Of jihads, lies and Calvin

In my time as religion editor of The Oklahoman, a pastor of a large Baptist church wrote a book condemning Islam. After I reported on the book, I got a tip that the pastor had plagiarized large sections of the text and faked endorsements from syndicated columnist Cal Thomas and evangelist Franklin Graham. My investigation confirmed that the pastor — who claimed to be a leading expert on Islam — really was not.

I’ll never forget the reaction my stories received. Many members of the church did not even try to hide their anger. They wanted a scalp.

No, not the pastor’s. Mine.

I made the mistake of reporting news that they did not want to believe.

I am reminded of that experience as a potentially major thunderstorm erupts at Liberty University — the institution founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. In a controversy fanned by bloggers and first given non-blogger credence by my friends at Christianity Today, Liberty’s seminary president faces serious questions over his purported background as a youth jihadist who found Jesus. Much of what ex-Muslim Ergun Caner has claimed does not seem to add up. Liberty officials did not act too concerned at first, but launched an investigation after the CT report and other press inquiries.

The story has moved from the blog world to the mainstream media, and The Associated Press reported on it Monday:

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Southern Baptist minister who leads Liberty University’s seminary made a career as a go-to authority on Islam for the evangelical world, selling thousands of books and touring the country as a former Muslim who discovered Jesus Christ.

Now Ergun Caner is being investigated by the Lynchburg, Va., university — founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell — over allegations that he fabricated or embellished his past.

An unlikely coalition of Muslim and Christian bloggers, pastors and apologists has led the charge with video and audio clips they claim show Caner making contradictory statements.

Caner has since changed the biographical information on his website and asked friendly organizations to remove damning clips from their websites, but the questions are not going away.

The Raleigh dateline threw me for a second. I had to consult Mapquest to figure out that Lynchburg is 150 miles north of Raleigh. That’s a nugget that the AP should have included in the story if editors felt a dateline was needed. Otherwise, follow AP style and use no dateline on a bylined story where the writer is not at the scene of the action.

But overall, AP’s 1,000-word report struck me as good old-fashioned, nuts-and-bolts reporting. The story puts the facts out there and lets them speak for themselves. When the writer does not know something, he makes that clear. For example, these two paragraphs impressed me:

In an undated interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s website, Caner said: “The only thing I ever learned about Christianity I learned from my imam and the scholars in the mosque. Then when I began to be trained in Madras we heard even more about Christians, that they are our enemies.”

It’s not clear if the transcript should read “madrasas,” a type of religious school for Muslims, or “Madras,” a city in India. Neither makes sense in the context of a 1970s boyhood in central Ohio.

Deep in the heart of Southern Baptist country, The Tennessean played its story on the controversy on Page 1 today. Again, it’s a pretty straightforward, factual accounting of the questions facing Caner. I also liked that Godbeat pro Bob Smietana included this paragraph up high:

Caner did not respond to requests for an interview. Several Southern Baptist leaders who have supported him in the past, including Land and former Southern Baptist Convention President Paige Patterson, declined interview requests.

That paragraph speaks volumes. When Richard Land, who seldom meets a microphone he does not like, refuses to comment, it says something. Kudos to Smietana for recognizing that no-comments often convey as much information as a statement on the record. The Tennessean also quoted sources who remain supportive of Caner, a perspective missing from the AP story.

But the most intriguing report I’ve read on this situation was published Monday by The News & Advance in Lynchburg. Hmmmm, in the Internet age, could it be that there’s still a major role for local newspapers to play?

The Lynchburg story did an excellent job of framing the questions that a Liberty investigative panel could explore:

Where did Caner grow up — in Ohio or in Turkey?

When did he come to the United States — as a teenager as he has said, or at age 4 as his parents’ divorce documents indicate?

Did Caner have a nominal Muslim upbringing, or was he raised in Islamic jihad, “trained to do that which was done on 11 September” as he told an audience in Jacksonville, Fla., in November 2001?

Did he formally debate scholars of other faiths, including Islam, as his online biography once claimed?

Is Caner’s middle name Mehmet, as it’s shown on the cover of books he’s written — or is it Michael, as it’s listed on the concealed-weapons permit he got last year in Lynchburg?

Should he include an honorary degree in his curriculum vitae, which typically is the string of earned degrees that appears after the names of faculty members and administrators in university publications?

The other thing that the local story did was raise the possibility — hold on to your socks, GetReligion readers — that a theological dispute played a role in fueling these allegations:

The earliest blog posts came from advocates of Calvinism, a strict view of salvation that Caner openly opposed.

So, did a fight over Calvinism lead to the questions about Caner’s background? That certainly seems to be a possibility. A fascinating one, too, although if Caner truly has fabricated his background, his theological leanings may not make a lot of difference at this point.

Print Friendly

About Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning reporter and editor with a quarter-century of professional experience. A former religion editor for The Oklahoman and religion writer for The Associated Press, Ross serves as chief correspondent for the The Christian Chronicle. He has reported from 47 states and 11 countries and was honored as the Religion Newswriters Association's 2013 Magazine Reporter of the Year.

  • Bob Smietana

    Bobby:

    Calvinism is definitely one of many factors in the Caner story. One of his fiercest critics is Calvinist apologist James White
    White and Caner were going to debate each other and during his preparation, White claims to have found some of Caner’s inconsistencies. Caner’s supporters until last week were using a “Calvinist conspiracy” defense. If Liberty hadn’t launched an investigation, Calvinism would likely have played a bigger part in our story.

    Another factor is Caner’s criticism of the so-called CAMEL method used by Southern Baptist missionaries–earlier this year he called that method heretical and called Jerry Rankin, head of the International Mission Board, a liar for endorsing the method. (In the CAMEL method, Baptist missionaries use the Qur’an to point to Jesus.)

    But as you point out, the main issue here is how Caner claims in sermons don’t match up with the facts.

  • Reformed

    “So, did a fight over Calvinism lead to the questions about Caner’s background? That certainly seems to be a possibility. A fascinating one, too, although if Caner truly has fabricated his background, his theological leanings may not make a lot of difference at this point.”

    It is true that the issues with Caner’s misstatements on his background first came up during a long-running debate on Calvinism between Caner and James White. However, White’s raising of Caner’s false portrayals of his background came in a proper context of the back-and-forth between him and Caner. Meaning that it was not some attempt to smear, silence or discredit Caner, but instead it was raised as part of issues that came up during the (admittedly heated) discussion between Caner and White. (And I should point out that White challenged Caner to the dialogue because of Caner’s own use of his position of prominence in the Christian community to lob repeated and vehement attacks on Reformed theology.)

    However, the Calvinism debate has nothing to do with the issue of Caner’s misstatements, and Caner’s defenders have only been exploiting the fact that the issue was originally raised by Calvinists as an attempt to make it appear that this represents some attack by Reformed Christians on free will Christian leaders and institutions. So, their tactic all-too-conveniently exploits the disdain that many of Caner’s supporters have for Reformed theology in order to get them to focus on Calvinism and on the motives of Caner’s attackers rather than on Caner’s misstatements and his motives for making them. Indeed, one Caner defender went as far as to claim that it was the work of “aggressive Reformed Pastors who are intent on bringing down anyone not to their liking.” And the others that these Reformed pastors have tried to bring down are who, exactly? And it is not as if these “Reformed pastors” have any delusions about a Calvinist replacing Ergun Caner were he forced to resign at Liberty University, considering that its founder Jerry Falwell was known to refer to Calvinism as “heresy.”

    Caner’s defenders remind me of how defenders of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton called people protesting their policies and competence as “racist”, and how George W. Bush’s opponents were similarly labeled “anti-American.” It is the refuge of people who don’t have facts on their side.

  • http://www.thewardrobedoor.com Aaron

    I hope it is not the case that Caner fabricated much of his biographical information, but it is too often the case that pastors often embellish and exaggerate stories, their background and education. On the day that yet another conservative Christian politician has had to resign over a sex scandal, the need for character (above and beyond reputation) must be emphasized.

    I will say that I know Caner has had numerous battles (especially online) with Calvinist. Much of the criticism he received from them was uncalled for, but perhaps in their haste to attack someone from a different theological stripe they actually discovered a falsehood that need to be exposed.

    From the media perspective, it will be interesting to see how this plays out and is reported as it develops.

  • Reformed

    Aaron:

    Perhaps in their haste to attack someone from a different theological stripe? This is more circling-the-wagons mentality. It was Caner who in his position as the leader of the very influential seminary of the world’s largest evangelical university made scathing attacks on Reformed theology. Reformed apologists like James White were merely defending their own beliefs from Caner.

    And this goes beyond Ergun Caner’s embellishing in order to be more engaging and entertaining in the pulpit. Caner willfully, repeatedly and pervasively misrepresented himself, passing himself off as this “Ergun Mehmet Caner” identity that does not exist, in order to exploit the climate of fear that existed after September 11th. After 9/11, when everyone was in shock and wanting to learn as much about Islam as possible, Caner claimed to have been someone raised as a jihadist in Turkey who came to America as a teenager, and as a result was an expert on Islam and on Muslim culture. He used this false “Ergun Mehmet Caner” identity to make a mint selling books, making speeches, and rising in the evangelical ranks to his current leadership position at Liberty University.

    I don’t care how this plays out from the media perspective. What needs to happen is A) Caner acknowledges that he received riches and professional advancement from misrepresenting his background and B) Liberty University taking the appropriate actions whether A) happens or not. Caner was claiming to have learned about American culture by watching “The Dukes of Hazzard” in Turkey BEFORE THE TV SHOW HAD EVEN BEEN CREATED, and now he is claiming to simply have dates wrong. Claiming to have been raised in Turkey when you were raised in Ohio isn’t “having dates wrong” and it certainly isn’t “embellishing.”

  • Jerry

    the need for character (above and beyond reputation) must be emphasized.

    I wanted to highlight Aaron‘s point which ties in perfectly with Reformed‘s point:

    Caner’s defenders remind me of how defenders of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton called people protesting their policies and competence as “racist”, and how George W. Bush’s opponents were similarly labeled “anti-American.” It is the refuge of people who don’t have facts on their side.

    There’s a theological point that both of these comments stem from – someone who believes in God must automatically believe in and practice the truth because Truth is an aspect of God. Those that try to wear robes of being a believer but hypocritically don’t follow the truth are living illustrations of the Biblical comment of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  • Ohioan

    Very good article. I think that at this point there is very little doubt that Caner’s statements about his upbringing cannot be supported. It is only surprising that he got away with it for this long.

    Dr. Caner has been in my periferal vision for awhile–since he gave press interviews suggesting that a young runaway from a local Muslim family faced certain death if allowed to return to her family. In fact, his life history and credentials have been in question prior to any Calvinist involvement. A young Muslim has been openly questioning his statements online for a while. It is only when a fellow Christians began to ask similar questions that anyone was paying attention.

  • http://getreligion.org Bobby

    I understand totally why — given word count (AP) and space (Tennessean) constraints — the mainstream writers did not include the Calvinism angle. But I wonder if GetReligion readers agree with not including any background on the fact that the claims against Caner grew out of a dispute over Calvinism? As I read the comments, it’s obvious that this theological issue played a role in leading this situation to where it is now — whether it’s a legitimate issue or a smokescreen. I’m just curious what others think.

  • M Burke

    The dispute over Caner’s background may have “grown” out of an attempted debate over Calvinism, but it really isn’t related to it.

    The discrepancies in Caner’s testimony and the factual evidence were brought to light by a Muslim video-blogger and then passed on to Dr. James White (the Calvinist with whom Caner was scheduled to debate until his school changed the debate rules.)

    So, while there is a Calvinist connection, the Calvinism issue in itself is a red herring. The real issue is Ergun Caner’s personal testimony given at numerous churches, presented on TV and radio (most recently on the Focus on the Family broadcast) and stated to students at Liberty Seminary over the past years versus that which has been brought to light by legal documents and occasional missteps by Caner himself.

  • M Burke

    For the record, I am a Calvinist, and a designer for the Alpha & Omega Ministries website. I have no official affiliation, strictly speaking, otherwise.

  • http://www.biblebeltblogger.com Frank Lockwood

    Great post.

    Maybe Get Religion should try to interview the guy who wrote this AP article and find out how he ended up in North Carolina. This is the second great religion story he’s written recently, by the way.

    A week ago, he wrote this one:

    Obama pick would mean no Protestants on high court
    By TOM BREEN
    The Associated Press
    RALEIGH, N.C. — Nine justices, no Protestants.
    If the Senate confirms Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next Supreme Court justice, the result will be an anomaly in a country that has been dominated by Protestants since the Pilgrims.

    Yes, a Raleigh dateline for a story about the U.S. Supreme Court. And he did a fine job with the story.

    One other thing — this Ergun Caner has a brother who is also a big-wig in Southern Baptist circles. The other Caner, I believe, is also a college administrator who writes books about the Dangers of Islam…

  • Mark Smith

    “I made the mistake of reporting news that they did not want to believe”

    I wouldn’t be employed as a religion writer for very long. It’s just my nature to call a spade a spade- It sounds like, you learned your lesson.

  • http://goodintentionsbook.com Bob Smietana

    Frank

    Emir Caner has been silent about this whole matter, and is another Baptist leader who did not respond to calls from the Tennessean.

    He’s always claimed to have grown up in Ohio.

  • http://getreligion.org Bobby

    Thanks, Bob. The AP story included this reference to Caner’s brother:

    His brother Emir, also a Christian convert and scholar, responded in a brief e-mail that he has not decided whether to speak publicly.

    Mark, my comment regarding “made the mistake” was not meant to be taken literally. In other words, I did not “learn my lesson.” :-)

    Frank, now I’m curious about that writer’s name, which I had not heard before. Google, here we come …

  • http://getreligion.org Bobby

    OK, turns out that I didn’t need to check Google. Tom Breen has been praised as an “extraordinarily good newsman” right here at GetReligion.

    He also wrote a book called “The Messiah Formerly Known as Jesus – Dispatches from the Intersection of Christianity and Pop Culture.”

    Interesting indeed. Thanks, Frank, for pointing out his name.

  • http://www.thewardrobedoor.com Aaron

    Perhaps in their haste to attack someone from a different theological stripe? This is more circling-the-wagons mentality.

    Reformed, you misunderstand if you read my post as defending Caner. I do not know all the facts about this. Maybe you have all those facts in front of you, but I don’t. I made no judgment of Caner’s guilt or innocence. I hoped he was innocent because I hope no character questions about a Christian leader are true. I would say the same if something arose about John Piper.

    I merely pointed out that Caner has been attacked by Calvinist because he is a vocal critic of the theological system. I did not say that fact means that he is completely innocent of all wrong doing and could not have lied about his background. That fact does not preclude him being in the wrong in this situation. He was attacked by Calvinist before any of these issues arose because he attacked Calvinism, sometimes viciously.

    Surely, you have seen yourself the “cage stage” Calvinist who attack anything and anyone who dares to disagree with any petal of the TULIP. That doesn’t mean all Calvinists are like that. It was not my intention to insinuate that at all. However, I have personally seen many seminarians, like myself, pridefully challenge, even attack, pastors, professors and church leaders who have faithfully served God for years simply because they are not a hardcore Calvinist.

