"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

If Celebrity Were Integrity the Southern Baptist Convention Would Be Morally Blameless: Why the SBC Can Be Faulted for Ergun Caner's Rise and Demise

The Southern Baptist Convention began turning into a pantheon of celebrities and iconic heroes in 1979. Under the banner of "Battle for the Bible," we allowed ourselves to be duped into believing that caustic communicators charging other Christians with heresy were somehow courageous. We began to value the spoken anecdote more than the spoken Word. We decided we'd rather applaud a pastor calling other Christians "skunks" than a prophet calling us to personal brokenness and repentance. The Southern Baptist Convention changed in 1979.

We began to value celebrity more than we did integrity.

For this reason, we barely blinked when told SBC leaders had given a pass to various sexual predators. We kept quiet about the credible whispers that an SBC power broker desired the company of young males more than he did the Holy Spirit. We lauded those who could mesmorize an audience with their stories and putdowns, and stopped paying attention to our missionaries who were on the field actually giving their lives for the cause of Christ. We acted this way because ...

We turned celebrity into integrity and reaped the rewards.

Enter Ergun Caner. By all accounts Ergun Caner is a personable, likeable, and friendly person. He was a Southern Baptist pastor in Colorado prior to 9/11 who went by the name Michael Caner. But shortly after the terrorist attacks in New York City , Michael Caner became Ergun Caner, the Istanbul born, jihadist trained, Arabic speaking terrorist who converted to Christianity after years of being trained to do what the terrorists did to us on 9/11. No doubt Caner had a Muslim father and was taught Islam by his dad, but the lies Ergun began to tell at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, and others in our massive Southern Baptist churches in the days after 9/11 created the dilemma that resulted in Caner's removal as President of Liberty Seminary this week. Sure Ergun Caner profited from his lies, both in speaking fees and books. But Ergun Caner is not all to blame. The climate that we began to create in 1979 is also to blame. We bought his books because ...

Celebrity became integrity in the Southern Baptist Convention 30 years ago.

Southern Baptists applauded Caner when he told his embellished story. We oohed and ahhed as he spoke jibberish claiming it was Arabic. We were mesmerized by his jihadist story telling because we stopped seeing the exposition of the Scriptures as the role of our preachers and pastors and vaulted homilies full of anecdotes above the infallible Word of God. I am hopeful that in the Internet age, things are now changing in the SBC.

Now, for some closing thoughts on the "official" report of Liberty's investigation.

(1). "Dr. Caner has made factual statements that are self-contradictory."

The attorney who wordsmithed the above sentence is worth every dollar Liberty paid him. The committee is saying, in obfuscated English, that Ergun Caner lied. It just sounds better to say he made "factual statements that are self-contradictory.' Notice, it is impossible to make  "truthful statements" that are self-contradictory, for truth doesn't contradict. One can say "I'm making a statement of fact (i.e. "a factual statement")" and lie while making it. That's what Ergun Caner did. So, Ergun Caner lied about his past.

(2). Dr. Caner is listed as "President' of Liberty Seminary on the official biographical sites, but no longer.

The committee publicly stated "his contract" as "Dean" will not be renewed. Again, the attorneys involved are so soft-pedaling the decision of Liberty they could be McDonald's ice cream salesmen. Ergun Caner is President of Liberty--but no longer will be.  Ergun Caner has been removed as President of Liberty Seminary. The committee chose to soft-pedal the decision when announcing it.

(3). Dr. Caner will continue as a professor at Liberty.

According to the sources who have emailed me, this was purely the desire of Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.

(4). Dr. Caner's embellishments have placed him in an awkward position.

I believe he can continue in ministry, particularly teaching and speaking, but two things will have to occur. First, he will need to speak to set the record straight once and for all. This will include acknowledging he embellished to make his life more interesting and to make his status as an expert on Islam more believable. And second, he will have to relearn how to preach. It can no longer be story after story, putdown after putdown--he will actually need to exposit and exegete the Word of God. Were both things to occur, I would be thrilled to have him preach at Emmanuel.

(5). The Southern Baptist Convention is rediscovering our past as a populist Convention.

It is quite interesting to me that Southern Baptist bloggers took the lead in exposing the lies of Ergun Caner. In the beginning, those bloggers were ignored. Only when a few of the national media started paying attention did Liberty take notice. I think the day has arrived when Southern Baptists truly have the voice they lost over the past few decades. No longer will this Convention be run by a few. The smallest voice can be heard if truth is being spoken.

Just maybe celebrity is being seen for what it is in the SBC -- nothing.

And maybe integrity is making a comeback in our beloved Convention.

In His Grace,



Thy Peace said...

The origins of Ergun Caner as an entertainer are found in these series of posts by Tom Chantry. I understand "alter calls" are lot of times emotionally laden for people to reject and some times accept. These series are worth reading at least to the why's and how's of Ergun Caner persona in the pulpit.

CRBC Pastoral Blog [Tom Chantry] > Encountering Charles Finney

CRBC Pastoral Blog [Tom Chantry] > Charles Finney’s Stepchildren

CRBC Pastoral Blog [Tom Chantry] > …and Finney begat Caner…

It has been my theme from the start that Caner's failings are the failings of the whole church and that every Christian must shoulder a portion of the blame. I do not mean that Caner himself is either innocent or justified; he is neither. However, his particular failings are not unique. They should have been anticipated. They are not only likely; they are in fact unavoidable in the twisted culture of evangelism in which the church currently languishes.

Ergun Caner has certainly manipulated American fear in a way that has made him a Christian superstar. He has certainly made a mockery of the gospel by turning the pulpit into a comedy stage. He has certainly been defended by many who believe that his results justify any methods at all. To hold out hope that his often-told life story is anything other than a self-serving lie is to stretch magnanimity to the breaking point.

Did the church honestly expect anything different? Have we not made a virtue out of each of these vices? The truth is evident: we cannot embrace Finney without engendering many Caners. That is why while it is true that Caner himself must repent, he is not alone. The church as a whole must repent in dust and ashes before the Lord for the dishonor we have invited upon the name of His Son.

Richard said...


You said re. preaching as exposition of the Bible, not ". . . story after story, putdown after putdown. . ."; but this harranguing type of preaching is what most fundamentalist Baptists have been experiencing since time immemorial and people really like it (especially at Liberty).

Can you recomment to me of a fundamentalist Baptist church that teach and preach exegetically based Bible expository preaching? I don't know of even ONE.

I remember Jack Hyles calling preachers to "let's get back to the old-fashioned, window-rattling, shingle-pulling, barn- storming, Hell-fire and brimstone, Bible preaching; to Christ- honoring, soul-winning, Heaven-populating preaching!"

This is the culture of TRBC that promotes EC. I think it is the same in SBC since 1979.



Wade Burleson said...


Point well taken.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

I have found Chantry's articles articulate and thoughtful. Thanks for the links.

Christiane said...

WADE wrote this:

"I think the day has arrived when Southern Baptists truly have the voice they lost in over the past few decades."

And reading his words, I can only remember this from Acts:

"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
. . . as the Spirit gave them ability."

When Christians find their 'voice', strong winds have come to their aid.

It is written that on the Day of Pentecost, the tongues of fire appeared and the first change noted was that the disciples were able to speak without fear,
and they were able to be understood.

'Veni Creator Spiritus . . .
and Thou shalt renew the face of the Earth' :)

Be peaceful.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - excellent post.

I hope you will indulge me, as I give some posts that I have written about on this topic of celebrity preacher in the SBC. I don't comment often on your blog, but feel the need to share some of my views on this matter of celebrity, and share some links to articles I have written in the past few years on this topic.

It is not just that "celebrity" has replaced "integrity", although it has and we painfully see it in this Caner debacle.

It is broader than that, in my opinion. The desire of us to have these "celebrities" in the SBC causes us to misplace our priorities as lay people, whether the celebrity has integrity or not. We begin to believe that since they are celebrities, they are deserving of large sums of money, they should be living in mansions, traveling on private jets, taking exotic vacations, jobs provided for their family members....we help CREATE them into wealthy celebrities because that is who we want to follow! Their success and fame is partly ours, because he is OUR guy, and we take pride in seeing OUR celebrity out there battling the "devil".

