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Posted at 9:51 AM ET, 05/12/2010

A most unusual university investigation

By Valerie Strauss

How is this for unusual? Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., the world’s largest Christian Evangelical university in the world, is investigating whether Ergun Caner, the president of its theological seminary, really has the Muslim background he says he had before converting.

According to ChristianityToday.com, the university announced that it is forming a committee to investigate whether Caner really was a Sunni Mulism who lived in Turkey, as he has described in speaking engagements.

Liberty issued this statement:

“Liberty University does not evaluate personnel based upon blogs.

“However, in light of the fact that mainstream media have recently raised questions, the provost of Liberty University is appointing a committee to look into these matters.”

The committee, to be headed by longtime university administrator Ron Godwin, is expected to issue a decision on its findings by June 30, university spokesman Johnnie Moore told ChristianityToday.com.

Caner was named to head the seminary in 2005, and Liberty described him then as a converted Sunni Muslim who had immigrated from Turkey.

Bloggers who say they have Baptist or Muslim connections have questioned whether he grew up in Turkey and was a Muslim until age 17.

Divorce documents obtained from a Columbus, Ohio courthouse suggest that Caner was born in Sweden and moved with his father and mother to the United States about four years later, according to the News & Advance.

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By Valerie Strauss  | May 12, 2010; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  Liberty University, caner and muslim, caner and muslim background, falwell and liberty university, investigation into caner, liberty university investigation, was caner a muslim  
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Comments

Valerie,
you are a reporter/blogger on speed (and I mean that in a good way)
Thanks for the thoughtful posts.

Posted by: edlharris | May 12, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Those interested in this story should read the thorough, thoughtful, and fact-based account of the controversy by Baptist minister Tom Chantry on his blog:

http://crbcviews.blogspot.com/2010/04/stephen-ambrose-ergun-caner-and.html

Rev. Chantry concludes that unless there is some other explanation of the clear discrepancies between the court documents and Caner's statements about his background than intentional misrepresentation(and it is hard to see what that might be), Caner should confess and repent.

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