Liberty University removed Dr. Caner from his position as dean and president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary after an investigation into allegations that he had fabricated part of his testimony. Liberty has refused to comment on the situation since a short June 25th six sentence statement where they revealed “Dr. Caner has made factual statements that are self-contradictory” and announced he will no longer serve as dean but will remain on faculty as a professor.
Liberty University does not go into detail on which statements they found to be self contradictory. Legal documentation obtained by Witnesses Unto Me establishes a biographical sketch of Dr. Ergun Caner. On September 13th, 1969, Ergun Caner arrived in New York as a two year old with his family, according to immigration paperwork obtained by Witnesses Unto Me. Acar Caner immigrated as Acar Martin Caner, then later changed his name to Acar Mehmet Caner. Assuming the integrity of Ergun Caner’s mother’s uncontested affidavit, in 1975 the Caner family had resided in Ohio for six years, meaning after arrival in New York, the Caners promptly moved to Ohio. Dr. Caner was ordered by the court to remain in Franklin County Ohio from August 22, 1975 to February 4, 1976 and his passport was held by an attorney to prevent a parent from disregarding the court’s order. Also beginning on August 22, 1975, Dr. Caner’s Swedish mother was awarded custody of him and his two brothers. The prohibition on international travel was finalized on April 14, 1978 when the court ruled: “In no event and under no circumstances shall either party hereto cause or allow any of the minor children of the parties to leave or be taken from the Continental Borders of the United States of America.” This term remained in effect until Dr. Caner became of age. Caner’s mother fought in court to prevent the children from being raised in the Islamic faith, but in the end the court ruled that each parent could provide religious training according to their own convictions. The expected result of this ruling is the limitation of Islamic training to alternating weekends and five weeks per year.
In light of the biographical sketch based on legal documentation, many statements made by Dr. Ergun Caner cannot be accurate. Some examples of the statements made by Dr. Caner, which are believed to be the “factual statements that are self-contradictory” which Liberty University refers to:
- Coming to America in 1978
- Coming to America in 1979
- Learning about America by watching television in Turkey
- Moving to America at age 13
- Moving to America at age 15
- Living in Turkey along the Iraqi border for “most of my life”
- Always living in majority Muslim countries before coming to America
- Being disowned and becoming a “church orphan” after converting to Christianity
- Being born in Istanbul, Turkey
Ergun Caner is also Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies at Veritas Evangelical Seminary where Norman Geisler is the Provost. Norman Geisler has become a vocal supporter of Ergun Caner, explaining away many of his inaccurate autobiographical statements. Geisler has recruited supportive comments from other Christians including two Veritas Evangelical Seminary faculty members, Dr. Caner’s brother, Emir, and the man largely responsible for Caner’s fame, Dr. Paige Patterson. The blog SBC Today has claimed the Liberty university statement exonerated Dr. Caner. SBC Today became the brunt of many jokes, even comparing the author to “Bagdad Bob” whom declared Iraqi Victory against the Americans while bombs are exploding in the background. In a move that shocked many, Geisler has taken the same position, declaring Caner to be exonerated in spite of the volumes of evidence that has been made available in the news media including both blogs and traditional media.