Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Caner File

Note: Many of these links are now broken. For example, Dr. Caner's messages from 2007 are no longer available at the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptist website. According to the Associated Press, "Since questions arose about contradictory statements, he changed the biographical information on his website and asked friendly organizations to remove damning clips from their websites. But the questions didn't go away, leading to the Liberty investigation." ~Squirrel

This is the timeline that I’ve put together regarding the questions about Dr. Ergun Caner’s claims together with the evidence refuting them. I did this for my own edification, I’m posting it because I thought that others would find it useful. While it is rather lengthy, this is in no way an exhaustive treatment of the evidence available and I’ve tried to keep it very much in the spirit of Sgt. Joe Friday, “Just the facts, Squirrel.” Much of the information comes from the fine investigative work done by Jason Smathers, Turretinfan, and My Friend in Ireland. I have tried to link to everything I could find, but some links are broken, and some archived pages are no longer available.

November 3, 1966 – Ergun Caner is born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Acar and Monica Caner, who had been married on April 1st that same year. (Source: Acar’s and Monica’s separation agreement, Ergun Caner’s Facebook page (now a dead link))

July 16, 1968 – Ergun’s younger brother, Erdem (Mark), is born in Stockholm, Sweden. (No internet source)

Sometime in 1969 – The Caner family moves from Stockholm, Sweden, to Columbus, Ohio. (Source: Monica Caner’s sworn affidavit dated July 31, 1975.)

August 25, 1970 – Emir Caner is born in Columbus, Ohio. (Source: Emir Caner’s Official Biography.)

1975 – Ergun Caner’s parents separate. According to his brother, Emir, their mom had adopted the lifestyle of a hippy. The brothers live primarily with their mother. (Source: separation agreement, Monica Caner’s sworn affidavit dated July 31, 1975, Emir Caner sermon from September 20, 2009)

1978 – Acar and Monica Caner’s divorce is granted. Ergun and his brothers continue to live primarily with their mother. (Source: divorce decree)

1979 – The Dukes of Hazard goes on the air. (Source: International Movie Database)

1981 or 1982 – Ergun Caner professes Christ at Stelzer Road Baptist Church at 2235 Stelzer Road
Columbus, Ohio. (There is some confusion as to the exact date of Ergun’s profession of faith. In Unveiling Islam November 4, 1982 is listed as the date of Emir’s profession of faith, and it say that it was a year after Ergun’s, but Ergun claims November of 1982 as the date of his conversion in several lectures, like this one in Ohio in 2007.)

Between 1982 and 1999, Ergun Caner pursues his education and serves as pastor of several churches.

1999 – Baptist Press reports on “E. Michael Caner, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, Aurora, Colo.” and his work in the wake of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton Colorado. (Source: Baptist Press)

2000 – Ergun Caner writes for Baptist Press under the byline “E. Michael Caner” (Source: Baptist Press)

After September 11, 2001, Dr. Caner, now using the name “Ergun Mehmet Caner,” begins to speak about his Muslim past, making claims that are in clear contradiction to many of the facts documented above. Following are some examples. (Again, this is not an exhaustive list.)

2001 – Ergun Caner speaks at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. (Source: Focus on the Family’s April 23, 2010 broadcast “From Jihad to Jesus”)
Claims made:
  • Came to America in 1978

  • Father was an Islamic Cleric

  • Ergun spoke broken English in 1982

  • Wore a turban in high school

2002 - Caner tells the Associated Press "...that he was born in Sweden to a Turkish father and Swedish mother, who brought the family to Ohio in 1969, when he was about 3 years old. He said he accepted Christ as a teenager at a Baptist church in Columbus, and then pursued ministry, getting a degree from Criswell College, a Baptist school in Dallas." (Source: Associated Press article dated May 17, 2010)

May 2002 - SBC Life reviews Islam Unveiled. Review contains this paragraph with debate claims: (Source: www.sbclife.org)
The heightened interest in Islam has drawn each of the Caner brothers into additional debate settings at mosques and universities, speaking in English, French, and Arabic with Muslim scholars. And they have been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, Moody Broadcasting Network, Salem Radio Network, and USA Radio. Talk show invitations have come from Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Marlon Maddux, and Zola Levitt.

2004 – Biography from erguncaner.com: (Source: www.archive.org)
He has been called the “Intellectual Pit Bull of the evangelical world” by the national media. He debated Michael Moore in a nationally syndicated column entitled “Hatriotism.”
He has spoken on over fifty university and college campuses, debating Hindi, Buddhist, Muslim and Bah’ai scholars. He has been interviewed on virtually every national media outlet, and has been castigated by the Washington Post and the LA Times. He has addressed the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference twice, and has given keynote addresses at seven major denominational meetings. He has spoken to over fifty thousand college and high school students in major concerts. Recently, he was called the “leading young voice for cultural apologetics and world religions” by the PAX network.

In the war on terror, he understands both sides...because he has been on both sides. Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner is Full Professor of Theology and Church History at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Dr. Caner was raised the son of an Islamic leader. In 1982, he converted to the Christian faith after emigrating to this country. As a consequence of this conversion, he was disowned by his family. Caner has three Masters Degrees and two Doctorates, the Doctor of Theology coming from the University of South Africa. Along with his brother, Dr. Emir Caner (Professor of History and Anabaptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) Ergun is author of eleven books, including the new best seller CHRISTIAN JIHAD (Kregel 2004). CHRISTIAN JIHAD has been endorsed by Beth Moore and Ann Coulter, and examines the recent war in light of thirteen hundred years of Islamic-Christian conflict. His previous books on Islam have sold almost 200,000 copies. UNVEILING ISLAM won the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Since the September 11th bombing, Caner has appeared on such national television shows as Fox News, various CNN shows, MSNBC, the 700 Club, Zola Levitt, John Ankerberg and others. He and his wife, Jill, have two sons.

2005, May 8th - The Washington Post publishes a profile of Ergun Caner, which says, in part, "Caner's star rocketed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when he became a controversial in-house expert on Islam for the evangelical Christian community" & "Caner said he believes that his popularity among Christians is largely attributable to his Islamic heritage" & "Caner was raised in Turkey and Sweden in an Islamic family before moving as a teenager to Ohio..."

2006 – Ergun Caner speaks at an unidentified conference in the Seattle area.
Claims made:
  • Does debates with Muslims on college campuses

  • Grew up in Turkey, near the Turkish-Iraqi border

  • Learned about America by watching The Dukes of Hazard on Turkish television

  • Came to the United States in 1978

  • Wore typically Arabic clothing in high school

  • Has done 48 debates with Muslims, Hindu, & Bah’ai

February 2007 – Ergun Caner speaks to the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists Men’s Retreat:
Claims made:
  • Has a Ph.D

  • Came to America in 1978

  • Wore Islamic clothing in high school

2009 – Biography from erguncaner.com: (Source: www.archive.org)
Ergun Mehmet Caner (B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th.M., D.Min., Ph.D.) is president of the Liberty Theological Seminary at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Serving under his Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell Jr., Caner led the Seminary to triple in growth since his installation in 2005. A public speaker and apologist, Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in thirteen countries and thirty-five states. The author of seventeen books, Caner lives in Lynchburg with his wife Jill and two sons, Braxton and Drake.

October 15, 2009 – Dr. James White asks for help in locating examples of Dr. Caner’s debates. This caused some people to take a closer look at Dr. Ergun Caner’s claims. More questions begin to be asked.

February 25, 2010 – Dr. Caner releases the following statement: (Source: SBC Today
Recently a concerted effort has been made by a small group of professing believers, joined with a particular Muslim that posts videos, questioning my conversion, and the conversion of my brothers. And, what saddens my heart immensely is, this small band of professing Christians have now cited the Muslim’s videos as reason to attack my testimony as well. Indeed, the Muslims have used clips that attempt to show that through two decades of ministry and hundreds of sermons there exist discrepancies in my testimony. In all honesty, I probably could have saved them a lot of time and trouble. The truth is, I would be surprised if no discrepancies were discovered, given the hundreds of messages I have given during all that time!

Nonetheless, while normally it is wise to ignore these types of attacks, the Muslim’s videos- now surprisingly being cited by professing Christians- have sadly produced such ardor that I feel the need to speak to the issue. This has been done repeatedly to Muslim converts, but in this instance, I bear some responsibility to clarify.

I was born in Sweden, with a Turkish father and our mother who was a Turkish citizen.
I was born and raised a Sunni Muslim, just like my brothers.
I was led to Christ at the Stelzer Road Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, just like my brothers.

Now, on to the other issues:
Every minister has made pulpit mistakes. Being called a “liar,” however, is a serious charge, especially when it is made by Christians. That would indicate that (1) the accusers can know the motives of the accused person’s heart, and (2) the accused person intentionally misled people.

I have never intentionally misled anyone. I am sure I have made many mistakes in the pulpit in the past 20-plus years, and I am sure I will make some in the future. For those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing, I apologize and will strive to do better.

A second question raised concerns debates. One gentleman believes it is misleading to call my interaction with people from other faiths and world religions “debates.” Since his definition of debate is limited to moderated, formal debates, that is his prerogative. He can call them whatever he wishes. My podcasts are readily available online through this website. If he finds them less than satisfying or helpful, then he does not have to listen to them. I do not offer them for his approval or his attention. Please feel free to look elsewhere. God has been gracious to call many Christians to practice evangelism and apologetics in a variety of ways.

The truth is, several evangelical apologists employ the “formal” debate template and are very effective in their presentations. Norman Geisler, Gary Habermas and William Lane Craig come to mind. Nevertheless, I will continue to do exactly as I have done. In fact, in order to attempt a measure of peace, I am more than happy to call my engagements “interviews,” or even “dialogues.” Since this is historically my method of choice, I shall continue to offer these podcasts here, for the edification of those who care to listen.

However, I would caution all evangelicals that no single method meets consensus. Nor is there only one exclusively biblical model. Certainly there is much good to be found in formal debates, and I also believe that there is enough room for all types of interaction. In fact I believe there is great value to be found in all forms, including conversational and informal methods.

Finally, there is a legitimate complaint which I must address, namely, referencing a Muslim scholar that I have never met. Listening to the audio, I honestly have no idea who I was referencing, but it certainly could not have been the man I referenced. For this unintentional but nevertheless horrible mistake, I repent for saying his name, and I ask the forgiveness of all those who heard it. Sin is sin, and if I am dumb enough to say something like that, I should be man enough to deal with it and aim to never make such a grievous error again. This applies to any time when I wrongly used names. I shall be more careful.

As for the countless other volleys aimed at discrediting the work I do, I am unsure how to respond. If my pronunciation of Arabic phrases is not correct, then I apologize. The language of my lineage is Turkish, not Arabic. Even Arabic dialects differ regionally, such as Jordanian and Egyptian. Indeed, 80% of the Muslim world does not speak Arabic, so I doubt anyone will be fully satisfied at this juncture. I must add, however, the misguided attempt by Muslim apologists to discredit converts to Christianity is not limited to me; in fact it seems to be standard operating procedure. I do not believe I can do anything to stop these attacks. All I can do is continue to teach as I have for years, and continue to serve the Lord with the best I can give.

Criticism is many times helpful. In this particular instance, it has enabled me to correct the careless mistakes I addressed above. Nonetheless, I want to be clear about this current situation. This constant stream of criticism, blogging and berating is not acceptable between believers. I am as guilty as anyone else in instigating such things over the years, but these personal attacks are too much. I shall not participate in this anymore. This is absolutely of no interest to me.

So, may the Lord judge between us.

To all who are reading this, I want you to know– I am a clear example of a person who is constantly in need of God’s grace. Because Jesus Christ died on the Cross for the world, that includes all of us. He died to forgive my sin, and resurrected to give me life. He did the same for you. When I repented of my sin, and put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, He gave me new life. He can do the same for you. We are all sinners, and in need of forgiveness. If you will trust Jesus Christ and turn from your sin, you can find forgiveness and freedom from all the guilt that is upon you. Jesus loves you.
-Ergun Caner

February 26, 2010 - Fred Butler makes the first comparison between Ergun Caner and Mike Warnke that I'm aware of.

February 26, 2010 - @ErgunCaner blocks @Shinar_Squirrel from following him on Twitter.

March 12, 2010 – The February 25, 2010 statement is removed from erguncaner.com (Source: James White’s blog.)

March 29, 2010 – Jason Smathers publishes Ergun Caner’s Secret Biography, & provides the hard evidence about when Ergun Caner came to America.

April 14, 2010 – the following biography goes up at erguncaner.com: (Source: erguncaner.com)
Ergun Caner is the President and Dean of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as a devout Sunni Muslim along with his two brothers, Caner converted in high school. After his conversion, he pursued his call to the ministry and education. He has a Masters degree from The Criswell College, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology from the University of South Africa. He has written numerous books with his brother, Dr. Emir Caner, who is the President of Truett-McConnell College, a Baptist college in Georgia

April 19, 2010 – A Squirrel in Babylon publishes Like Watching a Train Wreck; @XIANITY tweets a link to it, bringing a great deal of attention to this blog.

April 23, 2010 – A Squirrel in Babylon is interviewed by Christianity Today for an upcoming article about Ergun Caner’s embellishment of his life’s story.

April 28, 2010 – People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch publishes an article about Ergun Caner.

May 3, 2010 – Christianity Today publishes their article on Ergun Caner.

May 4, 2010 – A Squirrel in Babylon publishes a response to the Christianity Today article.

May 5, 2010 – Associated Baptist Press publishes an article on Ergun Caner.

May 10, 2010 – Liberty University announces that a committee is being formed to investigate allegations of dishonesty and wrongdoing on the part of Dr. Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

It is now in the hands of Dr. Ron Godwin and the committee that he has formed. Please join me in prayer that they will follow the evidence wherever it leads them and that they may reach an unbiased and fair conclusion. Let us pray also for Dr. Caner, that he may come to repentance, and for God’s Grace upon Dr. Caner and his family.

UPDATE - June 25, 2010 - Ergun Caner removed from office of President and Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary but retains full professorship for the 2010/2011 school year. Liberty University issues the following statement (Source: The Lynchburg News & Advance):
After a thorough and exhaustive review of Dr. Ergun Caner’s public statements, a committee consisting of four members of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees has concluded that Dr. Caner has made factual statements that are self-contradictory.

However, the committee found no evidence to suggest that Dr. Caner was not a Muslim who converted to Christianity as a teenager, but, instead, found discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence.

Dr. Caner has cooperated with the board committee and has apologized for the discrepancies and misstatements that led to this review.

Dr. Caner’s current contractual term as Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary expires on June, 30, 2010.

Dr. Caner will no longer serve as Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

The university has offered, and Dr. Caner has accepted, an employment contract for the 2010-2011 academic year. Dr. Caner will remain on the faculty of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary as a professor.

Further your arboreal rodent sayeth naught.

post signature


john said...

You have put together a great summary. Great work. There is a Baptist blogger, Wade Burleson at grace to you blog has also commented that after the inquiry, just say sorry and Ergun Caner can remain the president of the seminary. That reasoning shows the stupidity of the Baptists.

The Squirrel said...


Thanks for the comment, but I should let you know... I'm a Baptist... I'm a Southern Baptist... Just sayin'...

Personally, I think that Liberty University's academic integrity requires Dr. Caner's departure. That isn't to say that forgiveness shouldn't follow repentance, but I've seen no sign of repentance yet. And forgiveness doesn't always negate the consequences of sin.


Johnny said...

So Liberty U. has known about this issue for months now, and when they finally succumb to the pressures of the mainstream media they decide to organizes a committee to investigate..."with a goal of issuing its conclusions by the end of June."

Hmm, the end of June comes right after the middle of June, which is when the SBC meets in Orlando...Hmmmm. That's convenient.

Just sayin'

Carla said...

Good work brother. I heartily agree with your sentiments in the conclusion.

May God BE glorified in this, by all involved.

Lydia said...

"Personally, I think that Liberty University's academic integrity requires Dr. Caner's departure."

I totally agree. And even then, they must deal with the fact that one of their own, Elmer Townes, did not think this was a moral or ethical issue.

What is going on at Liberty? Am I to believe that no one there knew Caner has been lying for years?

Seems to me this is an systemic problem

Wade Burleson said...


It kind of feels nice to be called stupid by someone other than those who have defended Caner.


Denise said...

Yikes john, that's nice Baptist bashing. Please don't throw all Baptists into the "stupid" catagory unless you're willing to do that with other denominations including the Non-Denom denoms.

Anyway,I was interested in Caner's appeal to William Craig Lane as if he's some sort of Biblically sound teacher.