And it is WE, the lay people, who created this problem and allow it to continue. I did write about this last month relative to the Caner scandal and wanted to share my similar thoughts with your readers as well, so I'll play the role of "Thy Peace" here and give a few choice links:

Here is the most recent on regarding celebrity status and Caner:

"SBC: The Caner Scandal is Ours, not Just Ergun's" - May 20, 2010

"Ed Stetzer on Superman Pastors...." - October 20, 2009

"Matt Chandler's SBTS Sermon to Future Pastors" - November 15, 2009

And this one, which was a pointed, hard-hitting analysis of the celebrity status of my former pastor, Mac Brunson at FBC Jax. Very controversial as I reviewed the aspects of the celebrity worship that I found so repulsive.

"Celebrity Preacher-Driven Ministry" - December 23, 2008

B Nettles said...

I disagree with your timeline. The year 1979 was only one of the changes. There were definitely personalities, celebrities, and a party-line mentality prior to that. The party-line was "keep the program going by doing what the Sunday School Board publishes." There was absolutely NO recognition of the Christian world outside of SBC agencies.

Thankfully, some brave and sage adults at my church introduced me (via Training Union) to a Bible church set of literature. Talk about a revelation: the literature out of Nashville had about 1% Biblical background...it was all anecdotes about being nice and talking about friendly Jesus..and the Bible church lit had about 95% Biblical content. It was from this new literature that I learned about grace and the truth of God's word.

Yeah, some of the things that have happened were and still are political, but at least we point to disagreements about what the Bible says and that carries the traction, rather than "are you with the program?"

The SBC looks to issues from a much stronger Biblical basis than it did pre-1979.

Wade Burleson said...

B Nettles,

Maybe, maybe not.

Truthfully, the moderates I've met in the past ten years have displayed more biblical fidelity by letting the Scripture speak to issues than what I've seen from the platform of the SBC in the past twenty years.

I will grant that recently we have had a resurgence of biblically based messages at our Convention (Matt Chandler, David Platt, etc...).

I hope that continues.

Single and Sane said...

"And maybe integrity is making a comeback in our beloved Convention."

I hope so. I've been waiting my entire adult life for that.


Lydia said...

Think about this. Thirty years is almost an entire generation that knows nothing else.

They do not know Priesthood of believer as it is really taught in the Word. They do not know soul competency as one who is soley responsible before the Lord for what they believe and why. (Especially women) They are not taught to be Bereans but to believe their leaders.

They know the Word through the celebrities. One follows Mohler another Patterson. One, Piper, another Caner.

This has become obvious because of the advent of the internet. Lots of talk about and promoting of men and how great they are, very little about Jesus Christ.

WD is right. It is OUR fault. No one can be a celebrity without followers.

Frank (or Chip) said...

While I was struck by the wording of the statement, I think that the bottom line is that there will be a price to be paid for statements that were questionable. I will be praying for Dr. Caner, that his one year contract as a professor will give him time to reflect on his statements and make the necessary corrections in whatever parts of his life need correcting.

Let's give the folks at Liberty credit for seeing a problem and making the required adjustment.

May integrity be contagious!

rosemarie said...

We none of us sin in a vacuum. The sad part of this whole thing is that there had to be several people at the beginning of his rise to celebrity who should have loved him enough to confront him. Why have we let the world define confrontation as a bad thing? It is the most loving thing we can do with a brother or sister in sin and error- speaking the truth in love.

Anonymous said...

Glad you posted this about Liberty and Ergun's situation. I'm just so saddened that all of this happened. Maybe now we as a convention will begin to dismiss the whole popularity contests at state and national levels.

Ray Earley

Anonymous said...

I hate to disappoint you but celebrity-integrity syndrome happened a long time before 1979, and it still continues today even among the young ones. Those who led the CR were not the only ones into hero worship because there was plenty to go around among the moderates/liberals. There is hero worship of the young stars today just like there was in 1979 and before. Its just human nature. What I do consider a little sad are your veiled references and inuendo about leaders of the CR.

Remember we all have feet of clay and no amount of blogging is going to change that. Criswell, Stanley, Rogers and the like were all men just like us so please keep that in context. If you want feet of clay, you have no further to look than Grapevine and Houston Texas.

Why not stop the criticisms and start blogging about something good. After all, we're all on the same team the last time I checked.

Anonymous said...

