Sunday, July 18, 2010

Acar Martin Caner

Dr. Ergun Caner's Father legally changed his name from Acar Martin Caner to Acar Mehmet Caner (link to evidence provided courtesy of Jason Smathers).

I suspect that this was not the first name change in Acar's life, since "Martin" sounds like a nod to Acar's wife's Swedish Lutheran heritage. Likewise, I cannot help but wonder if the legal name change back to something more Turkish-sounding was motivated by Acar's second wife, who was apparently Turkish. These suspicions are just that - suspicions.

What the evidence does suggest, however, is that while Acar may have a devout Muslim to some extent (and perhaps increasingly so in the late 70's and early 80's), at some point he seems to have gone along with using (as his legal name) the rather "Christian" name Martin. That does not sound like the sort of thing that an extremely and zealously devout Muslim would do, particularly if that "Martin" were replacing the name "Mehmet" (a Turkish form of the name Mohamed).

Then again, perhaps there is a way that someone's name could be changed against his will in the immigration process - or something like that. This evidence is just evidence, it is not proof.



Coram Deo said...


I'm no immigration expert, but I'm pretty sure the INS wasn't forcing folks to add Western European sounding names to enhance their image upon entry to the States. Name changes are voluntary, although I might have preferred that he change his name to Acar Calvin Caner.

A haiku:

A. Martin Caner,
Was Ergun Michael lying?
Mmmmm! Turkish delight!

In Him,

West Virginia Pastor said...

I don’t know where else to write but here, so that everyone would hear. I met with Dr. Caner last week and had a private conversation with him at a youth camp. I assured him and made a personal commitment that I would pray for him and his family. He is obviously troubled and tortured by the world-wide press of his situation. After we met, he preached a fantastic message to the youth. It was awesome. God’s hand is still on him. Several young people surrendered to full time ministry at the altar call, one was my daughter. I don’t know any other way to say this but to say it, pray for this tortured man of God. Was he wrong? Yes. Is there mercy and grace in the Lord? Absolutely. Making a commitment to pray is not justifying wrongdoing, however the steady stream of criticism is not only harming the Caner family but the cause of Christ. I know, I know, I’m prepared for negative comments…I’ve read just about every blog, article and watched lots of vids. Now is the time for mercy and grace, not beating this poor man into the ground.

David B. Hewitt said...


You have said well that we ought to be praying for Dr. Caner. Thank you much for this important reminder.

It is wonderful that he was able to preach a wonderful message and that God worked amazing things through it. Our God is an awesome God.

Also, you are most correct to say that there is mercy and grace in the Lord Jesus, and such is more than sufficient for Dr. Caner's sins as much as any of us.

Please do note, however, that the goal of all of this has never been to beat Dr. Caner into the ground. Presenting the truth, rebuking a brother -- all of it has with it the desire of restoration and forgiveness. I would submit the thing that is harming Dr. Caner and his family more than anything is his failure to come out and say, "Yes, I lied," and list several of them, seek forgiveness, and be forgiven! That would be the resolution to it all, and I for one (and I am sure I am not alone) would rejoice in Dr. Caner's repentance and praise God that He brought Caner to it.


Fredericka said...

West Virginia Pastor, Amen, we should pray for this man! But we do not normally pray, 'O Lord, let him get away with it...'

Tom said...

Christians have a duty love and to pray for E. Michael Caner to the same measure that Paul exhorts the Galatians to do so for the false brethren of their day in his epistle to them.

Tom said...

"He is obviously troubled and tortured by the world-wide press of his situation."

That about says it right there, without the poster realizing it.

E. Michael Caner is not in the least bit repentant over the evil he has done. He is upset that he got CAUGHT!!

This so-called "man of God" took one of the most terrible tragedies in American history to completely reinvent his past so as to get personal gain from it. He is little more than a war profiteer who enriches himself on the sufferings and sacrifices of others. If Caner was the lest bit repentant, he would have resigned his position, terminated his speaking schedule, and renounced his books. If E. Michael Caner wanted a truly Biblical solution, he would make sure that he never again appears publicly inside a classrom, behind a pulpit, or on a speakers' platform.

E. Michael Caner is the scum of the earth. and it speaks to the decadent condition of modern American Evangelicalism that church leaders such as "West Virginia Pastor" are still spouting forth their unBiblical pietistic drival in support of this creature.

