Archive for the ‘Zola Levitt’ Category

Zola Levitt – Has Anyone Let Him Know? (Answer: Too Late)

July 8, 2010

On June 22, 2010 (according to iTunes), Zola Levitt released a podcast (ZL 338 – Signs of the End 2001: “Now A Christian” with Ergun Caner). You can get the mp3 here (link to mp3). It’s important to realize that these are claims that were apparently recorded back in 2001 before Dr. Caner joined Liberty University. Why are they still being played? Perhaps no one has bothered to tell Zola Levitt about the issue with Dr. Caner’s autobiography.

(UPDATE: As one alert reader noted, it’s a little late – Zola Levitt has gone to his grave. Substitute the name of whoever is running his podcast these days.)

Dr. Caner states:

  1. (1:25) “We came to America in 1978”
  2. (1:29) “Exposed to Christianity for the first time here in America.”
  3. (2:00) “Everything that I had been taught about Christianity and about Christians specifically, just didn’t bear out when we came to America. We were taught that you hated us. And coming to America – perhaps in Europe it is a little bit different – it certainly was for me – but coming to America they weren’t hateful, they were loving.”
  4. (2:27) “I had lived in fear of the scales for so long, you know the Injeel on both shoulders, writing down the good and the bad … “
  5. (2:48) “I was disowned in 1982 – disowned by my father.” Zola: “Really? Formally?” Caner: “Oh, Yes yes – just like in the Jewish faith – where there’s a funeral service.”
  6. (8:35) “As a young man, I was in the Islamic Youth Jihad – as was my brother – both of my brothers. We were in youth groups that were taught these verses of the Hadith.”
  7. (9:07) “Hadith 9:50 says ‘no one can be killed for killing an infidel’ Hadith 9:57 says ‘if a man changes his Islamic religion, kill him.’ That’s not ambiguous.”
  8. (22:41) “Fine, you don’t like what I say, you don’t like what I say about Mohamed, you don’t like the fact that I speak in Arabic and translate the Qur’an for you — you know – one of their lines is, ‘oh, you don’t know – you’re just speaking in English.’ Well, fine. Bring me the Arabic Qur’an and I’ll read it with you. And they don’t like that.”

As to (1), we have a sworn affidavit from Dr. Caner’s mother which seems to demonstrate that Dr. Caner was in the United States prior to 1978 (link to affidavit).

As to (2), if Caner came to America at age 3, how much Christianity could he have been meaningfully exposed to before he came. Combined with (1), it’s hard to see how (2) could not be misleading if what Dr. Caner’s mother swears is true, is in fact true.

As to (3), see above about (1) and (2). If Caner came at age 3, how is statement (3) not misleading?

As to (4), Injeel is not the Arabic word for “angel” it is the Arabic word for “Gospel.” It’s possible he was just nervous, but this is not the only time that Dr. Caner made that error. Here’s another example. When this example was brought to my attention, I basically just wrote it off – I even tried to defend Dr. Caner about it (see my attempted defense hereand here). Now that I’ve seen a second example, I think it just goes to show that Dr. Caner isn’t that familiar with Arabic.

As to (5), I question whether Dr. Caner’s father held a fake funeral service for him – but I lack any proof that Dr. Caner’s father did not do that. Perhaps Dr. Caner is telling the truth about this. Perhaps someone who knew the Caners can confirm this?

As to (6), check out the context of the “Islamic Youth Jihad” statement – does it convey the idea that the boys were trained as terrorists? or does it convey some other meaning?

As to (7), while there may not be any one “official” way to cite the hadith, this particular citation format leaves out the name of the collection making these citations similar to the citation “Bible 10:3.” (see more discussion here)

As to (8), it’s possible that Dr. Caner can sound out the Qur’an phonetically in Arabic, but it’s hard to believe his claim to be able to translate it, particularly in view of item (4). It’s also unclear how Dr. Geisler can claim, as he has, “He only claims to be able to speak Arabic the way most non-Arabic Muslims do. Although he was raised in Sweden by a Swedish mother, Ergun learned enough Arabic (as most Muslims do) to read the Qur’an and speak it in prayer.”

I should note that “raised in Sweden” is kind of a strange description if Dr. Caner actually came to America in 1969 at age 3. That would make it sound more like he was raised in America. But, it is not completely clear whether Dr. Geisler has endorsed the 1969 date.


I’m not sure why Zola Levitt is still using this show as a re-run. Perhaps no one has mentioned the Ergun Caner situation to him, or perhaps he really believes that the statements above are all true, justifiable, or excusable.


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