Here's what James White says about Lane and his doctrine of Molinism:

"The more I have pondered William Lane Craig's presentation of and promotion of Molinism the more deeply grieved I have become at its grossly unbiblical nature. The presentation of God as a cosmic super-computer, running the numbers, examining the "possible worlds" presented to Him by His "middle knowledge" of what free creatures would do in any given circumstance, is so totally opposed to the free kingly authority of Yahweh to create as He sees fit for His Triune majesty that it cannot help but grieve any one who sees the damage this sub-biblical philosophy masquerading as theology does. But if I am grieved at the damage it does, I am truly amazed at the praise its opponents can heap upon it as a system. " - http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3679

Besides Caner's dishonesty, his doctrine is way off. And Liberty's itegrity is ruined (yup college kids, you too, can lie on your resume and get a great job!)--if something seems "off", just silently fix it. So much for being upfront and honest and above board.

gb93433 said...

All in the name of image building so the person is "protected" and the image is protected. God exposes the proud.

terriergal said...

Denise, not only Craig, but Norm Geisler? Well, Caner is pretty hyper arminian after all...

Kevin Rhyne said...

Wow, you've done some work there, Squirrel...

Jerry said...

Maybe I missed something, but I don't remember seeing anything about Dr. Caner's local church. Yes, Liberty needs to take action, but the local church also has an important role to perform in this matter.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Mr. Squirrel,

Thanks for that very enlightening summary. You really put a lot of work into that and I am grateful.

November 3, 1966 – Ergun Caner is born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Acar and Monica Caner, who had been married on April 1st that same year.

Not that it makes any difference to me, but for the sake of clarity, does this suggest that Dr. Caner was conceived out of wedlock? Or perhaps he was a preemie? I'm just curious--it has no bearing on the case especially since he has no control over that kind of thing. But it could help to explain why the marriage was less than ideal, since it ended in divorce.

Blessings in Christ,


The Squirrel said...


I choose not to speculate in regards to that.


Pilgrimsarbour said...

Very well. I thought afterward, "yeah, I probably shouldn't have brought that up."

Chris Poe said...


Thanks for this post and your work on this issue.

Fred Butler said...

Thank you for the love, brother. I have been seeing these *cough* people swiping my comparison illustration all across the internet and twitter.

Actually it was THIS post I made back on Feb. 26th where I compared Caner's testimony to that of Warnke.

Good breakdown. By the way, do you know where Caner specifically attended high school? I may have a friend who can secure a yearbook from that time period.

BibleWheel said...

All three Caner brothers attended Gahanna Lincoln High School. Ergun Caner is listed in the class of 1984 on this alumni page. I discuss this in my article

Ergun Caner's Crimes against God and the Global Community

Pilgrimsarbour said...


I admit that the Mike Warnke comparison came to mind and I've stated as much in blog comments, though I did not read it on your blog. I think it's a testimony to the seriousness of the situation that at least you and I thought of the comparison independently of each other, and I expect others thought of it as well. I was a Warnke fan back in college a long time ago before things went horribly wrong. I remember how saddened, and then how angry, I became about it.

History repeats.

Blessings in Christ,


The Squirrel said...


I fixed the link and changed the date. :o)


john said...

Hi Baptist friends, I said Baptist stupidity in the sense that Baptists as a group, more than all Christian groups are so accustomed to the cult of personality worship. It is at the same level as Catholic church and her pope.

You all see: The caliber of man Caner is is NOT qualified as a seminary president--even without all the lies for more than 9 years. Baptists worship big numbers and dollars. And Ergun Caner is being used for this very wordly purpose and definitely NOT based on his character or godliness. The first time I saw him preaching and seeing his merchandising things in his website I knew something is TOTALLY wrong. You will never ever seen the Apostles merchandising things to further the Gospel.

Money and numbers are NOT the issue in preaching the Gospel. I think Southern Baptist Convention and also Liberty are more into Gospel merchandsizing than preaching the Gospel in its pure form. It is more of a big business and big politics right now.

As to Ergun Caner and Liberty: Jonathan Falwell and Jerry Jr.--as far as I know, they are NOT Christian thinkers, nor theologians--they are there by virtue of being Jerry Falwell's kids and NOT by virtue of their spiritual giftedness and proven qualifications. Hence, they have no clues of what is required of being a mentor to young pastors. Putting Ergun Caner as president of a seminary is a stupid decision.

I am sure the cult of personality is behind Ergun Caner being seminar president. The cult being: worshipping Jerry Falwell and Paige Patterson.

N.I. said...

I'm going to be 'that guy' and remind everyone (I'm not implying that anybody here is being deficient in some way) that we seriously need to pray for Ergun, Emir, and their families. I pray that the truth comes out, that Ergun and possibly Emir are removed from their positons of authority, and that their lives are not destroyed by these events. Whatever we think these men deserve, we must also remember that they have wives and children who will be tremendously affected by all of this. History shows that families of prominent Christians (I use that purposefully) embroiled in scandal suffer as much as the offenders themselves. I pray for truth, for just actions, and for redemption.

john said...

When I read the following requests from James White's open letter to Jerry Falwell Jr. and the Liberty's Board Committee I realized that even in Obama's appointees or the so called czars, they either resigned or withdrawned from their posts. A Gospel preacher, even more so a seminary president who is not an arrogant fool should just resign immediately.

I was overwhelmed by the list of so much of Ergun Caner's public lies for personal gain.

My question for you Liberty Seminary professors and students: where have you been sleeping nowadays? You all must be ashamed of yourselves. Do you all have moral values? Do you all have theological and biblical integrity? Why are you all conspired to silence? Why are you afraid of the thug liar who is your alleged PRESIDENT?

Just read the following list from James White:

1) When did Ergun Caner live in Turkey? . . .
2) What madrassa did he train at in jihad? . . .
3) Why has he claimed in public to have been born in Istanbul, Turkey, when he was born in Stockholm, Sweden?
4) Why does he claim to be 100% Turkish when his mother is Swedish?
5) Why has he plainly implied he could speak Arabic. . .
6) How does he explain his presence in Ohio by at the very latest age four, and possibly as early as 2 and a half, as indicated by legal documents?
7) How does he explain his claim to have always lived in Muslim majority countries . . .
8) How does he explain his often published claim to have come to the United States in 1978 or 1979?
9) Can Ergun Caner prove he was a devout, active Muslim in high school?
10) Dr. Caner claims in some of his talks that he learned English in Brooklyn. When did he live in Brooklyn, rather than Ohio?
11) How does Dr. Caner explain the fact that he claims to have done his prayers in the bathroom in high school, though that would be highly unusual and in fact either the act of an ignorant Muslim or one in fear of his life?
12) Why did Ergun Caner say Ramadan was forty days long. . .
13) Why did Ergun Caner on video confuse the Shahada with the opening words of Surat al-Fatiha?
14) Emir Caner says their mother became a “hippy” upon coming to the United States. Yet Ergun says she wore Islamic clothing until he baptized her. Which is true?
15) Dr. Caner often uses derogatory terms like “towel head” and “sand nigger” of himself, excusing these racial slurs . . .
16) Dr. Caner has repeatedly said “his family” disowned him upon his conversion.
17) Dr. Caner has claimed to engage in more than sixty Muslim debates. Where is the evidence of these debates? Who has he debated? What are their names? When did the debates take place?
18) Dr. Caner claimed to have debated Shabir Ally in Nebraska. Nebraska? When? On what topic?
19) Dr. Caner claimed to debate Abdul Saleeb.
20) Ergun Caner has often, in talks, and in print, referred to “Hadith 9:57.”
21) Ergun Caner holds a Th.D. in Theology. Why has he often changed the degree to a Ph.D.?
22) Dr. Caner heads up the Global Apologetics program. . .

Gentlemen, I believe nothing less than an open and public explanation of these issues is necessary. If Dr. Caner has meaningful, fair, honest explanations for all of these issues, we will gladly hear them. If he does not, we hope for his confession and apology. Given that the world is now watching (not only the secular world, but the Islamic world as well), nothing less than a full Christian commitment to truth is in order. It is not the “Christian blogosphere” that awaits your report, but the church in general. Thank you.


Jennie said...

Squirrel, I've back to your blog after a while (since you hadn't been posting much for a long time) and I see you've jumped back in with both feet. I have only been half following the Ergun Caner thing (on TurretinFan's site) and didn't realize how big a thing it was. As a Baptist, I would like to say something about Liberty University and also the general tendency toward celebrity worship that John mentioned. Liberty University, and Ergun Caner, appear to be reaping what they have sowed. Does anybody know or remember that Jerry Falwell took money from Sun Myung Moon (an antichrist) to bail out Liberty University years ago? The celebrity-and-money-driven Baptist organization, as well as most of the evangelical church, has sold their souls to the Devil for money and fame, and we are beginning to see the result. Judgment begins at the house of the Lord, because the church has caused His name to be blasphemed.