Tom said...

Well, for someone who says, "I don’t know where else to write but here "; "West Virginia Pastor certainly is making the rounds!!

He posted virtually the same, identical message over at Debbie Kaufman's blog (read WAY down the list of comments):

Anonymous said...

"I don’t know where else to write but here, so that everyone would hear"

WVA Pastor,

You have posted this EXACT same comment at

Debbie Kaufman

My concern is that he is teaching young people who are being taught...hey, one can lie for 9 years, as a seminary president and preacher, to thousands and it is no big deal. I do not even have to repent. I can still be considered a "man of God".

Anonymous said...

WVA Pastor,

You asked us to pray for him. Pray for what? That many young people he has influenced will NOT follow his example so far?

Or shall we pray for his very soul?

West Virginia Pastor said...

@ Tom, what’s your point? I did cut and paste the same post on Debbie Kaufman’s blog. Once I posted it here, I thought I would also post in on hers. I did not edit it, which is my fault. I don’t see where that is such a big deal. My apologies. (I also posted this on Debbie’s blog)

mirele said...

There could be a (fairly) innocuous reason for this: Acar Caner may have wanted a Western European name to make job hunting easier. You know: A. Martin Caner, E. Michael Caner....

Turretinfan said...


Yes. Job hunting is another possibility, assuming he was not really here to build mosques. If he as here to build mosques, then the Western-sounding name would probably be a drawback.

And again - it is the sort of compromise one would expect from a less zealously devout Muslim, not one who was "as devout as it gets." (see here)


Tom said...

"I don’t know where else to write but here..."

Well, the "problem" is that any honest reading of the above statement would cause a reasonable person to believe that this is the ONLY place where that message was posted.

Then we discover that the same thing was posted on at least two other sites.

Accuracy has never been regarded as an important virtue by E. Michael Caner and his friends.

Anonymous said...

There could be a (fairly) innocuous reason for this: Acar Caner may have wanted a Western European name to make job hunting easier. You know: A. Martin Caner, E. Michael Caner....

Sunday, July 18, 2010 3:10:00 PM

This is an interesting point. Especially since I know some folks from the ME who came here 25 years ago who did Westernize their names such as dropping the Abu or making Jamal, Jay. There are other examples but you get my point.

With that said, each of these fellows would have described themselves as Muslims but they never attended Mosque or did any other Muslim rituals. They came here to get an education and make money. Still, they maintained they were Muslims.

Tom said...

I think this is the youth camp WV Pastor was referring to. It is Momentum 2010 and was held at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. It was held July 12-18.

Under “Speakers”, here is what it has to say about Caner:

“Ergun Mehmet Caner (B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th.M., Th.D.) is president of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Serving under his Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell Jr., Caner led the Seminary to triple in growth since his installation in 2005. A public speaker and apologist, Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in thirteen countries and thirty-five states. The author of seventeen books, Caner lives in Lynchburg with his wife Jill and two sons, Braxton and Drake.”

If one looks at his picture, Caner’s head is tilted, almost like he can’t look anyone straight in the eye!

BruinEric said...

Assuming what you quote is accurate, it is very disappointing that "Momentum 2010" would be quoting the now discredited bio of Mr. Caner.

Both the "in Turkey" and "debated in ## countries and ## states" has no factual basis and should no longer be quoted unless evidence is presented to confirm it.

It should certainly be vital for Mr. Caner to correct this.

Anonymous said...


the name change is relevant. My own grandparents dropped the "O" in O'Neal. It did not stop them from claiming their Irish roots on my mother's side.

Marrying my dad, a California Indian didn't change her from being Irish/Swedish to California Indian. It just made me a mixed minority of sorts, some California Indian, some Irish/Swedish.

Of course, I use both sides of the fence to my advantage when I think it helps "me"! :)

It's not all bad doing that.

Recall both Jesus and Paul used certain beliefs against each other to produce division.

Jesus, when establishing that He is the Resurrection and the Life. Paul, when he wanted to divert attention away from his hot preaching because both groups were in the house, those who believed and those who did not believe in the Resurrection of the soul and body!

Dr. Caner does need mercy.

We do need to extend that to him only on the merits of the Word of God as led by the Holy Spirit and not by sympathies.

