Apprising Minsitries thinks this is a fair question that deserves a definitive answer. This is a follow up to yesterday’s post *UPDATE* DR. ERGUN CANER, DR. JAMES WHITE, AND ANGELZ TO THE RESCUE. Therein I explained that I first began covering this story in Bloggers Target Seminary President Ergun Caner where I shared the link to a web-only report for Christianity Today by John Kennedy.
Kennedy tells us some “bloggers” have begun raising:
doubts about Caner’s account of his childhood as a Muslim… [L]ately, both Muslims and Reform-minded Southern Baptists are questioning biographical details provided by the 43-year-old Ergun…
Behind the squabble is Mohammad Khan, a 22-year-old London-based computing student who has posted 17 talks by Caner on YouTube… Both Khan and James R. White, director of the Phoenix-based Alpha & Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics ministry, say there is no record of Caner’s claims that he twice debated Muslim apologist Shabir Ally.
“The president of a large theological seminary has created a myth concerning his background that is incredibly self-contradictory,” said White, who teaches on Islam at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. (Online source)
In his report Kennedy also told us that, “Liberty University’s board of directors has declined to take public action against Ergun Caner.” Having been a Southern Baptist pastor for years now I wouldn’t find that, in and of itself, to be surprising due to having the SBC’s Idol of Autonomy to hide behind. I’ve pointed out before, and I have no connection to him whatsoever, it’s rather misleading to refer to Dr. James White as merely a “blogger.”
Like him or not Dr. White is a well known Christian apologist and author, which is why I brought his latest post (as of this writing) on the subject Angelz to the Rescue to your attention, as well as an Associated Baptist Press piece run at Word and Way called Liberty directors support seminary president amid charges of misrepresentation. Yesterday I also included as an Update a post from last Friday by “Pastor/Church Strategist” Tim Guthrie entitled The Whole Truth of the The SBC Today Blog.
Guthrie says he took time to “investigate some things” and in his post tells us that concerning Dr. Caner he has results “that are real.” He quotes a “Jamal Jivanjee” who claims to be “an eye witness of the life and facts of Ergun Caner.” Jivanjee is quoted as saying:
I was born and raised in the greater Columbus Ohio area. My mother is an American & my father was born and raised in East Africa and is of Asian Indian decent. My father was a devout Muslim and we attended functions at the same mosque/ masjid that Ergun, Emir, & his family attended on east Broad street in Columbus, Ohio. Ergun & Emir’s father, Mr. Acar Caner, was a very prominent leader within the Islamic community that we associated with and was very involved with this mosque. (Online source)
And now today my friend Bud Press of Christian Research Service made me aware of Christian Right’s Favorite Muslim Convert Exposed as Jihadi Fraud by Peter Montgomery of AlterNet where he tells yesterday:
Ergun Caner’s rise to the top of conservative evangelical celebrity — and to the presidency of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell — was fueled by how aggressively he capitalized on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to portray himself as a personal example of the power of Jesus to save even someone raised as a jihadist, which he claimed to be.
There’s only one problem with that part of Caner’s story: it appears not to be true… In recent months, a group of Muslim and Christian bloggers have made an airtight case against many of Caner’s fabrications using the kind of documentation — videos, podcasts, recorded sermons — the digital age makes possible… (Online source)
The Christian community has a right to know the truth; and if these charges are true, Liberty University has an obligation to deal with it publicly, as does Dr. Ergun Caner.