Archive for June, 2010

Dr. Norman Geisler Digs Himself a Deeper Hole

June 29, 2010

Rather than apologizing, as suggested in my prior post (link to post), it appears that on Facebook Dr. Norman Geisler has actually tried to insist that Dr. Ergun Caner was exonerated! (first testimony that Geisler said that on Facebook)(second testimony that Geisler said that on Facebook).

That kind of comment really seems to put Geisler in a completely different league from someone like Dr. John Ankerburg, whose statements seem to reflect him being misled by the Caners:

I have known Ergun Caner for nearly a decade. I am disheartened by the recent attacks upon his integrity and character. I … believe his personal testimony to be completely true. Otherwise, I would not have allowed him to broadcast his story to the millions of viewers that tune in to my program across the globe. … For someone to attack Ergun’s selfless sacrifice, especially since they malign his character without any substantiation, is both unchristian and unbiblical. Count me among the many who will stand with Ergun Caner … .

(source)(emphasis added)

At least Dr. Ankerburg can say now that he was honestly mistaken and unware of the substantiation, and we hope he will say that. On the other hand, what fig leaf can Dr. Geisler hide behind? How can he seriously claim that Dr. Caner was exonerated?

-TurretinFan

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When Can We Expect Our Apology? Part 2

June 28, 2010

Before the results of the investigation in the Ergun Caner scandal were complete, Dr. Norman Geisler stated: “I am familiar with the slanderous charges that have been made against Dr. Ergun Caner generated by some Muslim groups and other extremists. I have looked into the matter, talking with Ergun and other principal parties at Liberty, and am convinced that the charges are libelous.” (source) The outcome of the investigation was that the committee found: “found discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence” (source), which shows that (at least as far as Liberty’s committee is concerned) the charges were not “slanderous” and “libelous.”

When can we expect our apology?

When Can We Expect Our Apology?

June 28, 2010

Elmer Towns of Liberty University, prior to conducting an investigation of the facts surrounding the Ergun Caner scandal, alleged: “The arguments of the bloggers would not stand up in court.” (source) The outcome of the investigation was that the committee found: “found discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence” (source) – exactly the sorts of discrepancies that had been argued by bloggers.

When can we bloggers expect an apology from Elmer Towns of Liberty University?

Yale then …

June 28, 2010

… and I was going to add “and now,” but I’m quite sure I don’t want to know what are the depths of depravity to which Yale has sunk. Suffice to say that the rules posted by Dwayna Litz at Lighting the Way Worldwide would not fly today (link).

Steve Hays on Liberty’s Schedule of Discipline

June 27, 2010

He’s joking, of course, but I think his points will strike a chord with lots of people who are bewildered by the mildness of Liberty’s decision regarding Ergun Caner (link to Hays’ post).

Chrysostom – Passages Inconsistent with an Idea of Purgatory

June 27, 2010

Chrysostom, in the following passages, provides evidence suggesting that he knows nothing of any kind of post-mortem experience as purgatory…

Chrysostom (349-407) commenting on Matthew 6:12:

Let us know these and let us remember that terrible day and that fire. Let us put in our mind the terrible punishments and return once for all from our deluded road. For the time will come when the theater of this world will be dissolved, and then no one will be able to contend anymore. No one can do anything after the passing of this life. No one can be crowned after the dissolution of the theater. This time is for repentance, that one for judgment. This time is for the contests, that one for the crowns. This one for toil, that one for relaxation. This one for fatigue, that one for recompense.

FC, Vol. 96, St. John Chrysostom on Repentance and Almsgiving, Homily 9.5 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1998), p. 129.

Chrysostom (349-407):

Anticipate the exodus of the soul with repentance and correction, because when death comes suddenly, at absolutely no time will the therapy of repentance be fruitful. Repentance is powerful upon the earth; only in Hades is it powerless. Let us seek the Lord now while we have time. Let us do what is good so that we will be delivered from the future endless punishment of Gehenna, and will be made worthy of the Kingdom of the Heavens.

FC, Vol. 96, St. John Chrysostom on Repentance and Almsgiving, Homily 9.7 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1998), p. 130.

Chrysostom (349-407):

I testify and affirm, that if any of us who have offended shall forsake his former sins, and promise to God with sincerity that he will turn to them no more, God will require no further satisfaction from him.

For translation, see William John Hall, The Doctrine of Purgatory and the Practice of Praying for the Dead (London: Henry Wix, 1843), p. 203.
Greek text:

Ἐγὼ διαμαρτύρομαι καὶ ἐγγυῶμαι, ὅτι τῶν ἁμαρτανόντων ἡμῶν ἕκαστος, ἂν ἀποστὰς τῶν προτέρων κακῶν ὑπόσχηται τῷ Θεῷ μετὰ ἀληθείας μηκέτι αὐτῶν ἅψασθαι, οὐδὲν ἕτερον ὁ Θεὸς ζητήσει πρὸς ἀπολογίαν μείζονα.

De Beato Philogonio (On the Blessed Philogonius), Homilia VI, §4, PG 48:754.

– TurretinFan (with the assistance of Pastor David King)

Prayers to God Alone (and Worship to God Alone, in general) in the Early Church

June 26, 2010

To whom should prayers be addressed? They should be addressed to God alone.

Augustine (354-430):

As for those spirits who are good, and who are therefore not only immortal but also blessed, and to whom they suppose we should give the title of gods, and offer worship and sacrifices for the sake of inheriting a future life, we shall, by God’s help, endeavor in the following book to show that these spirits, call them by what name, and ascribe to them what nature you will, desire that religious worship be paid to God alone, by whom they were created, and by whose communications of Himself to them they are blessed.

NPNF1-02 St. Augustine’s City of God and Christian Doctrines, City of God, Chapter 23

Leo the Great (400-461):

From such a system of teaching proceeds also the ungodly practice of certain foolish folk who worship the sun as it rises at the beginning of daylight from elevated positions: even some Christians think it is so proper to do this that, before entering the blessed Apostle Peter’s basilica, which is dedicated to the One Living and true God, when they have mounted the steps which lead to the raised platform, they turn round and bow themselves towards the rising sun and with bent neck do homage to its brilliant orb. We are full of grief and vexation that this should happen, which is partly due to the fault of ignorance and partly to the spirit of heathenism: because although some of them do perhaps worship the Creator of that fair light rather than the Light itself, which is His creature, yet we must abstain even from the appearance of this observance: for if one who has abandoned the worship of gods, finds it in our own worship, will he not hark back again to this fragment of his old superstition, as if it were allowable, when he sees it to be common both to Christians and to infidels?

This objectionable practice must be given up therefore by the faithful, and the honour due to God alone must not be mixed up with those men’s rites who serve their fellow-creatures. For the divine Scripture says: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve [S. Matt. iv. 10.].”

NPNF2-12 Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Sermon 27 of Leo the Great, Sections 4-5

Chrysostom (349-407) commenting on Psalm 7, v. 3:

This must everywhere be our concern, not simply to pray but to pray in such a way as to be heard. It is not sufficient that prayer effects what is intended, unless we so direct it as to appeal to God.

Robert Charles Hill, St. John Chrysostom Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 1, Psalm 7 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), p. 117.

Athanasius (293-373):

This was the advice he gave to those who came to him. And with those who suffered he sympathised and prayed. And oft-times the Lord heard him on behalf of many: yet he boasted not because he was heard, nor did he murmur if he were not. But always he gave the Lord thanks and besought the sufferer to be patient, and to know that healing belonged neither to him nor to man at all, but only to the Lord, who doeth good when and to whom He will. The sufferers therefore used to receive the words of the old man as though they were a cure, learning not to be downhearted but rather to be long-suffering. And those who were healed were taught not to give thanks to Antony but to God alone.

NPNF2-04. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters, Life of Anthony, Section 56

Cyprian of Carthage (died 258):

Moreover, when we stand praying, beloved brethren, we ought to be watchful and earnest with our whole heart, intent on our prayers. Let all carnal and worldly thoughts pass away, nor let the soul at that time think on anything but the object only of its prayer. For this reason also the priest, by way of preface before his prayer, prepares the minds of the brethren by saying, “Lift up your hearts,” that so upon the people’s response, “We lift them up unto the Lord,” he may be reminded that he himself ought to think of nothing but the Lord. Let the breast be closed against the adversary, and be open to God alone; nor let it suffer God’s enemy to approach to it at the time of prayer. For frequently he steals upon us, and penetrates within, and by crafty deceit calls away our prayers from God, that we may have one thing in our heart and another in our voice, when not the sound of the voice, but the soul and mind, ought to be praying to the Lord with a simple intention. But what carelessness it is, to be distracted and carried away by foolish and profane thoughts when you are praying to the Lord, as if there were anything which you should rather be thinking of than that you are speaking with God! How can you ask to be heard of God, when you yourself do not hear yourself? Do you wish that God should remember you when you ask, if you yourself do not remember yourself? This is absolutely to take no precaution against the enemy; this is, when you pray to God, to offend the majesty of God by the carelessness of your prayer; this is to be watchful with your eyes, and to be asleep with your heart, while the Christian, even though he is asleep with his eyes, ought to be awake with his heart, as it is written in the person of the Church speaking in the Song of Songs, “I sleep, yet my heart waketh.” [Cant. v. 2.] Wherefore the apostle anxiously and carefully warns us, saying, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same;” [Col. i. 2.] teaching, that is, and showing that those are able to obtain from God what they ask, whom God sees to be watchful in their prayer.

ANG05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, [and] Novation, Treatises of Cyprian, Treatise IV (On the Lord’s Prayer)

What did the ancients think of prayers to angels and saints? Undoubtedly there are a variety of ancient views about that subject. Here are a few of them.

Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 200):

Nor does she [the church] perform anything by means of angelic invocations, or by incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but, directing her prayers to the Lord, who made all things, in a pure, sincere, and straightforward spirit, and calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, she has been accustomed to work miracles for the advantage of mankind, and not to lead them into error. If, therefore, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ even now confers benefits [upon men], and cures thoroughly and effectively all who anywhere believe on Him, but not that of Simon, or Menander, or Carpocrates, or of any other man whatever, it is manifest that, when He was made man, He held fellowship with His own creation, and did all things truly through the power of God, according to the will of the Father of all, as the prophets had foretold. But what these things were, shall be described in dealing with the proofs to be found in the prophetical writings.

ANF: Vol. I, Against Heresies, 2:32:5.

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):

For we offer prayer for the safety of our princes to the eternal, the true, the living God, whose favour, beyond all others, they must themselves desire. They know from whom they have obtained their power; they know, as they are men, from whom they have received life itself; they are convinced that He is God alone, on whose power alone they are entirely dependent, to whom they are second, after whom they occupy the highest places, before and above all the gods. Why not, since they are above all living men, and the living, as living, are superior to the dead? They reflect upon the extent of their power, and so they come to understand the highest; they acknowledge that they have all their might from Him against whom their might is nought. Let the emperor make war on heaven; let him lead heaven captive in his triumph; let him put guards on heaven; let him impose taxes on heaven! He cannot. Just because he is less than heaven, he is great. For he himself is His to whom heaven and every creature appertains. He gets his scepter where he first got his humanity; his power where he got the breath of life. Thither we lift our eyes, with hands outstretched, because free from sin; with head uncovered, for we have nothing whereof to be ashamed; finally, without a monitor, because it is from the heart we supplicate. Without ceasing, for all our emperors we offer prayer. We pray for life prolonged; for security to the empire; for protection to the imperial house; for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, the world at rest, whatever, as man or Caesar, an emperor would wish. These things I cannot ask from any but the God from whom I know I shall obtain them, both because He alone bestows them and because I have claims upon Him for their gift, as being a servant of His, rendering homage to Him alone, persecuted for His doctrine, offering to Him, at His own requirement, that costly and noble sacrifice of prayer dispatched from the chaste body, an unstained soul, a sanctified spirit, not the few grains of incense a farthing buys —tears of an Arabian tree,—not a few drops of wine,—not the blood of some worthless ox to which death is a relief, and, in addition to other offensive things, a polluted conscience, so that one wonders, when your victims are examined by these vile priests, why the examination is not rather of the sacrificers than the sacrifices. With our hands thus stretched out and up to God, rend us with your iron claws, hang us up on crosses, wrap us in flames, take our heads from us with the sword, let loose the wild beasts on us,—the very attitude of a Christian praying is one of preparation for all punishment. Let this, good rulers, be your work: wring from us the soul, beseeching God on the emperor’s behalf. Upon the truth of God, and devotion to His name, put the brand of crime.

ANF: Vol. III, The Apology, Chapter 30.

Chrysostom (349-407) said the incantation of Angels was introduced by the devil:

Therefore the devil introduced those of the Angels [requests in the name of angels], envying us the honor. Such incantations are for the demons. Even if it be Angel, even if it be Archangel, even if it be Cherubim, allow it not; for neither will these Powers accept such addresses, but will even toss them away from them, when they have beheld their Master dishonored. “I have honored thee,” He saith, “and have said, Call upon Me”; and dost thou dishonor Him?

NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily 9.
Greek text:

Διὰ ταῦτα ὁ διάβολος τὰ τῶν ἀγγέλων ἐπεισήγαγε, βασκαίνων ἡμῖν τῆς τιμῆς. Τῶν δαιμόνων τοιαῦται αἱ ἐπῳδαί. Κἂν ἄγγελος ᾖ, κἂν ἀρχάγγελος, κἂν τὰ Χερουβὶμ, μὴ ἀνέχου· ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ αὗται αἱ δυνάμεις καταδέξονται, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀποσείσονται, ὅταν ἴδωσι τὸν Δεσπότην ἀτιμαζόμενον. Ἐγώ σε ἐτίμησα, φησὶ, καὶ εἶπον· Ἐμὲ κάλει· καὶ σὺ ἀτιμάζεις αὐτόν;

In epistulam i ad Colossenses, Caput III, Homily IX, §3, PG 62:365.

Council of Laodicea (363-364 A.D.):

Christians ought not to forsake the Church of God, and depart aside, and invocate (οὐνομάζω) angels, and make meetings, which are things forbidden. If any man therefore be found to give himself to this privy idolatry, let him be accursed, because he hath forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and betaken himself to idolatry.

For translation, see James Ussher, An Answer to a Challenge Made by a Jesuit (Cambridge: J. & J. J. Deighton, 1835), p. 406.
Greek text:

Ὅτι οὐ δεῖ Χριστιανοὺς ἐγκαταλείπειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἀπιέναι, καὶ ἀγγέλους ὀνομάζειν, καὶ συνάξεις ποιεῖν, ἅπερ ἀπηγόρευται. Εἴ τις οὖν εὐρεθῇ ταύτῃ κεκρυμμένῃ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ σχολάζων, ἔστω ἀνάθεμα, ὅτι ἐγκατέλιπε τὸν Κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ προσῆλθεν.

Synodus Laodiciae (Synod of Laodicea), Canon XXXV.

Chrysostom also speaks on the absence of need for any intermediaries between us and God to present our requests.

Chrysostom (349-407):

There is in fact no need either of doorkeepers to introduce you, or of managers, guardians or friends; rather, when you make your approach in person, then most of all he will hear you, at that time when you ask the help of no one. So we do not prevail upon him in making our requests through others to the degree that we do through ourselves. You see, since he longs for our friendship, he also does everything to have us trust in him; when he sees us doing so on our own account, then he accedes to us most of all. This is what he did too in the case of the Canaanite woman: when Peter and James came forward on her behalf, he did not accede; but when she persisted, he promptly granted her petition. I mean, even if he seemed to put her off for a while, he did it not to put the poor creature aside but to reward her more abundantly and render her entreaty more favorable.

Robert Charles Hill, St. John Chrysostom Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 1, Psalm 4 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), pp. 48-49.

Chrysostom (349-407):

Prayer is a great weapon, prayer is a wonderful adornment, security and haven, a treasury of good things, wealth beyond threat. When we make requests of human beings, we need an outlay of money, servile flattery, much to-ing and fro-ing and negotiating. Often, in fact, it is not possible to make a direct approach to their lordships personally to grant a favor: it is necessary first to wait upon their ministers or managers or administrators with money and words and every other means, and only then through them to be in a position to receive the request. With God, on the contrary, it is not like this: it not so much on the recommendation of others as on our own request that he grants the favor. In this case, too, both the one receiving it and the one not receiving it are better off, whereas in the case of human beings we often come off worse in both cases.

Since, then, for those approaching God the gain is greater and the facility greater, do not neglect prayer: it is then in particular that he will be reconciled with you when you on your own account appeal to him, when you present a mind purified, thoughts that are alert, when you do not make idle petitions, as many people do, their tongue saying the words while their soul wanders in every direction — through the house, the marketplace, the city streets. It is all the devil’s doing: since he knows that at that time we are able to attain forgiveness of sins, he wants to block the haven of prayer to us, and at that time he goes on the attack to distract us from the sense of the words so that we may depart the worse rather than the better for it

Robert Charles Hill, trans., St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume Three: Homilies on the Psalms (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003), Homily on Psalm 146.1, p. 125.

Chrysostom (349-407):

And even if you do not confess, He [i.e., God] is not ignorant of the deed, who knew it before it was committed. Why then do you not speak of it? Does the transgression become heavier by the confession?—nay, it becomes lighter and less troublesome. And it is for this reason that He would have you confess, not that you should be punished, but that you should be forgiven; not that He may learn thy sin, (how could this be, since He has seen it,) but that you may learn what favour He bestows. He wishes you to learn the greatness of His grace, that you may praise Him perfectly, that you may be slower to sin, that you may be quicker to virtue. And if you do not confess the greatness of the need, you will not understand the exceeding magnitude of His grace. I do not oblige you He [God] saith, to come into the midst of the assembly before a throng of witnesses; declare the sin in secret to Me only, that I may heal the sore and remove the pain.

F. Allen, trans., Four Discourses of Chrysostom, Chiefly on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, 4rd Sermon, §4 (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1869), p. 102. Cf. also Catharine P. Roth, trans., St. John Chrysostom On Wealth and Poverty, 4th Sermon on Lazarus and the Rich Man, §4 (Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984), p. 89. Cf. Concionis VII, de Lazaro 4.4 PG 48:1012.

Chrysostom (349-407):

For things which often we have not strength to perform successfully from our own exertions, these we shall have power to accomplish easily through prayers. I mean prayers which are persevering. For always and without intermission it is a duty to pray, both for him who is in affliction, and him who is in relief from it, and him who is in dangers, and him who is in prosperity — for him who is in relief and much prosperity, that these may remain unmoved and without vicissitude, and may never change; and for him who is in affliction and his many dangers, that he may see some favorable change brought about to him, and be transported into a calm of consolation. Art thou in a calm? Then beseech God that this calm may continue settled to thee. Hast thou seen a storm risen up against thee? Beseech God earnestly to cause the billow to pass, and to make a calm out of the storm. “Hast thou been heard? Be heartily thankful for this; because thou hast been heard. Hast thou not been heard? Persevere in order that thou mayest be heard. For even if God at any time delay the giving, it is not in hatred and aversion; but from the desire by the deferring of the giving perpetually to retain thee with himself; just in the way also that affectionate fathers do; for they also adroitly manage the perpetual and assiduous attendance of children who are rather indolent by the delay of the giving. There is to thee no need of mediators in audience with God; nor of that much canvassing; nor of the fawning upon others; but even if thou be destitute, even if bereft of advocacy, alone, by thyself, having called on God for help, thou wilt in any case succeed. He is not so wont to assent when entreated by others on our behalf, as by ourselves who are in need; even if we be laden with ten thousand evil deeds. For if in the case of men, even if we have come into countless collisions with them, when both at dawn and at mid-day and in the evening we show ourselves to those who are aggrieved against us, by the unbroken continuance and the persistent meeting and interview we easily demolish their enmity — far more in the case of God would this be effected.

NPNF1: Vol. IX, Concerning Lowliness of Mind and Commentary on Philippians 1:18, §11.

Chrysostom (349-407) commenting on John 16:22, 23:

“And ye now therefore have sorrow — [but I will see you again, and your sorrow shall be turned into joy].” Then, to show that He shall die no more, He saith, “And no man taketh it from you. And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing.”

Again He proveth nothing else by these words, but that He is from God. “For then ye shall for the time to come know all things.” But what is, “Ye shall not ask Me”? “Ye shall need no intercessor, but it is sufficient that ye call on My Name, and so gain all things.

NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Gospel of St John, Homily 79, §1.

Notice also in the following passage from Chrysostom how he emphasizes that if one gives himself to prayer frequently and fervently, then one (generally speaking) needs no instruction from an intermediary, because God enlightens one’s mind. In other words, he knows nothing of some human infallible interpreter to act as one’s mediator in to understand Holy Scripture.

Chrysostom (349-407):

Besides, what benefit would there be in a homily when prayer has not been joined to it? Prayer stands in the first place; then comes the word of instruction. And that is what the apostles said: “Let us devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Paul does this when he prays at the beginning of his epistles so that, like the light of a lamp, the light of prayer may prepare the way for the word. If you accustom yourselves to pray fervently, you will not need instruction from your fellow servants because God himself, with no intermediary, enlightens you mind.

FC, Vol. 72, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, Homily 3.35 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1984), pp. 111.

I offer also this testimony of Ambrose who says that the Lord alone is to be invoked in prayer…

Ambrose (c. 339-97):

My heart is worn out, because a man has been snatched away, whose like we can hardly find again; but yet Thou alone O Lord, art to be invoked, Thou art to be entreated, that Thou mayst supply his place with sons.

Herbert Mortimer Luckock, After Death: An Examination of the Testimony of Primitive Times respecting the State of the Faithful Dead, and Their Relationship to the Living, 2nd Ed. (London: Rivingtons, 1880) pp. 192-193.
Latin text:

Conteror corde; quia ereptus est vir, quem vix possumus invenire: sed tamen tu solus, Domine, invocandus es, tu rogandus, ut eum in filiis repraesentes.

De obitu Theodosii oratio (Funeral Oration for Theodosius, §36, PL 16:1397A-1397B.

– TurretinFan (with assistance from Pastor David King)

Dr. Ergun Caner – Liberty Investigation Complete

June 26, 2010

Liberty University has apparently released the result of its investigation: all that they are willing to affirm about his background is that he was a Muslim and that he converted as a teenager, something virtually all of Dr. Caner’s critics have been willing to acknowledge. Also, while apparently they are not going to keep him on as dean, Liberty apparently will keep him on as a professor.

