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“Many Wives” or “Other Wives” vs. “Two Wives” – Norman Geisler’s Indefensible Defense of Caner

In his so-called apology, Ergun Caner claimed “I have never intentionally misled anyone.”  I don’t see how to reconcile that claim with the many times (not just one or two times) that Caner has described his father as having “many wives” or “other wives.”  How was that not intended to mislead the listeners?

Recall that Norman Geisler attempted to defend Ergun Caner in this way (link to defense):

7. Ergun claimed his father had many wives and two half-brothers and two half-sisters, but there is no evidence for the half-brothers.

Response: Ergun’s father did have two wives, having divorced the first one.  He had three sons by his first wife (Ergun and his two brothers).  So, Ergun has two full brothers and two step-sisters (from his father’s second wife).  While speaking quickly on one occasion, he mistakenly called his brothers his “half” brothers.  This is hardly evidence of an attempt to embellish or deceive.  After all, he had the right number of each sibling, and he didn’t claim to have ten brothers or sisters!

Ergun’s father did have two wives – one after the other –  not many wives.  Yet Ergun repeatedly claimed his father had “other wives” besides Ergun’s mother.  “Two wives” does not support that claim, even if it could somehow be used to support the “many wives” claim.  Ergun also claimed that his father immigrated with “wives.”  That also does not match the two serial marriages story.

Furthermore, Ergun did not use the “half-brothers” claim only once.  He used it at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge and in two different messages at Ashburn Baptist Church.

And Ergun was not referring to his brothers when he said it.  At Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, Ergun said “I have half-brothers and sisters who don’t know Jesus.”  Likewise, at Ashburn Baptist on June 3 Ergun said, “And so in 1978, my father, my mother, my two brothers, my father’s other wives, and my half-brothers and sisters came to this country.”  And then again at Ashburn Baptist on June 5 Ergun said “I have half-brothers and half-sisters in Chicago, in New York, and in Turkey, who live here, who are still lost as geese” and again a few second later “How dare I give up! My half-brothers, my uncles, my aunts, How dare I give up!”

In short, while part of what Geisler wrote in defense of Ergun on this point is true (“two wives” and two half-sisters) much is untrue: it was not just once that he referred to “half-brothers” and he was not referring to his own brothers when he did so.  Even the true part falls short of defending the “other wives” claim or – bluntly speaking – even the “many wives” claim.

This and a number of other serious problems with Caner’s autobiographical claims are documented in the Caner Affair article (link), which is mostly an index to other posts that document a lot of what Ergun Caner has said.  Currently, the list of source posts is around 54 or so (and growing), but some of those source posts deal with more than one speaking occasion.  For example, Dr. Caner has spoken multiple times at some churches, and generally those messages are grouped together in a single source post.

-TurretinFan

The Ergun Caner Affair – One Assembly of the Evidence

The Ergun Caner affair saddens me deeply.  Dr. Caner is an excellent orator.  He has great delivery – great timing – and he knows how to get a laugh.  I had hoped that the investigations made of Dr. Caner’s alleged autobiographical embellishments would lead Dr. Caner to confess that he had sinned, to repent of that sin, and to try to make amends for what he had done.

I was not a fan of Caner’s soteriological views before this affair came to light.  Still, when a Muslim began accusing Caner of various things, I immediately came out in support of Caner and pointed out the triviality of some of the criticisms (mispronunciations of words, for example) and the absurdity of some of the claims (that Caner was never a Muslim).  I even argued that a person who was named “Ergun Mehmet Caner” must certainly have been from a Muslim family.  Little did I know that I had been misled regarding his name – Ergun Michael Caner was not who I had thought.

I believe it was the video of Caner saying that he was born in Istanbul (next to another one saying he was born in Stockholm) that opened my eyes.  So, I began to address the issues in the hopes of restoring a man who I thought was a brother in Christ. I hoped that bringing these issues to light might persuade Caner to come clean – to correct the mistakes he made.  He even appeared to be taking a step in that direction, when he issued an apology that referred to various misstatements.  Unfortunately, it is hard to accept that the embellishments were just accidental misstatements.

While the investigation went on and quickly concluded at Liberty, I watched and hoped for Caner to repent. People encouraged me by suggesting that he might have possibly signed some kind of non-discussion deal with Liberty, requiring him to remain silent for a time.  I was also encouraged to note that a lot of the embellishments that had come to light were not continued after mid-2010 (as far as we could tell).

I also tried to convince myself that Caner had altruistic reasons for these embellishments.  They do make his stories more interesting and – until one discovers the truth – quite compelling. I convinced myself that Caner might have begun the embellishments as an attempt to get people fired up about the problem of Islam.  I figured Caner may have made the “one anonymous high school boy” story more exciting to get high school kids willing and motivated to share the gospel.

Some have even suggested that Caner made himself appear as he did to try to win the Muslims.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any evidence that Dr. Caner reached out to the Muslims to any large extent.  Almost all of these embellishments were presented to primarily professing Christian audiences.

The fall-out has been big. The original Muslim critic who calls his site “fake ex muslims” still seems to want to argue that Ergun Caner was never a Muslim at all.  But surely Caner probably did say the shahada at some point.  His father was a serious enough Muslim that he legally changed his middle name from Martin to Mehmet.  Moreover, his father left his three Christian sons Korans in his will.

So then – why this post?  I still hold out hope that God will stir Caner’s conscience and he will repent and be restored.  Maybe if he confronts himself with the facts that his comments were repeated – not one-time slips of the tongue – he will realize he owes his “critics” an apology.

A. Autobiographical Statements

1. “My full name is Ergun Mehmet Caner” or “Ergun Michael Mehmet Giovanni Caner.”

Caner’s real name is Ergun Michael Caner.  On many occasions, however, he has referred to himself as though “Mehmet” were his middle name.  He even did that on books that were published after September 11.

a) Short Version (“Ergun Mehmet Caner”)

So he claimed at Bell Shoals (link).
So he claimed at Liberty Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed at Olive Baptist (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Mount Vernon (link), while noting that “Mehmet” was something he took on later.
So he claimed at West Cabarrus Church (link).
So he claimed to Janet Parshall (link).

b) Long Version (“Ergun Michael Mehmet Giovanni Caner” or something close to that)

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
\So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

Based on the evidence we’ve located, Ergun Michael Caner began to use the alias “Ergun Mehmet Caner” shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks.  Caner at other times used an even more extravagant alleged full name of something sounding like “Ergun Michael Mehmet Giovanni Caner.”

We’ve discussed this in more detail here:
i) Ergun Caner’s Middle Name is what?
ii) Middle Name Issue Revisited (includes response to Geisler’s claim)

2. Ancestry / Religion

Ergun has made a number of claims about his ancestry over the years. From what we have been able to determine, Caner’s mother is Swedish and his father was Turkish.  He has also made various claims about his religious upbringing.

a. 100% Turkish / Fully Turkish / Turkish Parents

Caner has sometimes claimed to have been 100% Turkish.  In fact, I’m told that even this year he has made such a claim. I believe some of his supporters have claimed that although Caner’s mother was Swedish, her parents had adopted her and she was genetically Turkish.

So he claimed with Tom McCall.
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link) (example of the “fully Turkish”).
So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).
So he claimed to Janet Parshall (link).

b. Persian

Caner has sometimes claimed to have Persian ancestry (for example, on iTBN).

c. Anatolian (as distinct from Persian or Arab)

Caner has sometimes claimed to have Anatolian ancestry (for example, on Pastor’s Perspective and in San Diego.)

d. Eastern Turk, toward the Kurdish Regions

So he claimed in From Islam to Christianity (link)

e. “Kurdush Tribe” “Kurdish” “Kurdish – Eastern Turk”
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

f. One Half of my Family is Wahabi

So he claimed with Craig von Buseck (link).

g. One Half of my Family is Sunni

So he claimed with Craig von Buseck (link).

h. “Extreme Devout”

So he claimed as quoted by John Ankerburg (link)

i. Said prayers in Bathroom / Locker Room

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

j. Got a Muslim Tattoo Before Conversion

So he apparently claimed at GGBTS (link).

3. Places of Residence / Upbringing / Arrival in USA

As far as I can tell, Caner was born in Sweden, moved to the USA when he was two years old, and grew up in or around Columbus, Ohio.

a. “Lived under … Socialism, Facism, and Democracy” or “Socialism, Facism, Islamic Sharia law, and Democracy”

So he claimed on iTBN (link).
So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).

b. (Always) Lived in “Majority” Muslims Locations

So he claimed at SBTS (link).
So he claimed in From Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed in “My Conversion from Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed on the Lee Strobel Testimony video (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

c. Lived in Istanbul / “From Istanbul”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he apparently claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at the International Missions Conference (link).

d. Born in Turkey or Born in Istanbul

So he claimed to Harold Hendrick (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

e. Raised in a Madrasa in Istanbul

So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).

f. “My Madrassa in Istanbul” and “My Madrassa in Cairo” “Before we came to America”
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

g. Came as a Missionary to You / Came to Build Mosques

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).
So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).
So he claimed at the International Missions Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed at West Cabarrus Church (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

h. Learned English in High School

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

i. Learned English by Studying American Dialects

So he apparently claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he apparently claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

j. Was counseled on Marriage before Coming to US

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

k. Learned About America from Andy Griffith before coming to US

So he claimed at SBTS (link).
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed in his lecture, “Don’t mess with the book” (link).
So he claimed in San Diego (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

l. Learned About America from Dukes of Hazzard (wanted to marry Daisy Duke)

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

m. Watched Wrestling on Tapes Imported to Turkey

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

n. Viewed America, “all our lives,” as “Oz” where money could be made quickly

So he claimed in a book edited by Norman Geisler (link).

o. Raised in Turkey, Cairo, Egypt, and Beirut (or Beirut and Cairo)

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

p. Studied at a Madrasa in Beirut before coming to America

So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).

q. Came to America at age 12

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

r. Came to America “when I was 13 years old”

So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).

s. Came to America at “14 years old”

So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

t. Came to America in our teenage years or as a teenage boy or “in my teens” or “in my young teens”

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

u. Came to America “entering high school”

So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

v. Came to America in 1978 / during the Iran Crisis / “It was 1979” / somehow connected with Ayatollah Khomeini

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).
So he claimed to Zola Levitt (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed in a book edited by Norman Geisler (link).
So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

w. “We finally settled in 1978”

So he claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).

x. Came to America in 1969

So he admitted in “The Secret of Islam” in 2011 (link)
So he admitted in a Turkish interview (link)

y. Had no Contact with Relatives in Turkey since 1969

So he admitted in a Turkish interview (link)

z. Came to America with both brothers

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed in a book edited by Norman Geisler (link).

aa. Watched Christian TV (while a Muslim) to Critique it

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

ab. Was Confused by High Heels and Toe Rings because of Turkish Culture

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

ac. Lived in the Inner City / Cement Jungle / Attended an “Urban” Church

So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).

ad. Held Back a Year to Learn English

So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).

ae. Churches were Reluctant to Hire Him because His English was Poor

So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).

4. Age at alleged Conversion

In “Unveiling Islam,” the brothers claim that Emir was saved on “November 4, 1982,” which was “the following year” from when Ergun was saved.  That would mean that Ergun was saved in 1981, when he 14 (if it was before November 3, 1981) or barely 15.  (see a special post on this topic)  At the Master’s College the conversion of the brothers is said to be “in the years that followed” (link).

Ergun Caner graduated high school in the Spring of 1984.  So, if he was converted in 1982, that would imply either the second half of his sophomore year, or the first half of his junior year.  If he was converted in 1981, that would imply either the first half of his sophomore year, or the second half of his freshman year.  Ergun Caner was born November 3, 1966, so he would have been 16 on November 4, 1982 and 15 on November 4, 1981.

a. November 4, 1982 or just 1982

So he claimed on the Lee Strobel Testimony video (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

b. Did Not See Father for 17 Years (puts post-conversion disowning at 1982)

So he claimed at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics 2013 (link).

c. “Late in Life” or “Later in Life”

So he claimed at the 2013 Summer Bible Conference (link).
So he claimed at the Buffalo Baptist Church 2013 Easter Sermon (link).
So he claimed at Bell Shoals (link).
So he claimed at West Cabarrus Church (link).

d. “Three years to enter the church” (seemingly implying the fourth is when he entered) or “for three years” said no or Jerry Tackett kept coming “for three years”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at Southcrest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

e. “Three and a half years”/ “Over Three Years” / “Almost Four Years” / “Four Years” into High School

So he claimed at the 2013 Summer Bible Conference (link).
So he claimed at Bell Shoals (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed at the Value Voters Summit 2009 (link).
So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).
So he claimed at Olive Baptist (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed at FBC Mount Vernon (link).
So he claimed at the Shades Mountain Missions Conference 2010 (link).

f. Brothers saved one year later and/or while Caner was in College and/or Caner was in College one year (or eight months) after conversion

So he claimed at the 2013 Summer Bible Conference (link).
So he claimed on the Pastor’s Perspective (link).
So he claimed at Bell Shoals (link).
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed at West Cabarrus Church (link).
So he claimed at the Shades Mountain Missions Conference 2010 (link).
So he claimed at Southcrest Baptist Church (link).

g. “Senior Year” / “going into my Senior Year” / “Senior”

So he claimed in his testimony at Free CD Tracts (link).
So he claimed in “Why I am not a Muslim” (link).
So he claimed at Liberty Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed in San Diego (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he claimed at the International Missions Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed at FBC Mount Vernon (link).
So he claimed at Southcrest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

h. “almost my senior year”

So he claimed on the Lee Strobel Testimony video (link).

i. Evangelism of Caner began his sophomore year

So he claimed on the Lee Strobel Testimony video (link).

j. “almost in college” or “going into college”

So he claimed in PHIL104 (link)
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Campus Church (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at FBC Mount Vernon (link).

k. Read through Bible as “Young Boy”.

So he claimed on iTBN (link).
(I have neglected to post the places where Ergun Caner said he went to a revival, because he thought it was “re-bible,” and he had never touched a Bible.)

l. “17 Years of my life” as a Muslim or “17 years old”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).

m. “17 and a half”

So he claimed at Campus Church (link).

n. “almost 18” / “17 going on 18”

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).
So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

o. “18 Years of my life” he thought Christians hated him or he was immersed in Islam or he was 18 for his first Easter or he hated us until he was 18 or he first entered a church at age 18

So he claimed on iTBN (link).
So he claimed at Buffalo Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed in PHIL104 (link)
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
So he claimed to Janet Parshall (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

p. “18 years old, foot-long Muslim mullet hanging off the back of my head” 

So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

q. “Did not pick up a Bible until he was 18 years old”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

r. At age 30 had “been a Christian then for 12 years”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

s. “Muslim for 20 years”

So he claimed at SBTS (link).

t. Muslim until “almost 20”

So he claimed with Craig von Buseck (link).
So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).

u. “half my life”

So he claimed with Craig von Buseck (link).
So he claimed in PHIL104 (link)
So he claimed in the LouRugg foreword (link)

v.”late teens”

So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).

w. “Summer of the Year between my Junior and my Senior Year”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

x. Both his brothers got saved at his first sermon

So he claimed in “My Conversion from Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed at his Prestonwood sermon (link).
So he seemed to claim at Liberty Baptist Church (link).
So he seemed to claim at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

y. Heard the Gospel before he came to America?

1) Yes
So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).
2) No
So he claimed to Zola Levitt (link).

5. Studied Jihad

Caner has seemed to suggest over the years that he was trained in jihad.  His claims:

  • He was taught jihad al-asghar in Columbus, or so he claimed at the 2013 Summer Bible Conference (link).
  • He was a “jihadeen” / “mujihadeen” / “training in madrassa was three generations deep as a jihadeen” / “sworn to jihad at the age of 9” or so he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
  • He was taught to convert by the sword, or so he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).
  • So he seemingly claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link) with reference to a “Madras”.
  • So he seemingly claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link) by saying that he was “assuming that I was going to die for Allah.”
  • He was in the Islamic Youth Jihad in Ohio and Turkey, or so he claimed to Richard Land (link).
  • He was in the Islamic Youth Jihad with his brothers, or so he claimed to Zola Levitt (link).
  • He was a “jahideen”, or so he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link) or a “jihadeen” as he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link) and at the International Missions Conference (link). 
  • He came to “get” us, or so he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
  • He would be “behind you, and up to no good” if he had not been saved, or so he claimed at the International Missions Conference (link).

6. Arabic Knowledge 

Dr. Caner has alleged or suggested knowledge of the Arabic language on a number of occasions.  these claims don’t seem justified (see this discussion from Dr. White and his Arabic tutor).  While Dr. Caner clearly has memorized some Arabic phrases and words, I don’t think he himself would claim to be able to translate Arabic today.

a. Claimed to Translate Arabic Language Document

Claimed to translate a fatwa (with his brother), as analyzed here (link).

b. Claims to Speak Arabic

So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

c. Speaking Apparent Gibberish, Supposedly Arabic

So he did at SBTS (link).
So he did at Superconference 2005 (link)
So he did at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he did at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he did on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).
So he did at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he did multiple times to the Marine Corps (link).

Here’s a nice comparison of two clips allegedly of the same phrase (link) regarding what is supposedly written on a wall of a mosque in Kabul.

d. Arabic was his Language before English

So he claimed in From Islam to Christianity (link)

e. Told the Story of Ishmael and Isaac at the Dome of the Rock in Arabic

So he claimed at Superconference 2005 (link)
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

f. Knows the Arabic (about the word for “beat” in the Koran)

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

g. Spoke English with an Accent and/or Broken English

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

h. Claimed to be Writing a Commentary on the Koran

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link)
So he claimed on the John Ankerberg Show (link)

i. Challenges Muslims to debate in Arabic

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

j. English was not his First or Second Language

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

k. Able to read and translate the Koran

So he claimed to Zola Levitt (link).

l. Claimed to Speak Arabic

So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).

m. Claimed to just Speak Memorized Arabic Phonetically like Roman Catholics and Latin

So he claimed in San Diego (link).

n. Referred to Arabic (with Turkish) as “Our Language”

So he did at the Master’s College (link).

o. Suggests he “Knows the Language” as distinct from “Some Cracker”

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

p. Claimed he Goes to Listen to the Arabic Sermon in a Mosque

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

7. Turkish Knowledge

Less often (from what I’ve heard), Caner has claimed (or suggested) he was able to speak Turkish.  In fact, I suspect Caner knows a lot more Swedish than Turkish.

a. Speaks to Son(s) in Turkish and/or they will speak Turkish to him with a southern accent and/or they ignore him in “two languages”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at West Cabarrus Church (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

b. States some apparent gibberish is Turkish

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

c. Claims to speak Turkish

So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).

d. Referred to Turkish (with Arabic) as “Our Language”

So he did at the Master’s College (link).

e. Suggested he Understood American Television based on Captions while in Turkey

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

8. “We Dressed Differently”?

Caner has claimed that prior to his conversion he dressed in a way that was distinctively different from typical Americans, such as wearing Keffiyah, wearing robes, and so on.  On the other hand, most of the pictures we find of him and his father show him wearing typical American clothing (Link to Counter-evidence including response to Geisler’s attempted defense).  (Sadly, Caner seems to be making it sound like this was his normal outfit back in the day.)

So he claimed in “My Conversion from Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed at Liberty Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).
So he claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed on the Lee Strobel Testimony video (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed at the Value Voters Summit 2009 (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed in San Diego (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

9. Disowned by His Family

Caner was apparently disowned by his non-custodial father upon converting to Christianity (isn’t that tragedy enough?).  However, Caner has sometimes claimed that he was disowned by his “family” (for example, with Tom McCall and on Watchmen on the Wall and to Richard Land) or that he “lost my family” (for example, on Pastor’s Perspective, at Values Voter Summit 2010 and at Liberty Baptist Church and with Pastor Lloyd and on the Rick and Bubba Show and at FBC Pearl City) or that he “had no family” (for example, Ashburn Baptist Church or Southwest Baptist Church).  He even claimed he was “kicked out of my house” and had to live in people’s garages and basements, at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).  At the Shades Mountain Missions Conference 2010 (link), it was “I lose my family and I lose everything.”

10. Regarding his Father

Caner seems to enjoy making his father seem very important.  I don’t personally recall him saying his father was an imam, but Caner compared himself to a preacher’s kid (PK) (sorry, I haven’t included that one in this list).

a. Son of a Muslim Leader? 

The only corroborating evidence of leadership we can find is in an association (see the discussion here regarding his prominence in the community) and Jimal Jivanjee’s memory that has him as a leader in the community.

b. “An Ulema/Ulima” (sic) / A Muezzin / Haddithic Scholar

i) A Muezzin
So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link) (even claimed he climbed a minaret).
So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link) (claimed he climbed a minaret).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

In “Unveiling Islam,” the brothers claim that “Father did the call to prayer on occasion.” (p. 17) One assumes that this is the true story.

ii) “An Ulema” (sic)
So he claimed at SBTS (link).
So he claimed in the LouRugg foreword (link)
So he claimed on Issues Etc. (link).
So he claimed at the Value Voters Summit 2009 (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

iii) A Hadithic Scholar
So he claimed at SBTS (link).

c. Architect (or Civil Engineer)?

Caner has repeatedly claimed that his father was an architect, but the evidence we’ve located has not corroborated this assertion (link to discussion of the topic).

So he claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed in a book edited by Norman Geisler (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link). (including claim to have worked on a mosque in Brooklyn and in Toledo)
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

d. “For lack of a better term, a missionary”?

So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).

e. Built Mosques?

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link) (but he didn’t seem to know that mosques have minbars in another message at the same church)
So he claimed to Richard Land (link), including claiming to have built them in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio (see this special item regarding the Toledo mosque).
So he claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed at Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (link).
So he claimed at FBC Mount Vernon (link).

f. Surrounded by Caliphats (sic) at his death?

See the discussion here (link).

g. Father’s “Wives” / Polygamy

One of the claims he made about his father is that his father had “other wives” besides Caner’s mother or “many wives.”  While it appears Caner’s father did remarry after divorcing, there does not appear to be any way to substantiate these seeming allegations of polygamy.

i) His father had “more than one wife at a time”
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

ii) His father had three wives
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

i) His father had “many wives”
So he claimed in From Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).
So he claimed in his lecture, “Don’t mess with the book” (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

ii) His father had “multiple wives”
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

iii) His father had “other wives”
So he claimed in “My Conversion from Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed to Pastor Lloyd (link).
So he claimed at the Value Voters Summit 2009 (link).
So he claimed at FBC Pearl City (link).

iv) His Mom discovered his father was married to more than one woman
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

v) His Father immigrated with wives (sometimes with reference to Abraham lie)
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

vi) His Father’s “Second Wife” convinced the brothers to visit their dying father
So he claimed in Unveiling Islam (link)

vii) His Father Divorced his Mother because the Father blamed her for the Sons’ (or Ergun’s) Conversion
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

11. Mother Issues

Sometimes, Caner has portrayed his mother as though she were a devout or practicing Muslim.  She may have been for a while, but Emir’s accounts portray her as more of a hippy universalist, by the time that Ergun Caner allegedly converted.

a. Took off her Hijab or Chador in Baptistry
So he claimed in From Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed at the California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006 (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).

b. Wore the Chador
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

c. Wore the Chador even after the brothers’ conversion
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

d. Mother was a Wahabi
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

e. Mother was a Sufi
So he seemingly claimed to Richard Land (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

12. Half-Brothers

We can’t find any evidence of Caner having any half-brothers.  For example, no such men are found in Acar Caner’s will.  Nevertheless, Caner has claimed to have them.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).

13. Half-Sisters “Learning to Read”

In 2005, he claimed his half-sisters were only now learning to read, thanks to the Marines (link).  His father died in 1999, and his daughters were probably born significantly before that.

14. Seemingly Unrelated Issues

Not all of Caner’s seeming embellishments relate to supposedly being a devout Muslim.  The following are some examples of issues where one’s eyebrows are raised:

a) Fat as a Child?
See the discussion here (link)
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

b) Father-in-law from “Possum Kill, NC”?
There is a separate post on this subject (link).  In short, there does not appear to be such a place.  I’m told that when Caner was at Liberty he had some kind of row boat with “Possum Kill” lettered on the side, but I can’t confirm that this.

So he claimed at Bell Shoals (link).
So he claimed at Liberty Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he claimed at Olive Baptist (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at FBC Mount Vernon (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
So he claimed at the Shades Mountain Missions Conference 2010 (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

c) First Job
i) Not a Convenience Store
So he claimed at SBTS (link).
He claimed he didn’t work at a convenience store, at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
ii) A Convenience Store
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
He claimed he worked at a 7-11 to the Marine Corps (link).

d) Roller Skating
i) Overdid it
So he claimed at Fall Chapel 2010 (link)
ii) You can’t roller skate in sand
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link)
(See here)

e) Church in which he was Saved
i) Doesn’t exist any more
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
ii) Still exists
It does apparently exist.

f) Was a Straight C Student in College
So he claimed at GGBTS (link), although he apparently was a Presidential scholar in college.  (At Olive Baptist (link) and at West Cabarrus Church (link) he suggested he was a straight C student in high school.)

g) Claimed He was Tasered in a way that was very painful
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

h) Was “Finishing Up” his Doctorate in 1999
So he claimed at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics 2013 (link).

i) Received his Doctorate in 2001
So he claimed at ErgunCaner.com (link).

B. Debating Claims

There are very few things that Caner has done (that we know of) that could qualify as debates.  Apparently, Caner engaged the Rational Response Squad in some kind of dialog some years ago, and apparently Caner had an email exchange with one Muslim apologist. Caner may also have appeared on TV along side a Muslim talking head (although I can’t seem to find any such clip of Caner). Aside from this, we are still hoping to find some evidence of Caner actually debating anyone, although Caner does seem to have brought a few speakers into class for an informal dialog (as discussed here).  Nevertheless, we see Caner making a number of claims.

1. Formal Debates with Timed Speeches, etc.

Sometimes people have claimed that Caner just meant informal dialogs.  On at least one occasion, Caner explicitly described the alleged kind of format of these debates.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

2. “I do Debates” or “Muslims … will debate us” (or similar phrase)

So he claimed with Craig von Buseck (link).
So he claimed on the John Ankerberg Show (link)
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

3. Frequent Debates 

In a number of places, Caner claims that his life includes a lot of getting yelled at in debates or speaking to hostile crowds.

So he claimed with Tom McCall
So he claimed on iTBN.
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

4. “Many Debates over the past 10 years”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

5. 13 Colleges and Universities

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

6. Debate at University of North Texas

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

7. Debated Imam named “Abi”

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at SBTS (link).

8. Debated Ulima and Imams

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

9. Debated Woman Muslim Scholar 

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).  (Allegedly on Wayne Shepherd open line radio / Moody show)
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link). (Only here he claims it was at the University of Chicago)
So he claimed on the Rick and Bubba Show (link).

10. 41 Debates

So he claimed at SBTS (link).

11. 60 Debates / Sixty-some-odd Debates

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

12. Debated Shabir Ally

So he claimed at SBTS (link).
So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

13. Debated in Nebraska

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

14. Debated “Sunni, Sufi, Alawite, Shia” Muslims

So he claimed in his testimony at Free CD Tracts (link).

15. Had enough to debates to refer to them as “every debate” or “all of my debates”

So he claimed in From Islam to Christianity (link)
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).

16. Was “Rushed” on the Platform

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

17. Twelve Years of Debating

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

18. Debated in May 2005

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

19. Debated at the University of Chicago

So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).

20. About Fifty Debates per Year

So he claimed at the North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (link).

21. Gets Debate Opponents to Sign Contract – No Payment Requirement

So he claimed at Olive Baptist (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

22. Was Headed to Kenya to Debate Maathai Tribesman who were Muslims

So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

23. Debated Muslims in St. Louis

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

24. Debated a Muslim at Texas Tech University (Allegedly Recorded) 

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

25. Debated Michael Moore and Called him a “Fat Pig”

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

26. Debates “Muslims and B’hai and Buddhists and Hindi and all types”

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

27. Debated Homosexuals

So he claimed to Janet Parshall (link).

28. Debated in London and Glasgow

So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

29. About to Debate Hindu (Shaivite) and a “Christian professor” on “Sister Faiths”

So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

C. Incorrect Statements Regarding Islam/Hadith/Koran

One troubling aspect of Caner’s autobiography is that he presents himself as a former devout Muslim, steeped in knowledge of Islam, etc.  On the other hand, he makes a number of erroneous statements about the Koran, Hadith, and Islamic issues.  I haven’t even bothered to document all the times he has cited the Hadith as “Hadith 9:57” or the like.

1. Mohammed/Koran Teaches that Ishmael not Isaac was almost killed by Abraham

A number of times, Caner has claimed that the Koran teaches (or Mohammed taught) that Ishmael, rather than Isaac, was nearly sacrificed on the mount.  While such a view is widespread among modern Muslims, you can’t find that statement in the Koran.

So he claimed with Tom McCall.
So he claimed at Superconference 2005.
So he claimed on Issues Etc.
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).

2. Mohammed Borrowed from the Gospel of Barnabas

A number of times, Caner has claimed that Mohammed borrowed from the Gospel of Barnabas.  This is impossible, since the Gospel of Barnabas was written hundreds of years after the Koran.

