Archive for the ‘John Ankerburg’ Category

Caners on the John Ankerberg Show – Part 3

March 3, 2013

Life of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad” is a third episode of the Caners on the John Ankerberg Show in 2013.

The intro has the same line about growing up in Columbus and having a mosque-building father (which has already been discussed here).  Ankerberg says that “their family disowned them,” (1:44) which we could ask Ankerberg to justify – the justification would seem to be that their non-custodial father disowned them.

Ergun seems to insist that that Shahada says that Mohammed is “his final seal of the prophets” or “the final prophet.”  While that is doubtless the Sunni view of Mohammed, the literal translation of portion of the Shahada about Mohammed is just “… Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.”

One important point that is presented is the fact that Mohammed is described in the Koran as being an example for Muslims:

Surah 33:21 Ye have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah. (YUS)

However, if one attempts to have as many wives as Mohammed, one will run smack into the limitation of four wives that is present in Islam.  Likewise, if one attempts to prevent ones widows from marrying, one will run afoul of Islamic law.

Ergun raises the idea (around 5:30 into the clip) that Mohammed says in the Hadith that “he” was spiritually married to Mary.  The apparent source for this is the following, as taken from the Caners’ book, “Unveiling Islam”:

“Oh Khadija, know that God has wedded me to Mary, Christ’s mother in paradise.” HE repeated this to Aiysha, “Oh Aiysha [sic], didn’t you know that God Almighty in heaven has wedded me to Mary, the daughter of Imran, to Kulthum, Moses’ sister and to Assiya, wife of the Pharoh.”7

7. Related by Abu Umama in later ahadith.

(pp. 136 and 141, “[sic]” is in the book – note that the book is not necessarily the Caners’ own writing – the chapters are allegedly written by various women)

I tried to track down a better citation for this alleged narration.  I found an article by Salman Hassan Jabbar, dated to 1994, which states:

Also worth mentioning in this connection is that Muhammad will have the lion’s share of all the good things in paradise for surely he was singled out for favor by God by virtue of his flight into the seven heavens (Al Isra’a wal Mi’raj incident) It was there too that he received from God’s hand all the teachings which he transmitted to his followers. When he returned to earth from that trip he was unable to hide the fact from his first wife, Khadija – the eldest. He told her as she lay dying: “Oh Khadija, know that God has wedded me to Mary, Christ’s mother in paradise.” He repeated this story to his favorite wife, Aiysha, after the Hejira, saying:” Oh Aiysha, didn’t you know that God Almighty in heaven wedded me to Mary the daughter of Imran, to Kulthum, Moses’ sister and to Assiya, wife of the Pharaoh”. (related by Abu Umama)

Abu Umama was one of the companions (sahaba) of Mohammad.  That said, I was not able to verify this supposed hadith from either Bukhari’s collection of hadith or Muslim’s collection of hadith.

With a little more digging, I found an interesting response from Rasheed Gonzales (link to response) to use of this narration.  In relevant part, Rasheed writes:

Let us now take a look at what Ibn Kathîr said in his exegesis of the above mentioned verse (66:5) in his Tafsîr al-Qur’ân al-‘Adhîm. Ibn Kathîr mentions,
In his al-Mu’jam al-Kabîr, Abul-Qâsim atTabarânî said,
Abū Bakr bin Sadaqah narrated to us: Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Marzūq narrated to us: ‘Abdullah bin Umayyah narrated to us: ‘Abdul-Quddūs narrated to us from Sâlih bin Hayyân, from Ibn Buraidah, from his father: [concerning] «widows and virgins» (66:5), [who] said, “In this verse, Allah promised His prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, that He would marry him to the widow: Âsiyah, wife of Pharaoh, and with the virgins: Mary bint ‘Imrân.”
In his biography of Mary, peace be upon her, Hâfidh Ibn ‘Asâkir mentioned from the route of Suwaid bin Sa’îd: Muhammad bin Sâlih bin ‘Umar narrated to us from adDahhâk and Mujâhid, from Ibn ‘Umar, he said,
Gabriel came to Allah’s messenger, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, at the death of Khadîjah and said, “Surely, Allah greets her with peace and gives glad tidings of a house of pearls in Paradise, distant from the fire, containing no hardship, nor noise, of hollow pearls between Mary bint ‘Imrân’s house and Âsiyah bint Muzâhim’s house.”
And from the hadîth of Abî Bakr al-Hudhalî, from ‘Ikrimah, from Ibn ‘Abbâs that the Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, entered upon Khadîjah while she was dying and said, «O Khadîjah, if you meet your co-wives, then greet them with peace from me.» She said, “O Allah’s messenger, have you married before me?” He said, «No, but Allah will marry me to Mary bint ‘Imrân, Âsiyah wife of Pharaoh, and Kulthum sister of Moses.» [It is] weak also.
Abū Ya’lâ said,
Ibrâhîm bin ‘Ar’arah narrated to us: ‘Abdun-Nūr bin ‘Abdillah narrated to us: Yūnus bin Shu’aib narrated to us from Abî Umâmah, he said, ‘Allah’s messenger, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, said, «I have learned that Allah married me in Paradise to Mary bint ‘Imrân, Kulthum sister of Moses, and Âsiyah wife of Pharaoh.» So I said: [be it] a pleasure for you, O Allah’s messenger!’

(see the remainder of Rasheed’s post, for the argument from this quotation, but the gist of the argument is that the chain of narration is weak, and it is possible that this hadith is actually ancient Christian propaganda, designed to make Muslims appear [even more?] despicable to Christians.)

Amusing Quotation
At around 8:15 into the clip, Ergun provides an amusing soundbite, “Fine, I don’t like half the Christians I know.” His point was that it is not Christians who are the reason for us to be Christians, it is Christ.  That point is valid and good, even though the statement itself is itself a little amusing and somewhat sad, given our experience with him.


Caners on the John Ankerberg Show – Part 2

February 24, 2013

I’m not sure whether John Ankerberg plans to archive these videos on the web, as it appears that the plan is to offer these videos on DVD in exchange for a “gift” of $39 (link to page where video can be seen).  Thus, it makes sense to discuss these videos in series as they come out.

The intro has the same line about growing up in Columbus and having a mosque-building father (which has already been discussed here).  Numerous times in this section John Ankerberg asks the Caners to describe their own experience.  In most cases, the Caners deflect back to general statements about Muslims.

Around 6:40 into the clip, Emir suggests that knowing God loved him, rather than simply his deeds, was a breakthrough for him. 

Around 7 minutes in, Emir suggests that the tension between Justice and Mercy was one of the reasons for his move from Islam to Christianity.

Around 17:15 into the clip, Ergun discusses Clarence Miller posing the liar, lunatic, Lord trilemma to him (without the liar branch, naturally, since Ergun was claiming that he respected Jesus).

There’s not much else to say about this episode, so I’ll desist here.


Caners on the John Ankerberg Show – Part 1

February 12, 2013

I’m not sure whether John Ankerberg plans to archive these videos on the web, as it appears that the plan is to offer these videos on DVD in exchange for a “gift” of $39 (link to page where video can be seen).  Thus, it makes sense to discuss these videos in series as they come out.

The first episode (February 10, 2013) has very limited biographical data about the Caners. Their pre-conversion biography is merely described by John Ankerberg in the following words (within the first minute of the segment): “my guests today are two former Sunni Muslims, who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where their father built mosques. When they made their decision to leave Islam and convert to Christianity, their father disowned them.” Ankerberg also states that the Caners are “brilliant in knowing what the Quran says because they came out of that,” which may be a little optimistic, although I’m sure the Caners know significantly more than typical American Christians know, regardless of how they came by that knowledge.

Regarding the very limited biographical claims, I’m not sure whether there is any evidence that their father “built mosques” aside from Ergun Caner’s statements (see this earlier comment regarding Acar Caner). He apparently was some kind of an engineer.

Hadith Citation
I was pleased to see that the Hadith was cited more properly than we’ve seen many times in the past (see here).

Regarding the substance, I’m sure there are Muslims who are in a better position than I am to critique the Caners’ comments regarding Sharia law and to confirm or deny the Caners’ claims.  I hope that they will try to address those parts of the video, rather than focusing on Ergun Caner’s past autobiographical claims, which .

I am unsure, for example, whether the divisions dar al-Islam and dar al-harb are properly divisions of people.  The primary sense of those divisions is, I think, one of territory – geographical regions.  Nevertheless, I welcome any comments pro or con the analysis of the substance of the Caners’ comments.

Likewise, I think there are Muslims who would question the assertion that there are any Muslim countries that actually implement Sharia, although the Caners suggest that the number of such countries is around three dozen.

– TurretinFan

Ergun Caner in Others’ Books

February 12, 2011

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.


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?


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