There are some folks who view this as exoneration (link). My thoughts to those folks: what are you thinking? When the investigation agrees exactly with his critics and the result of the investigation is, apparently, a demotion … how exactly is that exoneration? I’d love to know. (so would Wade Burleson)

I’m glad to hear that Dr. Caner was not fired – that he will still be able to provide for his family. I am sorry that we have yet to see any public repentance from Dr. Caner, but perhaps in time we will see that.

I also hope that going forward, Dr. Caner will try to be more careful that his speeches, lectures, and sermons have a greater regard for the truth. Indeed, may all professing Christians (not only those who become the objects of an investigation) hold the truth in high regard!

– TurretinFan

Dr. Ergun Caner’s Thoughts on Dearborn, Michigan

June 25, 2010

Dr. Ergun Caner (who is apparently not going to continue as dean at Liberty) is apparently not talking to the media much these days, so he has not (to my knowledge) commented on the recent arrest of Christian evangelists in Dearborn, Michigan. However, in response to an article from July of last year, Dr. Caner addressed the issues facing that city. In that article, the allegation was that (in essence) a Christian wrestling coach had been fired by the Muslim principle for allegedly successfully evangelizing a student.

Dr. Caner’s commentary (link to article) is marred by things like the by-line calling him, “Ergun Mehmet Caner, PhD,” although he does not have a Ph.D. But leaving aside the issues swirling around Dr. Caner and his autobiography, Dr. Caner correctly enunciates the issue that Dearborn is facing then and now again: Dearborn, MI is about 1/3 Muslim, and Islam does not support religious freedom, only a lower option of religious toleration.

I will leave my Muslim readers to correct any misstatements over the details of Dr. Caner’s post (one should not assume that Dr. Caner is an expert in this area), but the high level point that Dr. Caner is making is an important one for people to recognize.

Those men and women who seek to bring the light of God’s saving truth to Muslims in places where there is a significant Muslim population are going to find opposition. In places like Dearborn, the result may be that one is arrested. In other parts of the world, the result may be much more extreme.

I don’t share Dr. Caner’s views on religious freedom or his view that the only options should be for Muslims to accept the current American system or leave (“Either my kinsmen learn this distinction, or they need to leave.”), but people do need to see that now, today, is the day when you need to go and find your Muslim neighbors and help them see that Jesus is the way, truth and life. Don’t wait until you live in a Dearborn, Michigan. For most of my readers, God has placed you in a situation where you can evangelize Muslims without being fired and without being arrested. Seize the day!

To my Muslim readers who live in non-Islamic countries, now too is your chance. Recall what your Koran says was told to Mohammed:

Surah 10:94 If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt.

Arabic:

‏فَإِن كُنتَ فِى شَكٍّۢ مِّمَّآ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكَ فَسْـَٔلِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ ٱلْكِتَبَ مِن قَبْلِكَ ۚ لَقَدْ جَآءَكَ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْمُمْتَرِينَ

We have that book that existed before Mohammed, and it testifies to the one Lord, Jesus Christ the righteous. While your book purports to confirm ours (see Surah 10:35), there are unresolvable contradictions between them. Since it is impossible for God to contradict himself, can you not see that the Koran cannot be the Word of God?

Don’t be among those who reject the self-revelation of God in the Holy Scriptures!

-TurretinFan

"Born In Istanbul, Turkey" in Context

June 24, 2010

A kind reader provided me with a link to the full context for the “born in Istanbul, Turkey” clip (link to location for context). The context also includes the “Ergun Michael Mehmet Giovanni Caner” name claim and the “I came to America after going to Beirut and then Cairo” and the “I came to America in 1978” claim (with the claim that he was 14 years old then – that would make him 18 in 1982, but it would also require him to have been born around 1964) and the “speaking Arabic” claim. Perhaps someone with more time on their hands will go through and document everything. I had hoped that there would be circumstance in the context that justified his comment somehow. Now that I see the context, I don’t know what to say in his defense.


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