I have an inside source at Liberty University who has shared with me some of the details behind Ergun Caner's departure from Liberty to join ABC. In the interest of closure in this saga and some sense of disclosure on what Liberty finally did with Caner, I share this information that was shared with me by a reliable source.
Caner was finally forced out at Liberty by several of the trustees and a number of faculty members who gave an ultimatum of some sort to the administration that it was either Caner who had to leave, or them. My source tells me it was not unanimous with the trustees in forcing Caner to leave. In fact the majority wanted to keep him, but the straw that broke the camel's back was his refusal to make a public apology for the repeated lying of parts of his life's story. Thus, with no willingness to make a public apology, Caner was told he had to leave.
So Caner moves on to the next chapter of his life. The more fundamentalist World Baptist Fellowship churches and members, and the very small school to which Caner is moving, likely hasn't followed the shenanigans last year with Caner very closely. Perhaps those that hired him are believing whatever his version of events are - plus most independent fundamental baptists don't have a high regard for the "liberal" SBC'ers anyways.
How sad that in the "press release" announcing Caner's hiring at ABC, they actually quote evangelist and Marine Vietnam Vet Tim Lee - a staple evangelist amongst independent baptist churches - and Tim Lee tells everyone just how wonderful Ergun Caner is! Does Tim Lee understand that Ergun Caner duped our U.S. Marines in 2005 when he conducted training sessions as some sort of Muslim culture expert who grew up in Turkey?
From the press release:
"Evangelist Tim Lee said, 'I have learned that my good friend, Dr Ergun Caner has accepted the position of Executive Vice-President and Provost at Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, TX. I am excited for Arlington Baptist College! They could not have made a better choice. I believe Ergun will have a very positive impact and that it will be realized immediately! Both Arlington Baptist College and Dr Ergun Caner have my support!' "But this is the good thing about the Internet: no matter who they get to speak on Caner's behalf, what transpired last year on the blogs in exposing Caner's lies is still here for anyone who is interested in the truth to read, Tim Lee endorsement or not.
In the end, it was arrogance that did Caner in. He could have humbled himself earlier last year when the story was still breaking. I called on Caner to do it, and he could have salvaged his reputation and his ministry with the students at Liberty.
Instead he chose to be defiant and silent, while his friends went into full attack mode against those who called for Caner to come clean. It was a shameful chapter in the life of the SBC that won't soon be forgotten.
And really, isn't the arrogance in full display again with the issuance of a "press release"? Go figure: the man is leaving Liberty after being demoted last year, and moving to an extremely small, mostly obscure school in Arlington Texas that most Baptists have never heard of with maybe 100 students or so....yet he figures that someone of his stature requires a "press release" to announce his hiring at this very small school.
Let's hope that Caner has learned his lesson and the fantastic stories of his past will be buried at Lynchburg. And we can at least be thankful that he is out of the SBC, and that some folks at Liberty in the end did the right thing.