    And this goes beyond Ergun Caner’s embellishing in order to be more engaging and entertaining in the pulpit.

    I agree that if Caner created an entirely false identity than it is much more dishonest than exaggerating a story to make it a good “preacher story,” but are both not dishonest? Does one not lead to the other? I’m not sure how you can brush aside one and attack the other. It comes down to an issue of character.

    A pastor should not tell stories from the pulpit as if they experienced them personally when they actually come from someone else, just as a Christian should not lie about their background to seem more important. The pastor may not be tempted to lie about where he was born, but instead let people think he graduated seminary when he didn’t or use a sermon story that he found online and pass it off as his own.

    I would prefer that we not say any of those things are acceptable.

    I also agree with you that the media fallout is less important than the truth coming out and repentance being offered by those who are in sin. That should be the ultimate goal, but seeing as how this is a site that analyzes media in terms of religion, I thought the more GetReligion specific consideration is the way this issue is covered in the news media.

    I do think the issue of motivations is related to the story. It should not be in a brief overview, but if any in-depth investigative piece is done the information about Calvinists and Muslims being motivated to dig into Caner statements and contradictions should be included. That is one of the biggest complaints offered here at GetReligion – reporters do not look to the religious motivations that drive certain actions or thoughts. Caner made himself a target with his outspoken views.

    Frank: The “other Caner” is Emir Caner. He is the President of Truett-McConnell College in GA.

    Just so no other misconceptions arise, I have no connection to either Caner. I have never met them or attended (or even visited) either of their schools. Just didn’t want someone to think I was a Liberty student out to defend my president.

  • john

    James White points out that someone converted as a teen to the Christian faith does NOT make the convert an expert in Islam. Also the other way around. There are hundreds of evangelical experts on Islam out there. Why do you think the shallowness of Christians who so love sensationalism exploited by the Caners (while the Caners’ knowledge of Islam is so elementary and often faulty)?

  • http://babyloniansquirrel.blogspot.com Squirrel

    Aaron writes; “ I do not know all the facts about this. Maybe you have all those facts in front of you, but I don’t.

    Aaron, last week I put together a timeline with links to evidence. It’s long, but it lays it all out. The Caner File

  • http://www.focusonthefaulty.org Jay Howard

    I found out about the president of Liberty University’s problems by reading Alpha-Omega’s blog. While this is a very distaseful situation I hope the truth will come to light as soon as possible.

    In a related story, I wrote a note to James White via A/O’s email contact feature, on their website, encouraging him to also look into the historical and ethical misadventures of the leader of the Christian Research Institute, Hank Hanegraaff. My book about Hanegraaff and the issues that have concerned me is called, Hard Questions for the Bible Answer Man. It was written after 10 years of researching his background and the problems he has created for himself since 1989, when he took over CRI. It came out last summer (2009) and for some odd reason there has been virtually no current discussion of the combined scandals that I reported on in my book. More to the point, I seemed to have missed the outrage by the Christian community over the fact that Hanegraaff has never attempted to seek forgiveness for his pervasive sinful behavior at CRI and the myriad of lives he has decimated throughout his tenure at CRI. There is quite a “body count”, for instance, due to the firings and those who felt forced to resign during 1989-1995 (106 people at last count). Where’s righteous indignation when you need it?

  • http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/ TurretinFan

    I’ve been one of the folks carefully documenting the issues and addressing the claims – defending Dr. Caner from undue criticism but also raising issues where Dr. Caner appears to be indefensible.

    Here’s one of the more detailed analyses of the problems: (link) and here’s an index to my interactions with the Dr. Caner controversy (link).

  • http://getreligion.org Bobby

    Thank you all for your comments. Just a reminder that GetReligion is interested in the media coverage of this issue. Please limit your comments to the realm of journalism. I’ve deleted one comment that clearly passed over that line.

