Publisher stands by discredited author - Word&Way

Publisher stands by discredited author

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABP) — A Christian publishing company said it has no plans to pull titles written by a Baptist seminary president demoted for making "factual statements that are self-contradictory" in sermons and speeches.

After an investigation, Liberty University trustees announced June 25 that Ergun Caner's contract as president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary would not be renewed when it expired at the end of the month. Despite finding "discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence," trustees indicated that believe Caner's basic testimony of growing up as a devout Muslim before converting to Christianity in high school and said he would continue to teach as a professor in the coming academic year.

Kregel Publications, publisher of books by Caner including the best-seller Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs, said in a statement that despite Liberty's findings of discrepancies in spoken words, that it found "no credible evidence that contradicts" the biography as presented in Caner's books.

"Kregel Publications has concluded that the Kregel titles by Dr. Caner are trustworthy, factually accurate, and helpful to both Christians and seekers wanting to know more about Islamic beliefs and how those beliefs compare and contrast with biblical Christianity," the company said in a recent statement quoted by Christianity Today.

Harvest House Publishers, publisher of Caner's The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, co-authored with Liberty University's Ed Hindson, stated: "We are saddened by the controversy that has risen as a result of the self-contradictory statements made by Ergun Caner over the years. And, we are concerned that the allegations surrounding his statements have not yet been adequately addressed by him, and we are hopeful that he will personally respond to them soon."

B&H Publishing, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, has not commented on the affair. In 2005 B&H Publishing released Why Churches Die, co-authored by Caner with Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. Before that B&H published The Sacred Trust, a sketch of biographies of 50 presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention written by Caner with his brother, Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga.

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.