Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Apology and Clarification
06/29/2006 - James WhiteIn an earlier post I said Ergun Caner was "no serious scholar," and I wish to both apologize for, and clarify, that statement. Aside from allowing myself to give place to the frustration that Dr. Caner's behavior toward me has created, for which I apologize, I should have been significantly clearer in my words. I was referring to the fact that thus far Dr. Caner has not shown the slightest scholarly interest in dealing with the issues of soteriology, Baptist history, etc., that have arisen in our correspondence, in a fair and proper fashion. His comments about hyper-Calvinism, for example, or his statement that Esau was hated for what Esau did, etc., have surely not found their origin and source in careful scholarly reflection. And his teaching his students that Spurgeon denied particular redemption likewise reflects the same kind of attitude we find in so many others: when it comes to Calvinism, we don't need to engage our minds at a high level. Just run with "what works" and be done with it. Hence my unclear and hence unfair comment. Dr. Caner may well be a fine scholar in other areas, but he has not shown any interest in applying his intelligence and scholarship to this particular subject, which is also witnessed by his repeated references to "Dr. Dave Hunt" and his "fine" work.
By the way, only one person even mentioned this in an e-mail. I simply wished to clarify, and apologize. His dismissive tone toward me for all these months is not an excuse for reciprocation on my part.
P.S. I watched an interview with Ergun Caner today. It was recorded sometime in the past couple of years. In any case, it truly broke my heart. He spoke with passion about seeking to see Muslims come to know the true Jesus. It broke my heart because I tried to share with him my same passion, but was rebuffed at every turn because I am a Calvinist. I got the feeling he would rather have no one debating Shabir Ally than to have a Calvinist doing it, even if the topic does not touch upon issues related to Calvinism. In any case, no matter how often I raised the topic and tried to get him to talk about our common ministry in that area, I was ignored and rejected. How very sad. Be that as it may, I found the interview quite interesting, and found Ergun Caner well-spoken and interesting.
By The Way...
06/27/2006 - James WhiteI would like to personally thank every one of you who has written in on the "Caner Situation" (for lack of a better description). I have been overwhelmed, truly, by the sheer volume of e-mails, and by the deep sincerity, devotion, and passion, almost every one evinces. I have read them, and would love to respond to each one, but I simply cannot. Not only would I not have time to do so, but I have found that even when I do, the result is, "Oh, thanks for writing back! By the way, I've always wanted to ask you..." and this is followed by three pages of theological inquiry. Of course, that's what the DL is for anyway. I can answer a question by voice a lot faster than I can in writing. Anyway, I wanted to thank all of you who have voiced your opinions, especially since the vast majority have likewise included the comment that you are praying about the situation as well. Whether you were in the 70% saying "press on, don't let this die," or the 30% saying, "It has gone too far, give it up," I deeply appreciate what you have had to say.