Theology and Apologetics Roundtable: July 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Thoughts on the Mistreatment of Dr. Caner

I’ve been silent for the past few weeks about this situation at Liberty. A great man, father, preacher, speaker, and apologist has been wrongfully demoted in my eyes. I’ve noticed from the time I was saved at 15 to today that Christianity has changed greatly. Christians have become more and more self-centered and unforgiving and at most times…revengeful to other fellow believers in the faith. The world is on the outside looking in at us every day and you find more fighting and bickering in the church than you would in some crack house in the ghetto slums. I think that’s pretty pathetic. We can’t even forgive and restore our own people and yet we find ourselves scratching our heads when lost people don’t want to accept the forgiving power of Christ in their life. Has it ever occurred that they look how we live our lives every day fighting amongst each other that deter them away from the church doors?
Dr. Caner on numerous times has apologized for his misinformation…even before this lame investigation was put into motion. It was never a scenario that in the end, the administration was dumbfounded. They knew the accusations against Dr. Caner from James White and Caner addressed those subjects. It was my understanding from certain administration personnel that this investigation was only to appease Mr. White and his bloggers who all had their personal vendettas and agendas against Caner. The media got nosey as well. So let’s just do the investigation and everyone will shut up (even though we already know the answers).

Somewhere down the line after this investigation was done, surprisingly, Liberty administration decided to change course on the matter and cave in to the pressures of White and his bloggers. Liberty University for the first time decided that “politically correctness” is the direction this institution will take moving forward. If Dr. Falwell Sr. was still alive, this investigation would have never happened and I’m willing to bet that Mr. White would only hear voicemail greetings because he’s a waste of our time to even talk to you. But because of SBC political garbage, Liberty’s obsession with bringing in more students to this over populated campus with dorms whose foundations are currently sliding, and the image of this university more important than standing up for fellow believers being ruthlessly attacked, the administration decided to remove a man who tripled the attendance of the seminary and brings in hoards of people for Campus Church every week (including Lynchburg college, Sweet Briar, Randolph Macon, and even Radford students) and demote him to a professor title now. Granted, I thank God he is still here regardless and I hope by His grace Dr. Caner still remains at Liberty and infecting many lives with his passion for apologetics.

This is flat out wrong and I think (and hope at times) that this will hurt Liberty University moving forward. Some students have already transferred to other seminaries, regardless if they are for or against Dr. Caner. The man apologized for mistakes he made numerous times before and after the investigation and this university administration just hands him over to the guillotine. There was no forgiveness and restoration taken place here which is the biblical mandate in this situation. Peter denied Christ three times publicly. You may think this is awful and “how could he do such a thing”? Because he like you and I are human and we make mistakes every day. We wrestle with making right and wrong choices daily. Yet, even though Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times, Jesus still restored him to his position as an apostle to carry out Christ’s ministry.[1] Zondervan defines restoration as “the returning of something or someone to their original state”.[2]

I believe Liberty University made a wrong move removing Dr. Caner from the position of dean of the seminary. There was really no forgiveness and restoration exercised here and it’s a crying shame that a great godly man is being wrongfully punished. I strongly believe Dr. Caner needs to be restored to his original state as dean and president of the seminary. I believe Dr. Falwell gave him that position for a special reason before he passed away. I believe Dr. Falwell saw a lot of himself in Dr. Caner several years ago. Taking Dr. Caner away from that position is a huge slap in the face to Dr. Falwell’s legacy on Liberty mountain.

[1] John 21:15-17 NASB

[2] Manser, M. H. (1999). Zondervan Dictionary of Bible Themes. The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. Grand Rapids, MI: ZondervanPublishingHouse.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Defending the man who has impacted my life the most at Liberty University

Some have been waiting for my blog response to Dr. Caner's recent demotion from Dean and President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I have to admit that I wanted to give it time to marinate in my mind before I reacted to it. I must confess for those of you who have read my Facebook posts that I am not a happy camper about this royal mess Liberty officials have done with this. I know I'm a Christian saved by grace, but my post would not be pretty in regards to what I have to say about this whole ordeal. I do however feel Dr. Norman Geisler put it very clearly and bluntly an outstanding defense for Dr. Caner and I applaud his post: