While Emir Caner seems to have had the sense to remove his offensive and dishonest blog post (oops, it’s back!), Ergun Caner’s latest post on his website shows the kind of redefinition and dishonesty that seems to be indigenous to Arminians. It seems that not a single Arminian church leader, author or seminary president can refrain from sleight of hand or simple dishonesty when discussing matters of Calvinistic doctrine. Whether in their sermons, where they redefine historically defined terms such as “hyper-Calvinism” to their own liking, debates, where they ignore the actual position of their opponents and build strawmen of the corpse of Servetus, or in discussion where they unfailingly will fall victim to Godwin’s Law.
Today, again, Ergun Caner proves that he is no different from the rest. (Even Dave Hunt had the veracity to have his ignorance displayed on the pages of a book.) When not redefining historic terms, Ergun Caner is rewriting history, conspicuously leaving out specific facts to make his position seem better. Yes, it is true that “James White found the rules imposed by the moderator, Brett O’Donnell, to be unacceptable…”, but Ergun leaves out the fact that this was only after Mr. “talk-as-fast-as-you-can-to-win-a-debate” O’Donnell unilaterally changed the agreed upon format and demanded sole rights to the debate recordings.
Someone needs to remind Ergun Caner that LYING BY OMISSION IS STILL LYING.
Next Mr. Caner mentions “Johnny” Hunt’s nomination to presidency of the SBC. He goes on to mention how the “Baptists are Calvinists” websites started blistering him”… (play violins here.) Well the fact of the matter is that Dr. Hunt had recently preached a “sermon” wherein he misrepresented Calvinism similarly to Caner’s own sermons at the Thomas Rd. Baptist Church. Again, can these men accurately represent their “brother” and “sister” Baptists in Christ, or are they incapable of telling the truth?
Consider this little gem of disinformation: To the question, “Q: ALL OF THIS SEEMS SO MEAN SPIRITED. WHY HAVE YOU RESPONDED?” Caner responds “Because the manner in which Dr White has thrown statements and accusations around unanswered. He calls Dr. Geisler an “Arminian,” even though he is a moderate Calvinist.”
While Mr. Geisler single-handedly DEFINED the word “moderate-Calvinist”, it really means “a position identical to that of “Arminians” and has no historical weight or value. If Caner thinks Geisler is a “moderate-Calvinist”, what was Calvin? Spurgeon? John MacArthur!!??
Caner then posits the following question, “Q: HOW DO YOU DEFINE HYPER CALVINIST?” Caner responds to his faux questioner:
“If a person holds to reprobation, this is a clear sign. If anyone believes that God has created souls damned to hell, and predestined them to hell, then they would be a poster child for Hyper Calvinism.”
Of course asking a subjective question like this is akin to asking Bill Clinton “how do you define sex”, but apart from that Caner’s answer shows that he hasn’t an ounce of integrity in him. If he bothered to pick up a theological dictionary he’d fine the real definition for the word and stop this asinine game… even wikipedia (for once) gets this right. Why is it such a challenge for Ergun Caner, and others, to accurately define words and the positions they’re arguing against? Because, that would mean they would expose the underlying inconsistencies and downright unbiblical aspects of their belief systems to scrutiny.
Caner goes on:
“A second point would be the issue of infant damnation. Drs. Akin and Mohler have been explicit on the fact that if an infant dies, they go to heaven. Dr. White does not believe it is that “simple.” If anyone believes that there is even the possibility of an infant (”non-elect”) going to hell, that would be clear hyper Calvinism. Since they do not like that term, I have also offered neo-Calvinist. Apparently that isn’t acceptable either.”
As I’ve shown in my own blog postings, this issue is one in which many Calvinists disagree. Regardless of one’s position on this topic, it in no way has anything to do with the definition of “hyper-Calvinism”. In fact, even while disagreeing on this topic, said Calvinists can still remain in fellowship, whereas we separate from those who are true hyper-calvinists. None of this stops Caner from posting it though; he goes right on redefining historic terms.
As to Mohler’s position on the topic, I believe I have shown it to be quite Pelagian in this one aspect. I also challenge Ergun Caner or any other person who sympathizes with his position on universal infant salvation to read my posts here and at calvinistgadfly.com and respond Biblically.
“Those who fit in that category usually define “hyper Calvinist” in terms of an ethic – they say that since we cannot know the fixed number, we tell everyone. They call it a “well-intentioned offer.” That is simply poor logic.”