Isn't preaching with story after story, put down after put down, with little regard for scripture now taught as the modern example of expository preaching that we're all supposed to seek?

Anonymous said...

Isn't preaching with story after story, put down after put down, with little regard for scripture now taught as the modern example of expository preaching that we're all supposed to seek?

Sat Jun 26, 06:08:00 PM 2010

Don't forget the 3 points and one must get at least one good laugh from the audience during the 20 minute timed sermon

Darrell said...

From the top of my voice, I say of the post and the way it was written. well said.


Greg Alford said...


A very good post and I agree with almost everything you have said.

I would only like to add that, in my opinion, the changes we are beginning to see in the SBC are not a result of the “Children of the Conservative Resurgence” becoming more moderate or even “Moderates”. From my perspective, if anything, the Children of the Conservative Resurgence are becoming more Biblical.

The Conservative Resurgence taught their Children that “The Holy Bible... is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author... without any mixture of error... Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy... and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world... the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried...”

The Children of the Conservative Resurgence believed what their fathers taught them... and as a result have rejected both Liberalism, with denies the clear teaching of Scripture, and Fundamentalism, which adds the opinions of man to the clear teaching of Scripture. So it is that we can expect both the Liberal and the Fundamentalist to view the Children of the Conservative Resurgence as becoming more “Moderate” (and from their point of view they are), but in truth they are becoming more “Biblical”.

Grace Always,

Michael said...

Frank (for Chip)

"Let's give the folks at Liberty credit for seeing a problem and making the required adjustment."

Yep, they saw the problem, but called it something else. He self-contradicted, he misspoke. Come on. He lied and they did not have the backbone to call them lies. Now, in a small subtle way, THEY are lying by trying to mislead others to believe it was something less than it was.

It reminds me of the time I asked one of our deacons if he ever heard our pastor lie. He said, "Well, he's been inconsistent." Thanks, deacon for letting me know that you do not have the backbone to call sin, sin.

The result, the pastor continued to lie and lie and lie, because of leadership's unwillingness to call him on it.

And how about requiring Caner to make a public statement of confession and show repentance if you're going to let him keep his job?

There's plenty of grace and forgiveness to go around, so don't get me wrong. But that comes after we, "confess our sins," not have some institution water down what we've done while we remain silent.

Anonymous said...

"I would only like to add that, in my opinion, the changes we are beginning to see in the SBC are not a result of the “Children of the Conservative Resurgence” becoming more moderate or even “Moderates”. From my perspective, if anything, the Children of the Conservative Resurgence are becoming more Biblical."

How do you see this?

Greg Alford said...


They are rejecting “Fundamentalism”... that, in my opinion, is becoming more Biblical.

Grace Always,

Frank (or Chip) said...


Having worked for a large organization that declared itself to be Christian, my expectation of truthfulness has gone down, considerably. In THAT organization, someone who made factual self contradictory statements would possibly have been promoted.

As far as I know, Liberty is not accountable to the SBC and I am just glad that there has been a response, at all.

Tom Chantry said...


As a non-Southern Baptist who spent five years in an SBC church I will say this - the convention has many men who are full of integrity and unconcerned with celebrity. No one will ever hear of most of them because they are doing often back-breaking labor in tiny congregations in places where church growth may never happen. But they love Jesus, love the church, and love the lost. They are the salt of the earth. Whenever I hear of conflict and political ugliness in the SBC I remember the men I knew, and I am certain that there are many others like them, and I remind myself that God is still at work in the Convention. Sometimes it is not the glamorous generals who carry on the real work of a denomination, but the unsung heroes in the trenches. So do not despair of integrity. It's been there all along.

Christiane said...

Thank you, GREG ALFORD.

that was me, L's, asking

I am pleased.
From what I understand, 'fundamentalism' is a fairly recent phenomenon on the Christian time-line, if you take into consideration the events of two millenia.

So abandonment of something that, in its most extreme form, is a brutal instrument used negatively in all religions,
is a sign of returning to a more 'Biblical' Christianity (I call it an apostolic Christianity).

My son, Joel, was reading some of the fundamentalists' comments on a Southern Baptist blog when he was on leave from the military,
and he said,
'Mom, these people hate each other.'

I explained to my son that a lot of those comments were not intended to convey hatred. He disagreed.

Thanks for responding.

Christiane said...


"Sometimes it is not the glamorous generals who carry on the real work of a denomination"

There was once a general in the Bible in the Book of Judges who refused to go into battle unless the mighty Deborah agreed to lead his army.

She did.


I like the name: 'Deborah' more and more these days.

Anonymous said...

Wade, excellent post but about 30 years too late. This is what many of us have known and grieved over as many have left since 1979. Still, the truth is the truth. Sadly, noot all of us can speak it "out loud" yet and continue to serve. Maybe one day. Keep it going.


Amanda said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but what happened in 1979?

Thy Peace said...

This is what happened in 1979:

Wiki > Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence

Darrell said...

Greg Alford


Darrell said...

For Greg Alford,

my previous post was about your post that said " They are rejecting “Fundamentalism”... that, in my opinion, is becoming more Biblical."


Wade Burleson said...


Sign your name and leave off other names and your comments will not be deleted.

Sir Brass said...

"It is quite interesting to me that Southern Baptist bloggers took the lead in exposing the lies of Ergun Caner. In the beginning, those bloggers were ignored. Only when a few of the national media started paying attention did Liberty take notice."

Unfortunately, sir, they did not. Granted, they did join in, but this was first brought to the forefront by a bold Reformed Baptist (who has not been part of the SBC for about 20+ years). In addition, Tom Chantry who also did a wonderful exposition is not part of the SBC. Yes certain SBC bloggers did bring this to the front but OTHER SBC bloggers spent MUCH time insulting, attacking, and outright LYING against these men in order to defend Ergun Caner.

I only say this because after all the dishonesty and offensive insults being hurled at him because he took a leading stand for the truth here, Dr. White deserves some credit for blowing the whistle, and the SBC owes him and other reformed men who took a leading stand here a quiet, humble 'thank you.' I also say this because I know that Dr. White himself would not ask for this, but it is still deserved anyway, especially after all the attacks he has endured by those who call themselves Christians, in order to continue standing for the truth in this matter.

Grace and peace,

fishformen said...


In the issue of Integrity, I knew Ergun all the way back at SEBTS as Ergun, or more affectionatly,"Butch". Some folks could not pronounce many foriegn names and students adopted names easier for the southern tounge. (Elijah, Eddie, T...). Just thought, for the sake of integrity, you might consider this small point. Oh, yes, I remember, it was Michael Ergun Caner who helped all those folks duting the days of the Columbine school shootings. Just saying for integrity's sake.

Wade Burleson said...


You, sir, are the one lacking integrity. You mention another person, anonymously, without any repurcussions for your cowardice. Have you ever thought that the person could be someone else?

Please refrain from commenting further.

Wade Burleson said...

Sir Brass,

Nobody in the SBC paid any attention to those outside the SBC.

RazorsKiss said...

With all due respect, Pastor Burleson, yes they did - to libel them. Granted, they libeled the SBC critics almost as often, but not nearly as often as they did Dr. White.

I have a long list of posts to demonstrate it, if you'd like ;)

Wade Burleson said...


I probably am not communicating well. I don't mean to imply by "paid no attention" that they weren't aware or unaffected by the "Reformed" criticism of Ergun Caner's false testimony, I meant that as long as it was only "Reformed" people criticizing EC's camp could say "It's just those darn Calvinists causing problems over ideological differences." But once the criticism became mainstream SBC and mainstream media, then it could not be ignored or dismissed.

foxofbama said...


Honest deflection here, short note.
This Metaxas fellow has an ego as big as yours and I say that with some facetiousness.
Anyway check out the video even if you fast forward to the q and A about 55 minutes in.
Hope maybe we can discuss it at bl.com.
And I am following the discussion on Caner.

I hope you would possibly get to the bigger picture and become as enamored of the character and virtue of Martin Accad at Baptist Seminary of Beirut; as interested in him as you are fascinated with the strange career of Caner.

Ron said...

Wade thank you for continuing to point out the silliness of the statement, “He made factual statements that were self-contradictory.” That statement itself is a self-contradictory statement. If the statements were factual, they cannot be self-contradictory. What you have to say is he made statements of fact and made other statements that were not factual that contradicted the factual statements.

It is also true that without the SBC bloggers this whole situation would have been ignored and swept under the table. There were other situations like this in the 80s and early 90s before blogging became popular that were ignored by SBC leaders. Those who spoke the truth would not be invited to speak at pastor’s conferences or be quoted in Baptist Press because then party loyalty was valued more than truth.

I would also like to comment on the cult of celebrity that we have built up in the SBC. It has become popular at pastor’s conferences to name several leaders of the early days of the CR and then follow that with a statement such as they suffered much or gave up much for their service to the CR. Suffered what or gave up what? These men and a few women were rewarded with invitations to speak at pastor’s conferences, election to high office at the SBC, high paying jobs for SBC entities, free trips to the SBC convention each year paid for by cooperative program dollars and positions on trustee boards. The ones who suffered and gave up much were those who spoke the truth and pointed out the hypocrisy and were exiled from SBC leadership or service positions.

Ron West

linda said...

Cult of celebrity in the SBC?

Nah, can't be.

If there were, people who write heretical novels wouldn't be invited to speak in SBC churches.

Popular church growth leaders that compromise the scripture, take it out of context, and twist it's meaning searching through 17 versions to get one that says what they want wouldn't be haled as heroes helping so many people.

We wouldn't value a preacher by the number of people in the pew but by his (yes, I meant it in the non generic way) accuracy and fidelity in preaching the gospel.

And we would all be more concerned with honoring and obeying Christ than with being hip and popular.

Nah, not us.

debbiekaufman said...

Amen Ron. I would add to that, wrote books that are bought in bundles by churches and taught in their Sunday School classes,a place in the SBC Hall of Fame forever. I could go on but will stop there.

Richard said...

SBC cult of celebrity and hunger for sensationalism are the cultural context that demands the existence of people like Ergun Caner, Paige Patterson, etc.

The root problem is the widespread popularity of what Wade called the style of preaching that lacks Bible expositional teaching; and people crave for mere funny, incredible stories and putdowns; then they Ahhs, uhs, amens and go home empty.

A shallow pulpit produces empty people. Empty and weak people who can't think Bible doctrine lust for celebrity and hollering and screaming from the pulpit.

When volume is mistaken for doctrine people worship story tellers who give braggamonies.

Erp said...

Ron, factual statements are statements that can be evaluated for accuracy; they need not be true. In the case of Caner he has said things that in some cases contradicted each other (e.g., born in Sweden, born in Turkey) and in others contradicted third party trusted sources (e.g., court records on divorce). Now a false statement can be false because the person is lying or because the person is mistaken, but, it is difficult to see how an adult Caner could have been mistaken in this (as a child Caner might have believed he was born in both not knowing they were distinct countries or have thought he was born in one [my father's Turkish so I must have been born in Turkey] until corrected by a parent or other elder [no your father is Turkish but he moved to Sweden, married your mother, had you and then you moved to the US]).

Sir Brass said...

Wade, indeed they did not pay attention until the secular media started picking up the scent, but you know who they called almost everytime? That same Reformed man.

Yes, the SBC ignored those outside the SBC, but would those INSIDE the SBC who joined in the call for Ergun to repent have even had the slightest clue about what was going on if it were not for other men of integrity who chose to stand up, despite KNOWING certain men would be like clones of Alexander the Coppersmith simply b/c these men exposed a SBC 'celebrity'.

This wouldn't have exactly happened if someone hadn't first stood up and for the sake of Christ who is the Truth, and demanded answers for the inconsistencies. It so happens that this person in this instance was not SBC.

Ron said...

Erp said...
Ron, factual statements are statements that can be evaluated for accuracy; they need not be true.

Erp, I have never heard that definition for a fact before and do not believe it is accurate. My dictionary defines fact as "truth or reality". It cannot be a fact that Ergun was born in Turkey and also a fact that he was born in Sweden. One or both must be false and therefore not a fact.

Tim Marsh said...


What it means that Caner made contradictory factual statements is that Caner made statements that were to be taken as fact that could not be reconciled with one another. "I was born in Turkey. I was born in Sweden." Those are simple declarative factual statements. Yet they cannot both be true. Hence, they are contradictory factual statements.

In other words, Caner lied.

Wade Burleson said...

Sir Brass,

Good points.

John Fariss said...


You said, "Factual statements are statements that can be evaluated for accuracy; they need not be true."

I don't know what dictionary you are using, so if you would share it, I'd appreciate it. As far as I know "facts" are the basis of factual statements, and facts are statements that are true, not merely which can be evaluated for accuracy. My basis for that is Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Ed., 1979. There, "factual" is defined as "1. pertaini9ng to or consisting of facts. 2. Having the nature of fact; real; actual," while a "fact" is defined as, "1. anything done, an act; a deed. 2> a thing that has actually happened or is true; a thing that has been or is. 3. reality; actuality; the state of things as they are. 4. Something declared to have happened, or to have existed; the assertation of something as existing or done; as he depends upon his imigination for his facts; there are many false facts in his report. 5. In law, something that has taken place, either actually or by supposition, distinguished from a purely legal result." Perhaps you could say that LU's definition comes under #4, but for that to leave any credibility, one has to ignore the last half of the definition, which identifies such "facts" with one's imagination and/or with falsehood.


Bennett Willis said...

Christianity Today Editorial


Lydia said...

"I don't know what dictionary you are using, so if you would share it, I'd appreciate it. As far as I know "facts" are the basis of factual statements, and facts are statements that are true, not merely which can be evaluated for accuracy."

John, you don't get it because you are over 50. It is called post- post modernism. Relative truth. We can ascertain whether a "FACT" is truth or not. Aren't we lucky?

This is one reason I am homeschooling my daughter in logic. It is not taught anymore.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Caner's ministry and career are FAR from over. It will take more than the haters who are after his head (and his blood, for that matter) to keep God from continuing to use him in mighty and powerful ways. "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone". I'm amazed that there are SO MANY without sin throwing SO MANY stones...I'm just a sinner saved by grace. So is Caner. Hopefully, so are you all.

Ron said...

You said, "What it means that Caner made contradictory factual statements is that Caner made statements that were to be taken as fact that could not be reconciled with one another. "I was born in Turkey. I was born in Sweden." Those are simple declarative factual statements. Yet they cannot both be true. Hence, they are contradictory factual statements."

If the statements are contradictory they are not factual. The statments may be declarative statements but they are NOT declarative FACTUAL statments since they cannot both be true. One of them is not factual and was never factual and cannot be a delarative factual statment.

John Fariss said...


Yes, I am excited to have made it over the "50" mark, am near the cusp of the "60" mark, and look forward to beyond that. Maybe I'll even live long enough to be able to afford to retire.

Funny though. . . I'm usually the one of these blogs being accused of being too much post-modern and too little conservative (per its historical definition, that of one who wishes to conserve the status que). Could that mean that the modern theological conservative movement has survived long enough to cease to be historically conservative itself? Paradoxes, paradoxes, paradoxes!


Samuel Parsons said...

Wade...as one that came through the late "70's, etc....I think that celebrities have ALWAYS been the style of leadership in the SBC, except for the very early men and women who played a part in organizing us.....
Pastors and preachers like me, a common person, can preach as good as they can...and most of my brethren that has been my friends in ministry...have been down to earth people who are never known or celebrated for their life time of hard work in ministry, small churches that are struggling to keep ONE pastor....let alone several pastors to do the work for the lead pastor who has become a CEO instead of a Senior Pastor.
I have vented myself before to my friends, deacons and pastors, but the first time on a blog....I have so much to say...but from the beginning of my ministry in 1973 in a SBC church I have led churches to give to our missions program, that did not have the Cooperative Program in their budget, and have led churches to give up to 25% plus the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon mission offerings....but when I was without a pastorate, not of my choosing,there were no one on the local missions director, state convention, or SBC convention there to give guidance and help to find another church to pastor...now I am serving as a Hospice Chaplain....
MOrever I have seen these LEAD preachers, when they have fallen, not only be restored, which is commanded in Galatians 6:1...but also given publicity in getting another ministry or church to pastor....
Many southern baptist pastors are OUT of churches due to the denominational leaders and servants working as a denominational employee/ministry...be used as supplies and interims, over the many pastors who are OUT of a church....I think that again the SBC has always had this problem of giving "some" people precedence over the others who have been faithful over the many years...but are lost in the shuffle of religious politics.