The West Virginia Pastor's duplicating his remarks, in my view, is really a non issue or else take this verse out of the Bible, because, frankly, after reading what he posted hereon because of this thread, I was moved with compassion for Dr. Caner:::>

Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

A.M. Mallett said...

Given the fundamentalist Islamic resurgence during the early 1970s culminating in the overthrow of the Shaw of Iran, it would not at all be surprising to observe a Muslim changing his name back to his Muslim roots.

David B. Hewitt said...


I have commented to you once before regarding your apparent lack of compassion in making your comments. I hope you at least read and considered it.

Your view that Caner was feeling tortured was just indicative of him not being repentant but rather that he was upset at being caught is out of step with what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:

1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Does not the love of God in us demand that we at the very least consider the possibility that God has begun to work conviction in the heart of Dr. Caner over the lies he has told? Would that not be in line with "hopes all things"? I would think so.

I would strongly encourage you to consider that.


Tom said...


This is the second time you have called me out for acting contarary to Scripture. As with your earlier rebuke, I utterly reject your comments.

I have NO sympathy for Caner. His actions are the despicable work of a reprobate heart. My comments are Scripture-based, while yours are nothing but vain speculation.

So as before, I totally and completely reject your rebuke. And, yes, I did respond to your earlier one, although it took me a few days to do so. Go back and read it.

You, sir, have absoutely nothing to say to me on the subject.

Tom said...

Mallett, the Islamic Revolution occurred in 1979 in Shia Iran, while Turkey has been for decades the most secular country in the Islamic world. That you cannot distinguish between the two does not surprise me in the least.

A.M. Mallett said...

Tom, the fundamentalist resurgence had it's beginnings long before the fall of the Shaw, particularly in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is the precursor of all modern Islamic fundamentalism and it was the impetus for what we have today through Anwar Sadat's release of all MB prisoners in Egyptian jails following the death of Nassar in 1970. You do not have to believe it though.

Tom said...

Okay, but Egypt is still not Turkey.

Tom said...

If E. Michael WOULD have genuine repentance, then he must sit down, shut up, and not be seen in any sort of public or leadership position EVER!

Anything less than that is not true Biblical repentance.

He most certainly would NOT be speaking at youth conferences where his falsified bio is on the conference website.

Anonymous said...


The ends do not justify the means. If we use results only as a measure of spirituality, then Tetzel was one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. look at all the souls that were "saved" from Purgatory as a result of his work!

In many ways (particulalry in his refusal to repent and have his methods challenged) Caner is a modern-day the name of spiritual "results" he took financial advantage of sincere, yet gullible listeners seeking the best for themselves and their families.

I'm sure that Tetzel thought he was really doing God's work in helping to build St. Peter's Basilica.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the tone of some comments towards David

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Anonymous said...

If E. Michael WOULD have genuine repentance, then he must sit down, shut up, and not be seen in any sort of public or leadership position EVER!

Anything less than that is not true Biblical repentance.

He most certainly would NOT be speaking at youth conferences where his falsified bio is on the conference website.

Monday, July 19, 2010 3:43:00 AM

Tom, I take it you are not a pastor? From what I have seen most people who make a living in ministry want to cut Caner a lot of unbiblical slack. I can understand that but it is wrong.

Even those who agree he is guilty are doing this.

To me, this violates the meaning and spirit of 1 Tim 3 and being above reproach to the "OUTSIDE".

Caner is NOT above reproach to the OUTSIDE as an "elder" who teaches the Word.

....and it would be a long long time before he could even be considered above reproach to the outside IF he ever seriously repents.


Tom said...

Yep, Matt, even though I have three theology-related degress, I've always been engaged in secular employment. I've never had a pastoral ministry.

And I agree with your comments. If Caner was involved in ANY other form of work besides the Chrstian ministry, he would have been thrown straight out the door of his employer as soon as his trail of lies became apparent.

That's why I think this scandal is much larger than the lies of E. Michael Caner. The real scandal is that the world is showing a higher standard of truth, honesty, and personal integrity than "christian" ministers like Caner, "christian" institutions like Liberty University, and "christian" apologists like Norm Geisler.

I find that disgusting.

And Christians wonder why unbelievers treat us with ridicule and contempt!!! If the Christian leadership of America cannot deal with such a blatently discredited person like Caner, then they have no right to expect respect from us Christian laity, or the non-Christian world at large.