Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, the self-appointed expert in Islam and a staunch promoter of Islamophobia among American Evangelicals, has been accused in the last years, on various blogs and lately in the media, of being a fraud and a liar.
Until recently, the leadership of Liberty University in Lynchburgh, Vi., stood by caner and refused to look into this. However, on 10 May the Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. (son of the founder, Jerry Falwell Sr. – it seems that nepotism is a real disease not only among Romanian Evangelicals; please don’t ask me to give examples), finally announced that the Provost of the university will form an investigation commission. Now, from my experience in similar situations in Baptist Romania, that does not necessarily mean that the truth will be uncovered (such investigations are often used in fundamentalist circles to simply muddle the waters). Yet, the simple admission that there is a problem, is a step ahead.
I will welcome the exposure and subsequent sidelining of this pathetic character, that created so much havoc in the Christian-Muslim relations in the United States, at a time when we need dialogue and peace-building.
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Liberty University has demoted the president of its theological seminary after investigating claims that he exaggerated or fabricated parts of his testimony about converting from militant Islam to Christianity. (Source, HERE.)
See also Scot McKnight’s comment ‘Caner Ousted as Dean‘.
Christianity Today, has HERE an article on this topic. It reveals both the ambiguity of the decision made by Trinity University (Caner cannot be dean anymore, but he can still teach there) and of the reactions to it.
As CT writes, ‘SBC Today said the announcement “exonerated” Caner, while the independent Liberty Students News labeled it a “guilty” verdict.’ No surprise on either side. SBC is defending its dirty turf, while the students are fed up with the dead’s lies. We have also seen stories like these in Romania.
You may also find on CT website, an article trying to axplain ‘Why we are tempted to embellish conversion stories?‘ Good question.This story should be a warning sign for the pervesive habit of Romanian preachers and Evangelical leaders of embelishing their messages, mostly when they visit the west, for an extra buck or two, with made up stories, especially about their supposedly valient opposition to the communist regime over twenty years ago and their fight against (the inexistant) liberalism in Romania, in the last two decades.
It is simply the same Mary with a different hat. Some day, if necessary, we will provide some examples of that. For now, just the warning will suffice.