Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ergun Caner in Others' Books

It is interesting to note how Ergun Caner is described in books other than those books that he himself authored.
In March 2006, I (John) had the unique privilege of interviewing two of today's top Islamic-Christian scholars, Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner, and his brother, Dr. Emir Fethi Caner. Ergun serves as president of Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia, while Emir serves as dean of the college at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Combined, they have addressed tens of thousands of individuals, authored best-selling books, and have been featured on major networks such as CNN and NPR and BBC. But what strikes people most when encountering the Caner brothers is not primarily their scholarship, media exposure, or writings, but their astonishing personal stories about their conversion to Christianity out of a devout Muslim family tradition -- tradition that even included their own father moving to America to build Islamic mosques.
John Ankerburg, Middle East Meltdown, pp. 29-30.
"You have to understand that there are three types of Muslims who come to America. First, there are the cultural Muslims. They're just born into Islam, but they're not devout in any way. The extreme devout, which we were, are orthodox, and you don't have contact with non-Muslims. Surah 5 of the Qur'an teaches that you 'take no friends from among the Jews and the Christians.' So it's a very isolated community from which we came."
John Ankerburg, Middle East Meltdown, p. 30 (quoting Ergun Caner).

Regarding the above, I cannot vouch for whether Caner actually said what Ankerberg quotes him as saying.  However, this does show what Ankerberg apparently understood the Caners' testimony to be.
Ergun was born in Turkey as the son of an Islamic leader. He came to know the Lord as a practicing Muslim after immigrating to America with his family.
Leigh Gray, Loving God, Loving People: Living Out the Vertical in a Horizontal World. p. 106.
When I was in high school, I lived in Vincennes, Indiana. I was lucky to have the coolest youth minister in the world, at least in my eyes, and that was all that mattered. His name was Ergun Caner. He took an interest in me, and we hung out all the time. We would talk after church, sing in the sanctuary long after the service was over, and play tennis after school. He would do those great embarassing things that youth ministers are famous for, like come to your school lunchroom and call you out. He inspected my boyfriends and made suggestions for improvements. I just couldn't get enough of him.
Leigh Gray, Loving God, Loving People: Living Out the Vertical in a Horizontal World. p. 105

I have not heard anything from Ms. Gray regarding whether she is just confused or whether her impression of Caner's biography was based on Caner's own statements to her.  I would be interested if anyone knows whether Ms. Gray has commented.


No comments: