ErgunCaner.com and National Conference On Christian Apologetics – October 2013

National Conference On Christian Apologetics had sessions that were apparently recorded on October 11, 2013, in Charlotte NC (link to page).  Ergun Caner had two sessions respectively titled “Jihad Me At Hello,” and “The Allah-leuia Movement.”

Apolo13-88 – Ergun Caner – Jihad Me At Hello

2:40 “I will tell the pastors, ‘I can do one of two things: I can speak to Christians about Islam, or I can speak to Muslims about Christ, but I can’t do both at the same time.’ It becomes too combustible.”

I am not aware of any recorded cases of Caner speaking to Muslims about Christ.  But why would it be combustible to do both things at once?  That’s the very essence of what apologists do in a debate – speak to both groups at the same time.

6:15 “I had not seen my father in 17 years.”

That suggests he was disowned by his father in 1982 (which is 1999 – 17).  This is the same information found on April 26, 2014, on his website (link):

QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FATHER?
ANSWER:
I did not see our father for seventeen years after my conversion. In 1999, I got word that my father was dying, and the three brothers decided that we would try and see him. We all flew in, and after some time, I got to see him. He died three days later. He died a devout Muslim.

As noted above, that would imply a conversion in 1982 when Caner was 15 (or 16, if it was the end of the year in 1982).

This is a suitable place to address the next item on that same web page:

QUESTION:  WHY DO SO MANY FORMER MUSLIMS WRITE UNDER FALSE NAMES? WHY DON’T YOU?
ANSWER:
Most former Muslims live in fear for their lives because of threats (see the first question above). Thus, those who would ever dare speak or write publicly usually take pseudonyms. Emir and I chose not to use fake names. We are proud of who we are as former Muslims and now Christians. Every book we have written has been under our real names.

Actually, though, Ergun wrote under the name “Ergun Mehmet Caner” instead of his real name of “Ergun Michael Caner.”

7:30 “In August of 1999, I was in Aurora, CO, the last church I pastored, before I started teaching full time. I was finishing up my PhD and that church, Central Baptist Church, allowed me to be gone a good portion of the time to-for my study.”

Technically, that would be a D. Theol., not a PhD, although as Caner’s website (same one as above) says:

DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY
From: University of South Africa
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Year: 2001
Thesis: Bellum Justum vs. Bellum Sacrum. I examined the apolgetics of the “Holy War” and “Just War positions in Church History, and the ethical considerations.
NOTES: I get asked often about UNISA (the abbreviation for University of South Africa), because it is a British-system University. The Th.D. at UNISA is the equivalent to the Ph.D., according to the World Education Service (WES). The requirements are the same. Many people attend this school by distance, but I chose to travel there for a series of intensives. Frankly, I loved my experience at UNISA. It was inexpensive, and my promoter (like a mentor) was a great man. I lived in a region called Brooklyn, and truly loved their culture. The university is massive, and the library is amazing. The Pauw Building houses all the Theology faculty, for both the Ph.D. and the Th.D. programs. The British system of post-graduate work is focused on the dissertation, and is called a “thesis.”  Quite a few professors in the United States have been graduated from UNISA, and around the world.

Notice that Caner claims he “chose to travel there for a series of intensives.”  I’m not sure what exactly he means by that.  I should note that 2001 is a couple years after 1999.  There is something odd about that 2001 date, though – beyond the claim about finishing up in 1999.  You may recall that some years ago the first page of Dr. Caner’s thesis was posted (link to post):

It may be hard to see from the above, but the date on that thesis was 2003.  At the time, I thought perhaps the thesis had been published later as a book, as is sometimes done.  However, upon further research, it turns out that the University of South Africa considers him a 2003 graduate (link).  The university’s entry for him states:

Dr Ergun Michael Caner
2003
DTH (Systematic Theology)

That makes the “finishing up” in 1999 claim even more odd – as well as raising a question mark as to why Caner would have the 2001 date on his website.

7:55 “My grandmother got saved at the age of 92.”

I have no idea when she actually got saved.  Caner has used a number of different ages.

8:50 “When we walk in, the ulima, the scholars, are standing around my father’s bed.”

Really?  What ulima were in Ohio in 1999?  This is reminiscent of Caner’s previous even more grandiose claims about his father’s death (link), which included “surrounded by muezzins and mullahs and caliphats, and imams”.

42:45 “I’m not Persian, I’m not Arab, I’m a Turk, I’m Anatolian.”

He makes a similar claim on his website:

As far as we can tell, those who question our conversion do so for the following reasons:

2. Because we are Turks, and Turks are Anatolian, not Arab or Persian. In history, these three major groups from our region of the world have not gotten along. We were raised speaking Turkish. 

a) Really?  Raised speaking Turkish?  Why couldn’t Caner speak Turkish to the Turkish newspaper that interviewed him? (link to evidence)
b) Maybe the real reason people question it is because of the glaring mistakes about Islamic beliefs and the false statements about your immigration and conversion/pre-conversion experiences? Maybe those “factual statements that are self-contradictory” are the reason people question it.

Apolo13-05 – Ergun Caner – The Allah-leuia Movement

12:50 “He’s from Possum Kill, NC, outside of Smithfield.”

I’ve looked at a map of North Carolina, and specifically in the area all around Smithfield.  No place called “Possum Kill” was found.

19:25 “That’s me in maşallah – I’m not Persian and I’m not Arab, I’m Turk. This is our rite of passage.”

The image he’s apparently pointing to may have been from a rite of passage, but the term “maşallah / masha’Allah (Mā šāʾ Allāh)” literally means “Allah has willed it” and idiomatically refers to something good happening.

37:10 “In Surah 61, Jesus says ‘I must go so that I will send a Parakletos, that’s Mohammed, Ma-ha-mood.’ He was prophesying the coming of Mohamed.”

That’s not a particularly accurate paraphrase.  Instead, Caner is conflating the text of Surah 61 and the way that some Muslim apologists attempt to draw a connection to John’s gospel.

Surah 61:6 says (in the Sahih International translation):

And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”

In the Yusuf Ali translation:

And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.” But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, “this is evident sorcery!”

A more complete discussion can be found here (link).

-TurretinFan

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One Response to “ErgunCaner.com and National Conference On Christian Apologetics – October 2013”

  1. Khaled Says:

    Perhaps he said “masallah” which is a place where Salaat is performed (prayer). While “Maa Shaa' Allah” has two long vowels instead of two short vowels and has the letter “Sheen” (sh sound) as opposed to the letter “Saad” (sounds like the S in the word “Saw” as opposed to the word “seen”)

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