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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.


The Single Most Often Asked Question (FAQmaximus) Geekfest

I have been putting off writing this out for way too long.  I have promised to do it over and over again, but finally I am getting to it (ironically, from a hotel room in London of all places).

It is without a doubt the most commonly asked question I receive via Twitter, email, etc.  “How do you listen to books while cycling?”  I’ve done videos on it, covered it on the DL, etc., but alas, if Google doesn’t show it to you, nobody knows how to find it anymore!  So, here we go:

First, let me put a unique phrase here so folks can always find this blog article:  geekfest.  There you go.  Now, whenever someone asks me this while I am walking out of a church or something, I can just go, “Search my blog for the term geekfest.”  How’s that for cheating?

OK, two ways I do it.  First is obvious:  Kindle.  Kindle keyboard units will read books to you.  So, you get a free audio recording program (like Audacity, Audio Recorder, whatever—there are dozens of them out there), plug the output of the Kindle into the input of your computer, fire up the reading portion of the Kindle, and record it.  Voila.  I put mine on “faster” to get it done quicker.  Of course, this requires real-time recording, so, I set it up to record over night (depending on how long the book is).  Load the resultant file onto your iPod and away you go.

Second, for all other materials I cannot get on Kindle, I use TextSpeech Pro with the voices from Cepstral.  Dump PDFs, html, docs, rtf, etc., into the program, choose to export, and voila, much faster than the Kindle, you have an mp3 of the article, book, etc.  I will cut and paste portions out of books in my Logos library to read this way as well (sermon prep, for example).

I normally listen at 2x speed on an iPod Nano (the little square touch-screen ones).  I use sound-isolating earbuds to cut down on the wind noise so you can hear.  The main pair I use is not made anymore, but there are lots available.

So there you go.  That’s how I read books while cycling.  I have no idea how many I have read that way (it is also how I listen to debates, sermons, etc.), but it’s probably over 100.  Ultimate Multi-Tasking!

Update on the HD Camera Project

I am pleased to announce that the camera project has been fully funded as of this morning. I would like to thank all of those who donated toward this project. It is my sincere hope that in 2014 we will be able to use this equipment to produce a number of high quality teaching videos that we can put up on YouTube as well as on discs that we can mail out to churches around the world.

Thank you again for your generosity and we promise to be good stewards of your investment in the kingdom.


An Update on the New Camera Project

Update 12/10/2013 92% of the goal. Starting to contact dealers now.

Update 12/5/2013 As of today we are 2/3rds the way toward what we need to purchase these cameras. Please keep this project in mind when you consider your year end gifts.

A little over a month ago I blogged the post below. Well, today I thought that I would give an update on the project. First, I have been re-digitizing every video that I can get my hands on out of storage. Wow, do we have alot of videos, (I hope YouTube can handle it all), but I am feverishly working toward getting all of this footage up on our new YouTube channel. In the meantime the need for the equipment below still continues and we are almost halfway to the goal. If you haven’t read my first post please take a moment and familiarize yourself with the goal.


From 10/9/2013
As I type this I am in the process of uploading the video of the very first ‘Great Debate’ on Long Island from 1996 to YouTube.  The numerous ‘issues’ with the recording from that debate would eventually lead to our purchasing cameras of our own and sending volunteers out to Long Island in order to record future ones. As we expand the Dividing Lines to YouTube, so too I hope to expand the number of videos that we offer up there. Which brings me to my reason for writing today. In the early days of this ministry James would do seminars on various foundational topics in apologetics. It has long been my hope that one day we could go back to the classroom and re-record those presentations on video. With the advent of YouTube, HD Video and HD graphics that hope has turned into something that I never could have imagined years ago. So here is the vision, I am asking for special donations to upgrade our video cameras to HD. We already have the wireless microphones, the expensive tripods for the cameras, as well as the computers and the software to merge and process the footage and graphics together. However, our cameras just don’t measure up anymore. Further, as James does future debates it is my hope to once again use this equipment to properly record these events as I used to be able to do years ago. I have setup a special donations page because these cameras are not cheap. However, they are worth every bit of their cost with the quality product that they can deliver.

Here are the cameras that I am wanting to purchase for the ministry and here is the link to the donation page where you can help us get them.

More Debates Posted – I Have Been Busy This Week

Is The Bible True? James White vs Robert Price 5/6/2010

The Witnessing to Mormons Seminar 1994

Who Controls Salvation? James White vs George Bryson 4/2/2002

Great Debate VII – Veneration of Saints and Images James White vs Patrick Madrid 2002

The Predestination Debate James White vs Michael Brown 2/14/2013

Freedom of the Will (Arminianism) vs. Bondage of the Will (Calvinism) James White vs Steve Blakemore