Jennie said...

Oops, I think it should be 'reaping what they have sown.'

Jennie said...

Squirrel, thanks also for taking the time to put all this information together so we can see the progression of the events. I hadn't known all the details before.

Ergun Caner Conman said...


You are right: Baptists culture in general and Jerry Falwell's group are the machine that produce this monster fame and money sucking frankenstein; and it is coming home to haunt them. I have observed for awhile that these big numbers big money Baptists will do ANYTHING to get big numbers--just watch their conventions: all they are talking about in one word is NUMBERS. They produced this monster and now they are afraid to deal with him. He happenned to manipulate Baptists' culture to the extreme for his personal benefit. Ergun Caner is smoother than Mike Warnke. A bigger liar.

bush said...

You have put a great work.Removing all sentiments is the first step towards the correct decision making.

The Squirrel said...


Welcome back! Yeah, I took a bit of a bloggy break.

Thanks for your kind words.


Ergun Caner Conman said...


Wade Burleson refers to the first reply to your [this] blog in his today's blog. Let me post here once, since he does not let me post at his blog (I have tried many times and failed--he wants people to agree and praise him all the time. Same as Ergun Caner).

I found the Baptist reasoning of Wade Burleson at his Blog Grace and Truth to you to be stupid in terms of Biblical consistenty. He shows standard Baptist's shallow and perversion of Bible teaching on grace--namely cheap grace and cheap solution to complex problems (e.g., believers' grave sin meet with easy verbal answers).

Today in his exclusive Baptist blog he wrote: "I was called "stupid" by someone who declared that there is no way any evangelical leader who has lied about his past should be kept in his position of leadership. I receive the label gladly, because the ways of God are much different than the ways of the world. The Christian leader that is MOST qualified to lead is the one who confesses his sins to God and to others on a regular basis. The Christian leader who should be fired is the one who covers and conceals his sins."

Listen to his twisted reasoning: "The Christian leader that is MOST qualified to lead is the one who confesses his sins to God and to others on a regular basis."

Where in the Bible you Burleson being taught to confess the same sin on a regular basis? To do the same sin 9+ years and confess it on a regular basis? This perversion of forgiveness is the very theology that promotes verbalizing "I am sorry" and remain seminary president in the Burleson support of Ergun Caner.

Another perversion is the teaching of confessing sin to man on regular basis. This is a cultic interpretation of the phrase in James' Epistle. A perverted Baptist theology based on a shallow reading of a controverted phrase in the Book of James--James does not teach forgiveness of sins by confessing sins to man.

Where did you get your perverse theology of confessing sin to God and men regularly as MOST qualified person to lead a Baptist institution? This is unbelievable.

You, Wade does not know how to differentiate between how God deals with pre salvation sins and post salvation sins. You lump them together and got confused and confusing others. Why did God replaced Moses with Joshua? You are blind because you want your cake and eat it too. Your reasonings is clearly behind so many predators in Baptist pulpits today. This is the same reasoning behind your support for Ergun Caner to stay as president. Your theology is pathetic.

cmac said...

Rev. Caner, thank you for you honesty, and we all make miastakes. but I would like to thank you for your great influence on the students at liberty. You sir talk their lingo. and my child is one of those student and she loves to hear you speak. so hold your head up you have made a differents.

The Squirrel said...

It is no secret that I disagree with Wade Burleson in regards to what consequences Ergun Caner should face as a result of his personal myth-making. Scripture tells us that a church leader, "must have a good reputation with those outside the church" (1 Timothy 3:7.) I think the church has ignored this provision for far too long. The widespread knowledge of Caner's embellished testimony precludes his continuing in a leadership role. He can, of course, after "bringing forth fruit in keeping with repentance" be restored at some point.

I must also say, however, that I agree with Wade on the need for total transparency in the pulpit. No pastor is perfect, but we all need to be real. The best pastors are the ones who are the most open about their failings.


rawjr1990 said...

Don't you think it's a little harsh to accuse everyone in a group of being exactly alike? Just because you're human doesn't make you a murderer or an adulterer. I think maybe you need to differentiate between certain people being foolish and an entire denomination of Christians being stupid. I'm certainly not trying to remove the blame from people who needed to be more observant, but don't be foolish in your own way.

starrstruck said...

I am truly disappointed in Dr. Caner and LU's initial response. Elmer Towns is an embarrassment to the university for stating that Dr. Caner did not do anything immoral or unethical.

Dr. Caner did apologize on the internet, but then nullified it by saying he never intentionally misled anyone.

But the evidence from his own mouth says differently. Watching him speak from the videos on the internet and listening to audio tapes of sermons proves that he has said the following:

I was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He was not.
I was raised near the Turkey/Iran border. He was not.
I came to America in 1978. He did not.
I came to America through Brooklyn at age 13. He did not.
I was trained to do what the terrorists did on 9/11. He was not.
I was in the Islamic Youth Jihad until age 15. He was not.
I learned English by watching the Dukes of Hazard. He did not.
I spoke broken English. He did not.
I debated a specific Muslim in Nebraska. He did not.
I have debated Muslim leaders. He has not.
I have debated religious leaders of other religions. He has not.

His falsehoods revolve around three areas: when he came to America, where and how he was raised, and who he debated. This is not complicated. He has intentionally misled others in these three areas. The true facts are as follows:

He was born in Sweden in 1966.
He came to America before 1970.
He was raised in Columbus, Ohio.
He was educated in America.
He spoke fluent English.
His mother was Lutheran.
His father was Muslim.
His parents divorced when he was nine.
He was raised Muslim.
His father was active in a mosque.
He came to Christ around age 15.
His father disowned him.
He attended evangelical colleges and seminaries.
He had evangelistic encounters with people from other religions.

LU has taken action. They have corrected Ergun Caner's bio. They have removed the inaccuracies. They removed when he came to America, mention of Turkey, and mention of his numerous debates in 40 states and 13 countries. They are investigating his background. But their previous statement by Towns is more embarrassing then Caner's falsehoods.

Dr. Caner at the very least needs to apologize. He needs to state clearly and unequivocally that he misrepresented his background. We may assume that he did so to capitalize on his Muslim background in the wake of 9/11. The evidence is that E. Michael Caner became Ergun Mehmet Caner after 9/11, another falsehood.

The sad truth is that his actual testimony was sufficient enough. He could have said that being raised by a devout Sunni Muslim father gave him a unique perspective into the mind of the Muslim terrorists and on indoctrination. He didn't have to lie. That is what is so sad.

But the more I think about this, he did have to lie. His understanding and presentation of the basics of Islam is woefully inadequate. In order to become an expert on Islam, he had to enhance his Muslim identity. But his attempts at explaining Islam would be akin to an ex-Christian making the following statements about Christianity:

A key verse for Christians is Bible 3:15.
The Lord’s Prayer, “The Lord is my shepherd,” was foundational to my prayer life.
The Eucharist is a depiction of how a believer is baptized into the body of Christ.
Before we listened to the sermon, we sang verses.
The Lord’s lunch is celebrated weekly or monthly in the churches.

Ergun does not know what he is talking about. If an ex-Christian stated the above, he would be laughed at. If he presented himself as an expert in Christianity, he would be soundly ridiculed. So the more I think about it, Ergun Caner had to lie in light of his abysmal knowledge of basic Islam. So there is a fourth area in which he lied – what he knew about Islam. Sad.

Jay Van Til said...

Check back on archive.org on October 24, 2004 on the Schedule page for erguncaner.com.

It lists a lot of places where audio/video should be able to be found like below:


The Squirrel said...


I need to go through all my links again. I know that a lot of stuff about and by Ergun Caner are being pulled.

As the Associated Press said, "Since questions arose about contradictory, he changed the biographical information on his website and asked friendly organizations to remove damning clips from their websites. But the questions didn't go away, leading to the Liberty investigation."

I'm sorry to see that Master's may have pulled something down, though. I'll have to write to some friends there and check on that...


Jay Van Til said...

No, it is still there. I was jsut saying it was one thing I was able to find that he referenced on his schedule.

I listened to it today.

Jay Van Til said...

I hadn't seen anyone make reference to this list of speaking engagements, so I thought I'd bring it up.

I posted most of what the list includes on turretinfan's blog, but archive.org, as you know, is not hard to search.

I hope it helps.