  • http://debbie-thoughtsof.blogspot.com/ Debbie Kaufman

    Calvinism was not what began this. Integrity, honesty as Christians. That is what began this. I know I wrote on this since February. I saw Dr. White’s first video and followed the trail to Mohammad Kahn.(which have now disappeared) I could not deny what I was seeing in 10 videos that I watched over and over again. It was clear. The links given by Turretinfan and Squirrel give the facts clearly. To say it is about Calvinism is to miss the point of who we are to be in Christ Jesus.

  • Daniel

    Speaking of evangelical scandals and Liberty University in the same breath, readers can Google “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal” (line-by-line proof that THE Jerry Falwell’s 1981 “Fundamentalist Phenomenon” book was a huge plagiarism of George Dollar’s 1973 “History of Fundamentalism in America”!). Also Google “Thomas Ice (Bloopers).” Ice is a prof at LU whose “Ph.D” was “obtained” from a tiny Texas school that was fined by the state of Texas for illegally issuing degrees! When “Dr.” Ice reproduced in 1989 Margaret Macdonald’s short “pre-tribulation rapture” revelation of 1830 (Margaret originated this 180-year-old escapist endtime view which had made millionaires of Lindsey, LaHaye etc.!), he somehow left out 49 words when copying it – the same 49 words LaHaye left out in the same sections when a book of his reproduced it three years later! (LaHaye has been one of LU’s biggest donors.) Ice, BTW, also had the same distinctive copying errors Lindsey had when he had reproduced MM’s revelation in his 1983 book! Since Liberty University is one of the top promoters of the same fringe-British-originated pretrib rapture fantasy, interested readers can also Google “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” (documented plagiarism and other dishonesty since 1830 by some of the best known names in evangelicalism) – all uncovered by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot.” (Evangelicals should take some tranquilizers before reading the above!) Daniel

  • Suzanne

    [Since the above touches on pretribulation rapture history, here's what I ran into on the web just now. Suzanne]

    “Three R’s” a Collector’s Item

    Journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s controversial book “The Three R’s” names and discusses evangelical leaders who have not only heavily plagiarized others but have even been caught quietly using the forbidden world of the occult in order to defend the pretrib rapture view!
    The plagiarists include J. A. Seiss, E. W. Bullinger, Hal Lindsey, C. C. Carlson, David Jeremiah, Chuck Missler, and even Dallas Seminary professor Merrill Unger!
    “The Three R’s” (packed with many more discoveries than just the plagiarism and occultism) has been out of print for several years and is now a very rare and pricey item. Check out online bookstores and you will find these typical prices for a USED copy of it: Alibris ($33.94), Amazon ($33.94), Amazon UK ($73.08), and Archives Books ($36.93). They also charge several dollars for shipping.
    As the only publisher of this 149-page exposure, we’re glad to announce that we’ve located three small boxes of it. For a $30.00 donation we’ll mail you one free copy – or a limit of two free copies for a $50.00 donation. We’re a nonprofit corporation and our IRS E.I. number is 74-2420939.
    All donors will receive NEW, POSTAGE-PAID, SIGNED (by Dave MacPherson) copies of “The Three R’s” along with a valid tax-deductible receipt. Send checks in US funds to:
    P.O.S.T. Inc., PO Box 333, Beloit, Kansas 67420 USA.

  • starrstruck

    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 proves that he 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 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 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.

    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 on the mind of the Muslim terrorists and 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. It would be like a Christian encouraging someone to read Bible 3:15. It would be like a Christian stating that the Lord’s Prayer, “The Lord is my shepherd,” was foundational to my prayer life. It would be like a Christian stating that the Eucharist is a beautiful depiction of how a believer is baptized into the body of Christ. It would be like a Christian stating that he sings versus before listening to the sermon. It would be like a Christian explaining the Lord’s lunch. Ergun does not know what he is talking about. If a Christian stated the above, he would be laughed at if he presented himself as an expert in Christianity. 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.