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Ergun Caner's "Factual Self-Contradictions"

Ergun Caner's "Factual Self-Contradictions" June 27, 2010

Leave it to Liberty University to come up with a statement like this regarding Liberty’s seminary president Ergun Caner:

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.

How can factual statements be self-contradictory? Doesn’t that mean at least one of them are not factual? Maybe they’re leaving things open for parallel universes.

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.

Here’s some background on this issue:

On April 26 Focus on the Family radio rebroadcast a sermon preached shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, in which Caner said he was born in Sweden, grew up in Turkey and did not learn English until moving to America in 1978. He claimed he was part of “Islamic Jihad” and said it was “my people” who carried out the horrors of the day.

The problem, according to various Internet sites, is that none of that is true. […]

“We are on the verge of an evangelical crisis over Caner’s embellishments and the refusal of the evangelical leaders and evangelical press to hold Caner accountable for his decade-long deception over his upbringing,” Rich wrote May 4.

Liberty officials downplayed the whole controversy as the kind of pulpit exaggeration euphemistically characterized as “ministerially speaking.”

“It’s not an ethical issue,” Elmer Towns, co-founder of Liberty University and dean of the School of Religion, told Christianity Today. “It’s not a moral issue. We give faculty a certain amount of theological leverage.”

But why would someone lie for Jesus? Surely no one would ever do that!

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