Get a grip, Ergun. You’re the president of a seminary. Doesn’t your library have a theological dictionary, or a least one history book? Surely you should know that a hyper-Calvinist is one who denies a “well-intentioned offer”. This is simply inexcusable and would be laughable if not coming from a seminary president. I expect such misrepresentation from Internet pseudo-apologists and adolescent bloggers, but one would hope that the president of Liberty Seminary would be able to accurately define such terms.
Q: HOW DO YOU SPELL “ARMINIAN?”
A: (Laughs) Well, the short answer is “poorly!” Any student of mine knows that I despise Microsoft Word, with its automatic respellings. It may have been a “Word” issue, but I am not above misspelling the word myself! If I did misspell the word, I take full responsibility. I appreciate all attempts to correct my poor spelling, as long as those who do, do not mind my correcting their poor theology!
Next Caner addresses his usage of “Armenian” rather than “Arminian” in recent posts. Rather than accepting the fact that he neither understands the term, knows the historical position of said position, let alone knows how it is spelled and allowing himself to be corrected, he blames Microsoft. Yes, MICROSOFT. [ht: bluewoad, MS Word does not have Armenian as an autocorrect for Arminian. Thus, Caner has lied again.] You’d think the president of a seminary would take the time to proof read material before publishing it for public consumption… you’d think. But the fact of the matter is that, as shown so clearly in his sermons and posts, Caner doesn’t know what an Arminian is (and he is one), much less an Armenian!
As to “correcting their poor theology”, how has he ever done this except by misrepresentation and dishonesty? Caner cannot even get the facts right in this blog post, much less in a sermon. If you want to “correct” someone’s theology, Mr. Caner, be man enough to debate someone fairly rather than barking from your bully pulpit.
Next Caner identifies his wrongly citing John Gill (heh, now if you want to really talk about hyper-Calvinism…). Caner then again repaints history with his broad “Anabaptist” brush:
“Gill was a Baptist, and pastored the same church as Spurgeon. I should have cited the legion of others who in fact did persecute us – Cotton Mather rejoiced at the firing of Henry Dunster from Harvard when he denied infant baptism”
This doesn’t really address the depth of the error. Caner didn’t even know these facts about Baptist history until after someone pointed it out to him! And as to Henry Dunster’s firing from Harvard, one has to remember that Harvard used to be a conservative Presbyterian school. Would Caner fire someone from Liberty for accepting Open Theism (assuming he knew what the term meant!)? These red herrings have nothing to do with the real issue, which is that Baptists do have history as Calvinistic.
The arrogance of their posts, however, had to be answered. A casual reading of their writings would force one to think that the entire Christian world is Calvinist! Yet such luminaries as Billy Sunday, Jerry Vines, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, Norman Geisler, Gary Habermas, Charles Stanley, the entire Charismatic movement, Methodists, and general atonement Baptists are overlooked. Anyone who studies Church History would know that the Reformed movement is an important one, but a small portion of Christianity on the whole.
Does Caner really think that these men and movements, some good, some terrible are more central to Baptist history than the Protestant Reformation? Is Caner truly this ignorant? Is the Charismatic movement really more important to Christianity than the Protestant Reformation? My goodness, Martin Luther is rolling over in his grave. If it weren’t for the Protestant Reformation Caner would still be worshiping Mohammed.
Caner then redefines his own positions:
Q: DIDN’T YOU SAY THAT CALVINISTS ARE WORSE THAN MUSLIMS?
A: Yes, absolutely. For a small portion of these people, just daring to question the Bezian movement is heresy.
The context of that quote was in regards to Calvinist beliefs, not their declaration of what is and isn’t heresy. Here Caner is simply lying. If anyone bothers listening to Caner’s sermon wherein this claim was made, he was accusing Calvinists of heretical error.
“There are plenty of schools to which the neo-Calvinists can go, but Liberty will be a lighthouse for missions and evangelism to the “whosoever wills.” Period.”
You Calvinists at Liberty take note, Ergun Caner has declared you persona-non-grata at Liberty. The truth that the Reformers fought and died for, that our Baptist forefathers endured hardship over and that today’s apologists are lambasted for has been declared off-limits for you at Liberty. It seems that Caner’s “whosoever wills to be ignorant” is what plays in today’s seminaries… it is a short step from this kind of revisionism, dishonesty and luke-warm attitude toward the truth of Scripture that has most seminaries and churches turning to liberalism, post-modernism and forsaking Christ.
Regardless of whether you’re a Calvinist or not, the kind of dishonesty that the Caners, O’Donnell and Liberty Seminary have shown during this entire debacle must be exposed and opposed. Men like this have no right to the claim of seminary president, much less pastors or teachers in the church of our Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ.