point, and have never spoken on more than one occasion to over 500 people – your criticism is invalid.

In short, there are several problems here:

1) Caner was viewed as guilty until proven innocent.
2) Caner’s Christian accuser’s ignored the process of Matthew 18 for settling problems such as this.
3) Caner’s primary attackers were either Muslim or Calvanist – both of which dislike Caner for his positions.
4) All of the “lies” can be adequately explained, as shown by Dr. Norman Geisler.

I think that Liberty University and the semimary are playing a bit of politics with their decision. Which is fine. As I’ve said before, Liberty is bigger than any one person (including the name Falwell). I think that Liberty decided it was best for the school to remove Caner and avoid any further smears in the media. The school will survive. Check that – thrive. However, Caner will stay on as a professor. Doesn’t this say something? I think it says: “Look, we are tired of the accusations from kooks with too much time on their hands, but to avoid hurting our school we are removing Caner from the spotlight. He’s too controversial for such a position. He is, however, irreplaceable in the classroom, which is where he will stay”.

As for Caner? I think justice has been served. His passion is teaching. He has said that, clearly, over and over. And if you believe his story about how Falwell surprised him at graduation by introducing him as the next seminary dean, it was not a role he had too much time to think about anyway. But he did his job – the seminary has grown leaps and bounds in the last several years, and now it can settle in and build on that growth with a less “controversial” dean at the head. Perhaps now Caner can return to his true love – his students.

Go Flames.

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9 thoughts on “My Take on Caner (Still)

  1. Bennett Willis says:

    Well, you are not #1. 🙂 I had some hope here, but it has been dashed. 😦

    I still don’t get the impression that you have taken the <5 minutes to check the two links below. I don’t think that you could have done this and still said what you did.

    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3913 This is the link to a copy of an AP article.

    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-07-08T09%3A03%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=5 This is a link to a link to the start of the infamous sermon that EC gave at FBC Jacksonville in 2001. Listen to this 171 seconds and reconcile them if you can. Decide which you believe.

    But if you can’t take the time, well you can’t.

    If you are interested in reading some tight logic on the subject, you might try Scott Howell’s blog. http://fromlaw2grace.com/2010/07/10/ergun-caner-defenders-failure-to-communicate/ He has only a few postings and the ones on EC are logical and clear. But don't read this if you are not willing to do it honestly.

    I know that it took me less than 5 minutes to form a preliminary hypothesis which has been supported by the additional information to the point that it has become a theory—and in my business, this is as good as it gets.

  2. whitet says:

    Thanks for your comment at drtimwhite.com and this blog post. My interest in this story is my students in Homiletics. There a danger in embellishment in the pulpit which Caner illustrates.

  3. Bennett Willis says:

    http://blog.witnessesuntome.com/2010/07/caner-out-age-2-immigration-proven-yet.html

    Looks like he probably got here while he was still 2. Oh well. I was wrong when I said three. Any apologies needed?

  4. Bennett Willis says:

    1) Caner was viewed as guilty until proven innocent. NO. HE WAS VIEWED AS INNOCENT OF THE “NON-MUSLIM” CHARGE AND ONLY AS AN “EMBELLISHER” AFTER ENOUGH VIDEO WAS COMPARED WITH ENOUGH OTHER DOCUMENTATION TO DEMONSTRATE THAT ONE OR THE OTHER WAS INCORRECT–AND IT WAS EASY TO MAKE THE JUDGEMENT ABOUT WHICH WAS MORE ACCURATE.
    2) Caner’s Christian accuser’s ignored the process of Matthew 18 for settling problems such as this. YOU CAN’T DO THIS UNLESS THE PERSON IS WILLING TO TALK WITH YOU AND ec WAS NOT.
    3) Caner’s primary attackers were either Muslim or Calvanist – both of which dislike Caner for his positions. THIS IS A SILLY ARGUEMENT AND NOT TRUE IN MY CASE IN ANY EVENT.
    4) All of the “lies” can be adequately explained, as shown by Dr. Norman Geisler. [EMOTICON FOR WORLD CLASS EYE ROLL] Dr. GEISLER OFFERS NEITHER DOCUMENTATION NOR LOGICAL REASONS TO CONTRADICT WHAT IS SAID ABOUT ec. HIS DEFENSE IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ALL WHO HAD ANY RESPECT FOR HIS REPUTATION AS A SCHOLAR THAT DEALS WITH EVIDENCE.

  5. Bennett Willis says:

    Don’t get too carried away with the hand sanitizer. Dirt and the associated germs are important in developing resistance to disease and allergies.

    I can’t remember the first 6 weeks of either of my daughter’s lives. Take a few notes and/or record the twitter things. 🙂 It is a frantic time.

  6. Bennett Willis says:

    There is an interesting essay on people who don’t deal with facts in Time Magazine (probably the one dated about 8/18). When confronted with the facts (the “true facts”) they become more convinced (in certain subgroups) in the validity of their error. It seems very consistent with what we saw for months in the EC case.

    Here is a related link to a blog: http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/when-facts-fail-study-notes-that-facts-can-reinforce-false-beliefs/

    And this is the link to the report of the study: http://www.springerlink.com/content/064786861r21m257/fulltext.html

    I’m going to leave these around at a few of the blogs that were involved in the EC discussion.

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