So he claimed on iTBN.
Se he claimed on Issues Etc.
So he claimed on the John Ankerberg Show (link)

3. Mohammed Didn’t Believe we Worship the Same God

Caner sometimes claims (quite correctly) that we don’t worship the same deity as Islam.  However, Caner has also alleged that Muslims, and at least in one case Mohammed himself, also do not believe this (link to “Secrets of Islam” discussion of this point).  Caner is wrong, as far as the Koran is concerned.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed on the John Ankerberg Show (link)

4. Circumcision is called “Maşallah” in Islam

So he claimed in “Why I am not a Muslim” (link).

Actually, that’s not the Arabic or Turkish word for circumcision.  Moreover, oddly enough, Caner also claimed that was the name of the prayer beads in Islam, on Issues Etc. (link).

5. You’re Supposed to say “Inshallah” after You Experience Some Misfortune

As explained at the links, “inshallah” is a forward-looking statement like “Lord willing.”

So he claimed in “Why I am not a Muslim” (link).
So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

6. Surah 1 has Six Verses

In fact, by the usual Sunni enumeration, it has seven verses.

So he claimed in “Why I am not a Muslim” (link).
So he claimed at GGBTS (link).
So he claimed at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).
So he claimed at West Cabarrus Church (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

7. Eid al-Adha is the Celebration at the End of Ramadan

So he claimed in “The Secret of Islam” (link).

It actually comes a couple of months later.

8. Eid al-Fitr is the Commemoration of Abraham’s Near-Sacrifice of His Son

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

9. Ramadan has 40 days?

So he claimed in PHIL104 (link).
So he claimed at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (link).

It actually has about 29 days.  It’s a lunar month.  It never has 40 days.

10. Abinadab is a Pillar of Islam

This one is a real puzzle, since none of the pillars sound like “abinadab”.  He seems to use that term to refer to the Shahada, but sometimes later seems to add the Shahada as one of the pillars as well.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Thomas Road Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at the Master’s College (link).
So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).
So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

11. Hadith is Nine Volumes

The English translation of one of the collections is nine volumes, but there are other collections and the entire body of hadith is not complete in those nine volumes.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).
So he claimed at Southwest Baptist Church (link).

12. Strict Muslims Don’t Allow Their Photographs to be Taken

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

13. Training School is called a Madras (sic)

I think you may find other examples of this, but Caner seems sometimes to refer to a madrassa as a madras.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

14. There is no Pulpit in a Mosque

This is a particularly remarkable claim for someone who claims to be the son of a mosque architect.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

15. If a Christian speaks in a Mosque, the Mosque would have to be razed

Again, this is a very strange claim – but it does suggest that Caner has not spoken in many mosques.

So he claimed at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

16. Confused about Relationship between John 14 and Surah 61:6 and the name Mohammed / its meaning

So he appeared to be at Ashburn Baptist Church (link).

17. Baruch as a Major Prophet of Islam

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

18. Injeel is a term for evil spirits?

So he claimed to Richard Land (link).

19. Singing is Forbidden in Mosques?

So he claimed at GGBTS (link).

20. Garbled Surah 61 Relationship to John 16

So he did at GGBTS (link).

21. Claimed there is a meeting of the “caliphat” [sic] every 8 years

So he did at the Northwest Baptist Conference (link).

22. Claimed there are Four Collections of the Hadith

So he did to the Marine Corps (link).

23. Mohammed Got the Koran on His 40th Birthday

So he claimed to the Marine Corps (link).

24. Muslims Pray to the East

So he claimed to the Ohio Free Will Baptists (link).

D. Bibliography of Sources

I have limited time.  The following should provide links to the various sources used above, but there is much more out there, even despite some seeming efforts to sanitize the web.

Main Sources
1. Conversation with Tom McCall
2. “What Worship Looks Like” FBC Lyons, November 17, 2013
3. 2013 Summer Bible Conference, July 21, 2013
4. iTBN Contributions
5. Pastor’s Perspective, January 22, 2010 (also mentions Prestonwood Sermon) (see this comparison to other testimonies)
6. Buffalo Creek Baptist Church – Easter 2013
7. “Rip the Roof Off” at Bell Shoals – 2010
8. SBTS Panel Discussion – November 14, 2003
9. Testimony at Free CD Tracts
10. From Islam to Christianity – November 2, 2009
11. Interview with Craig von Buseck (original material)
12. Watchmen on the Wall – 2013
13. Liberty University – Superconference 2005
14. “My Conversion from Islam to Christianity”
15. Fall Chapel 2010
16. The Secret of Islam – May 6, 2011
17. Why I am not a Muslim – May 7, 2011
18. The Secret of Islam – October 29, 2011
19. Ergun Caner in Others’ Books – Various
20. Liberty Baptist Church – October 10, 2010
21. Values Voter Summit 2010
22. PHIL104 “Contemporary World View”
23. Foreword to Louis Ruggiero’s Book
24. Issues Etc. (multiple appearances)
25. Ashburn Baptist Church (2003 – 2005, various messages)
26. John Ankerberg Show (numerous pre-2013 clips)
27. Campus Church 2008 (various messages)
28. Faith and Family Interviews (Richard Land, interview – various dates)
29. California Christian Apologetics Conference 2006
30. Thomas Road Baptist Church Sermons (various)
31. Zola Levitt (ZL 338 – Signs of the End 2001)
32. Excerpts from Unveiling Islam (link)
33. Testimony on LeeStrobel.com
34. Southwest Baptist Church – January 23, 2010
35. Turkish Article interviewing Caner – June 13, 2003
36. “The Greatest Day in Church” at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge – January 25, 2009
37. Pastor Lloyd Interviews Ergun Caner – January 2009
38. Chapter 14 of “Why I Am a Christian” (Norman Geisler, editor) (with some other tidbits from other books)
39. Lecture titled “Don’t Mess with the Book” – January 5, 2009
40. My Summary of Caner’s Yearbook Information and related thoughts (And my earlier attempt at a reconstructed biography)
41. Value Voters Summit 2009
42. North Alabama Bible Conference 2005 (“Church House or Jail House” was title of message)
43. Messages in San Diego, May 1-2, 2010
44. Rick and Bubba Show (several parts)
45. GGBTS 2010 Missions Conference (February 12-14, 2010)
46. The Master’s Pulpit (April 2, 2003)
47. Olive Baptist (September 13, 2009)
48. Northwest Baptist Conference (2007 and 2009)
49. Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma – Annual Meeting 2009
50. International Missions Conference 2008 – Forest Baptist Church, November 2, 2008
51. Harold Hendrick Interview – September 3, 2009
52. First Baptist Church, Pearl City, Hawaii – June 1, 2007
53. First Baptist Church, Mount Vernon, Georgia – March 2, 2014
54. West Cabarrus Church – July 18, 2010
55. U.S. Marine Corps, New River, NC – September 15, 2005
56. Shades Mountain Missions Conference 2010 – February 21, 2010
57. Janet Parshall’s “Talking it Over” – January 10, 2009
58. ErgunCaner.com and National Conference on Christian Apologetics – October 2013
59. Ohio Free Will Baptists – Men’s Retreat Early 2007
60. Southcrest Baptist Church – April 13, 2013

Some additional sources
1. Middle Name Usage Sources
2. Translation Claims Sources
3. Various News Sources Reports of Caners’ testimony from 2001 and shortly thereafter (and compare this)
4. Caner’s Class Discussions with people of other religions
5. A Page of Ergun Caner Materials

E. Caner’s Swedish Grandmother:

There are a number of other interesting issues that you may enjoy reading about, of which Caner’s grandmother is one.  Role of Grandmother in Conversion (see also the discussion with Richard Land (link) regarding his grandmother teaching him to shave, in his father’s absence) (see the discussion from Holier than Thou regarding Caner’s grandmother raising him and the discussion at this link) (see the discussion of Caner’s pre-2001 testimony).

F. Responses to Objections

Not everyone agrees that Caner sometimes embellished his autobiography and some people raise objections to criticisms leveled at him.

1. What about Caner’s Alleged Apology? (links to discussion: part 1part 2)
2. What about the testimony of Jamal Jivanjee? (see discussion here and here)
3. Geisler debate issues

a. “Response to Norman Geisler on Ergun Caner
b. “Dr. Norman Geisler Digs Himself a Deeper Hole
c. “Geisler Digs Yet Deeper
d. “Responding to Norman Geisler’s Defense of Caner – Part 1
e. “Responding to Norman Geisler’s Defense of Caner – Part 2
f. “Wrapping Up Geisler’s Defense of Caner
g. “Dr. White’s Responses to Dr. Geisler
h. “Some Things Dr. Geisler Overlooked
i. “Rebutting Norman Geisler
j. “Is Lying a Moral Issue?
k. “Norman Geisler on Lying as a Moral/Ethical Issue

G. Items Not Included

I have omitted a lot of possible material.  The things I have not discussed above include (among other things):

Mispronunciation of words, like Sawm (but see discussion here, for example) and curious claims like praying in the locker room (see the discussion here, for example)  I also did not include the impression of Caner that Fallwell received and expressed (link to discussion).  I did not get into the issue of how many books exactly Caner has published (some discussion on that here) or his qualifications (see discussion here) or credentials (link) or the issue of calling his doctorate from the University of South Africa a PhD (see example here).  I didn’t discuss Tom Chantry’s multipart series comparing Ergun Caner to Stephen Ambrose (link).  I didn’t discuss Caner’s tasering incident, which he mentioned at GGBTS (link). Nor did I get into the issues of his alleged class rank in high school (link). I didn’t mention his issues with the Latin language (see the example at this link).

I have not discussed the question of the age of his grandma at her baptism: I believe I’ve heard 92 (at FBC Mount Vernon and at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics), 93 (at Shades Mountain Independent Church and implicitly at Southcrest Baptist Church), 95 (at FBC Pearl City), and 99.

I have not discussed his profane language as evidence in the videos of his presentations to the Marine Corps (link).

I have not listed the times where Dr. Caner has said that he did not see his dad for “17 years” (one example was at FBC Mount Vernon (link)).

I have not included material regarding his brother Emir, except where they were both speaking or writing together such as at Olive Baptist (link), where Emir acknowledged that “Swedish, that’s our native tongue.”

I had trouble describing this now-removed video and consequently omitted it from the listings above (link to materials).

I hope that God will use this post for his glory and that it will encourage Dr. Caner to confess, repent, and be restored.

-TurretinFan

Last Updated – 5/10/2014

Benny Hinn on “Prosperity Teaching” Today

Benny Hinn’s website today has a Frequently Asked Questions section (link to FAQ), which includes the following question:

What is the “prosperity teaching” referred to by critics, and how do you stand on that issue?

You can get the full answer at his site, but here is the introduction and conclusion of the answer:

The term “prosperity teaching” or “prosperity Gospel” is one of the most misunderstood and misused in today’s language.

I believe in biblical prosperity. It is taught throughout the Bible. Giving to the Lord is so important that God has promised that those who give for the work of the Gospel will be blessed and protected.

We give because it is God’s will. We give because it is His command! We give because it is His law. We give because the Lord has commanded every believer to give. And the Lord Jesus promises that when we give, we will surely receive.

As I have said to you before, the days are short. We must get the Gospel out, and I believe with all my heart that harm to the unbeliever is on the way. The Scriptures tell us clearly that evil is coming to the wicked, but God’s people, who love and obey Him, will be protected. That is God’s Word!

That is true biblical prosperity, for God has also promised to protect your finances and to keep you safe financially, as you obey Him and continue to sow into His work. The Word of God tells us in Ecclesiastes 11:6, “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”

That is what Benny Hinn says in a carefully crafted answer in writing – something he is teaching today by his website.  Go look for yourself – see if my quotations are accurate.  Can you really claim he’s repented of this kind of teaching?

-TurretinFan

Christian Answers to Two Roman Catholic Questions on “Catholic Answers”

The show that calls itself “Catholic Answers,” recently featured a Missouri Synod Lutheran caller as highlighted on a recent Dividing Line.  In response to the caller, the hosts began asking him some questions.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you get these same questions from some of your Roman Catholic friends and acquaintances, particularly those who listen to “Catholic Answers.”

Question 1: Where is Sola Scriptura in the Bible?
Short Answer: John 20:31 says, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” And many other verses.
Brief Explanation: John’s statement implies that a person could pick up John’s gospel, read it, believe it, and receive eternal life in that way.  Moreover, John’s statement at least hints at the fact that the other gospels have a similar purpose – they are written for us to read, believe, and have eternal life.
Possible Objection: But where is the only in that text?
Response: The sola or only of “Sola Scriptura” is simply a negative claim – in other words, it’s saying that Scripture is unique – there’s nothing else like Scripture. If you want some verses that emphasize the unique character of Scripture, those also exist.
For example, Romans 3:4 says “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, “That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.’ (Psalm 51:4)”  This emphasizes the crucial distinction between God’s word and mens’ words.
Another example is this:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, “Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;” thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

The point to take away from that passage is that even if someone has authority that appears to be attested by working wonders, the person’s message should be judged by the Scriptures (in this case, by the Pentateuch).
Paul similarly warns the Galatians: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)  Someone may object that “preached” could refer to the gospel Paul delivered orally.  Nevertheless, we have that gospel in written form today.
Likewise, the Bereans are commended for subjecting the apostles’ own preaching to a comparison with the Scriptures: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
Question 2: Where is “Scripture interprets Scripture” in the Bible?
Short answer: 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” If that is true, then it follows that all Scripture has one divine author even if it has many human authors.
Longer answer: Indeed, we have examples of Scripture interpreting itself explicitly, such as the quotation from John 20:31, above, which provides a purpose for the book of John, and more broadly for Scripture. Other examples include the citation of Old Testament passages in the New Testament, together with explanations of what they meant or how they were fulfilled in Christ.  Indeed, sometimes the New Testament includes Jesus’ own explanation of his parables.  Numerous other examples could be provided.
Rejoinder: But even if we had no answer, can the matter seriously be doubted?  Does the person asking the question really think that the Bible is either incomprehensible or should not be understood by taking one part in relation to another?
Even the Roman Catholic “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” puts it this somewhat poetic (and consequently imprecise) way (CCC 102):

Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely: You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.

We understand that Rome wishes to deny Christians the ability to judge her doctrines by Scripture, but surely it cannot be denied that Scripture does interpret Scripture.  How else would one read it?  As just isolated statements each possibly meaning anything at all?  The very notion seems bizarre.-TurretinFan

Chris Pinto vs. James White – Debate Summarized

The Chris Pinto vs. James White debate on whether Codex Sinaiticus is a modern forgery can be boiled down to a few considerations.

1) Constantine Simonides claimed that he wrote the document based on collating pre-existing manuscripts, and that his uncle corrected the document.

Both sides agree that he so claimed. Dr. White demonstrated that these claims are essentially impossible, as explained below.

2) The most sympathetic source for Simonides says that Simonides was not a truthful person.

Dr. White raised this point, and Pinto did not dispute it except to say that this source was not the only supportive source and that the source himself says Simonides did not always lie.

3) There are no known examplars that could have been the source for Codex Sinaiticus.

Dr. White raised this point, Pinto’s response was to point out that the source(s) could be as-yet-unknown manuscripts on Mt. Athos.

4) Codex Sinaiticus was written by several different, distinguishable scribes (as evidenced by different handwriting, different style of abbreviations, and different accuracy of work).

Dr. White raised this point, Pinto did not respond to it.

5) Codex Sinaiticus has corrections by multiple different correctors.

Dr. White raised this point, Pinto did not respond to it except to say that two other men (a monk and a scribe) may have been involved in the corrections.

6) The amount of time necessary for collating multiple manuscripts of the entire Bible (plus some apocrypha) would have been prohibitive in the timeline proposed by Simonides.

Dr. White raised this point, and Pinto responded that possibly his uncle started on the project years before Simonides began.

Additional notes:

1. Regarding the Mt. Athos manuscripts, there is an on-going digitization project (link). At one point, Mr. Pinto alleges that the one way to resolve the mystery was to explore the Mt. Athos library for manuscripts corresponding to Simonides’ claims. He won’t be able to stand behind that argument from ignorance forever.

2. Simonides himself states that the collation began after Simonides himself joined the project, as demonstrated by Dr. White. So, although the uncle allegedly had corrected the other manuscripts in advance, the collation project had not been done in advance, according to the primary source for Mr. Pinto’s theory.

Conclusion

The fact that the manuscript was written by several different scribes and was corrected by numerous additional hands makes it impossible for Simonides’ story to be true. The necessary hypothesis would be that Simonides deliberately altered his handwriting several different times during the writing of the manuscript to give the impression of different scribes. Such a hypothesis is simply implausible – there is no reason for Simonides to do this for the purpose of creating a text for the Czar (as he claimed).

The fact that collation of documents takes an enormous amount of time, especially when one of the documents is not in the base language (allegedly one of the manuscripts was a Syriac manuscript), also weighs against Simonides claim. While it might be conceivable that such a collation could take place, the necessary time and training for such a collation to be undertaken are simply not there.

The fact that the supposed exemplars of Sinaiticus do not produce the unique readings of Sinaiticus and the fact that some of these unique readings are found in later discovered papyri also weighs against Simonides’ claim.

In view of these facts, it’s hard to see how anyone could come to any other conclusion than that Simonides was not the scribe of Sinaiticus, whether or not Simonides actually did create a manuscript intended for the Czar.

-TurretinFan

P.S. I hesitated to post this, because I felt like the debate was unusually one-sided – it did not seem that Mr. Pinto had really any reasonable response for any of the questions posed to him or that he made any notable points that were difficult for Dr. White to address. Thus, I was afraid that my comments would look like “piling on” or kicking Mr. Pinto when he is down. However, since Mr. Pinto has apparently been misunderstanding silence from Dr. White’s friends as a lack of support, I thought it prudent to briefly summarize why the debate was so clearly a victory for my friend.