A sad day for truth as Christianity Today posts its “story” on the Ergun Caner situation. Very little of the actual documentation (court documents, video tapes, etc.) are discussed. The title makes it look like “bloggers” are just out to cause trouble, not that there are documented, serious issues relating to Caner’s myth-making. The worst part is the utter-disconnect in the comments given by Elmer Towns, described in the article as “co-founder of Liberty University” and Dean of the School of Religion. According to the article, Towns claims “the Liberty board has held an inquiry and directors are satisfied that Caner has done nothing theologically inappropriate.” Lying is theologically appropriate? Creating an entire mythology about your past and your expertise in Islam is theologically appropriate? Then Towns is quoted as saying, “We give faculty a certain amount of theological leverage. The arguments of the bloggers would not stand up in court.” Is myth-making and misrepresentation “theological leverage”? And could someone explain how court documents and video and audio recordings would not stand up in court? What kind of documentation would Dr. Towns like to have, if court documents and video recordings are not enough? Could anything suffice, one wonders?
The final comment offered by Towns should cause any honest hearted person to sit back and ponder: “We don’t see any way that bloggers will damage Liberty,” Towns says. Does Towns have any idea why anyone out here cares about this? Does he really think it is some kind of attack on Liberty? Let’s be straight up front Dr. Towns: your institution now has a massive credibility problem on its hands, and you put it there. Had you done due diligence and followed up on the publicly available documentation that is already out there, already obtainable, and then acted properly in demanding an open and honest explanation by Ergun Caner, you could have kept this a personal issue relating solely to one individual. But now, by failing to do what needs to be done on any simple ground of honesty, you have placed your institution squarely in the defense of documented and obvious falsehood. Yes, it seems you are confused about a non-existent connection between Caner’s comments about Rankin. You further seem confused that this has something to do with Ergun Caner’s synergism and anti-Reformed polemics. If that is so, sir, why wasn’t I looking to raise these issues in 2006 after the Liberty debate debacle? No, none of those assertions are true. This is a simple matter of a man making up a past and using it to gain his position in your institution. You had a chance to right the wrong and bring these issues to light, hoping for Ergun Caner to confess and repent of his falsehoods. But you have chosen the “party line” instead. Dr. Towns, many Muslims are watching, and you have just verified for them that for many in evangelicalism, truth is only important when it is expedient.
Finally, I note the real telling words of the article: “Neither Caner brother responded to interview requests from CT.” Those who honor the truth do not hide in this fashion. The Caners are under obligation to speak the truth. Until they start doing so, they have no business serving those who claim to be followers of Him who is the Truth.