Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ergun Caner at SBTS - November 13, 2003

We previously reviewed Dr. Caner's comments on a panel with Mohler at SBTS on November 14, 2003 (link), but somehow we did not review his solo comments from the day before (link to mp3 - link to page for event). He presented a message he titled "The Gospel According to Oprah," which we've heard elsewhere. All time stamps are approximate:

0:10 "In recent months, most of the times when I speak, I speak before hostile crowds. Virginia Tech being the most recent. In those debates with Muslims and such, where the crowd is decidedly not Bible-believing, orthodox Christians. And so I spend a lot of my time getting yelled at, getting called names, and cursed and threatened and such. So it's always good to get among fellow believers."

a) What debates?  Almost all the speaking engagements of Dr. Caner's that we can find evidence of are speeches to Christian audiences.

b) I could not find any evidence of Dr. Caner actually speaking at Virginia Tech, although I did find a transcript in their digital archives of a news program from July 30, 2006, regarding Dr. Caner (link to full text):
Caner was raised a sunni Muslim in Turkey by his father, a prominent Islamic leader.
But at 13, he converted to Christianity, and was promptly disowned by his family.
Now, Caner uses his education as a muslim child, and experience as an immigrant to America, to explain what he sees happening in the Middle East, specifically Israel and Lebanon. 
a) He was not raised in Turkey.
b) While his father may have been a leader in the local Turkish community in Ohio, there's no evidence of greater prominence than that.
c) He was disowned by his non-custodial father, but apparently not by his hippy-universalist mother.
d) The "at 13" may be accurate, but it suggests a date from November 1979 - November 1980, which is different from other accounts of his alleged conversion.

1:10 "My full name is Ergun Mehmet Caner. I am Turkish, was born in Sweden but my family is Turkish, and so we came to this country, my father being an architect, to build mosques."

a) No, his name is Ergun Michael Caner.
b) His father was Turkish, his mother was Swedish.
c) There's no evidence to corroborate this idea that his dad was an architect or that he came to build mosques.

3:25 "You're never gonna have me back."

And not counting the next day's performance (which was already scheduled), they apparently did not.

16:00 "My brother and I do debates on university campuses. In 41 debates, I have never, I have never, did I say 'never'? I mean have never run into one Muslim who ever said "Allah of the Koran is the biblical Jehovah, Adonia, El-Gabor God of the Bible.'  Not one!"

a) What debates?  Where is even one of these debates from a university campus?
b) The Koran itself claims that the Allah described in it is the same one that gave the Torah and the Injeel.

23:25 "I went to college at Cumberland College, just about 12 months after I got saved."

That would suggest a 1983 conversion date, not a 1982 date (as suggested elsewhere), or a 1981 (as suggested in his book).

25:45 "He reached me 1000s of miles away, as a towel-head. I came to this country to be a missionary to you. I assumed that you hated me."

He came as a toddler.

27:05 "They didn't mock my language, or mock my accent, or mock the way I dressed in my full keffiyah, they simply loved me."

What language? Swedish?  What accent? He grew up in Ohio?  The photos we have of him from that era suggest he wore ordinary clothes.



michael said...

Notwithstanding my own struggles with the flesh I'm now more amazed by this talk by Dr. Caner! Dr. Mohler the very next day, I believe this is the talk he and Dr. Caner were to have a three way discussion with another man, asked Dr. Caner point blank if he was born in Turkey? Dr. Caner at that moment could have corrected Dr. Mohler's misunderstanding especially because, even with all the errors highlighted above with this talk he did say he was born in Sweden!

And the talk, how ironic? I thought he explained well the text he was speaking about from Acts. The sad reality is he has a testimony in and of itself the way he describes it how that Jerry Tapette was moved to continually reach out to him and see The Lord open his mind to truth! But for the deceit and his penchant to lie about parts of his life Dr. Caner has a real conversion story. You would think by now Dr. Mohler has heard about Dr. Caner's sophistry and contacted him about it at a minimum; or Paige Patterson?

michael said...

I just listened again to the four parts of the discussion by Drs. Mohler and Caner. At the end of part four, I believe between the 49th and 50th minute mark while Dr. Mohler is rapping up, he in passing, hesitantly asks Dr. Caner to acknowledge that he was formerly a citizen of Turkey. In my previous comment ^^^above and in the comment section when this 4 part series was posted on this blog before I said what I heard was Dr. Mohler point blank ask Dr. Caner if he was born in Turkey. I want to correct that. Dr. Mohler asked instead or rather was more affirming to Dr. Caner that he believed Dr. Caner was originally a citizen of Turkey.

It would have been a good thing at that moment to briefly clarify to Dr. Mohler that he was born in Sweden as he said he was the evening before when he was introducing himself to presumably the same crowd and came to the United States from Sweden as a very young toddler and grew up in the United States, got ideas about life and lifestyles from TV programs he watched and attended schools here in the United States.