Interview with Dr. Ergun Caner

February 5, 2008

erguncaner.jpgTim Rogers was planning to interview Dr. Ergun Caner while he was in Jacksonville, but flight schedules changed, and they weren’t able to meet up. So today, I was able to visit with Dr. Caner by phone from his Virginia home.

Dr. Caner is the president of the recently re-named Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information about him, click here to visit his website.

This interview runs about 17 minutes. You can listen to the interview directly from this page, you can download it by following the instructions below, or you can access it along with all of our other interviews by visiting our “Interviews” resource page. Tomorrow we will be presenting another interview, as Tim was able to sit down today for a visit with Mac Brunson.

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Ronk

When were the charismatics trying to take over? I have never heard of this before? In the 70’s was it?

Jeremy Roberts

Dr. Caner has revolutionized Liberty Seminary. The school is biblical, rigorous, and relevant. I took him for a church history class at Liberty, and he gave me a hunger to learn more about God’s Word and the way it has been treated throughout churches of various centuries.

Thanks for interviewing him, guys. Keep the interviews coming. Good stuff.

irreverend fox

Butch always cracks me up!

What does the fact that Calvin and the magisterial reformers hated the radical reformers have to due with the validity of their “five points”?
and to suggest that the radical reformers where not at the very least influenced by “Calvinism”…which is really “Augustinianism”…with is really “Pauline-ism” and “Johan-ism” is OFF THE WALL!

I say this in love, God knows my heart…I do not think Butch knows what he is talking about.

irreverend fox

and just to be clear…I also affirm “President Butch”…anyone who will get Tazed for the Lord Jesus Christ is a-ok with me. I just wish he would stick with youth ministry…because men like Al Mohler, Sproul, Ascol, Piper or White would make him look silly in a formal debate.

irreverend fox

for more clarity…”Butch” is Caner’s nick-name. he refers to himself by that name all the time as far as I know. or maybe he just refers to himself that way around us buckeyes…

WesInTex

When I first met Dr. Caner I was very impressed. However, that has changed as I have watched him become more prominent in SBC circles. While I still appreciate his learning – he comes off to me as one of those he himself criticizes as “inheriting ” what others have built and expecting everyone to bow to their brilliance.

irreverend fox

I’m also curious as to the ages of those reformers of the late 70’s in comparison with the ages of the punks he refers to now…I wonder why the elders he now reveres were exempt from the “stop stretching for the golden ring” principle he so cherishes.

Again…I do appreciate Caner and his testimony. Every time I hear it I wonder to myself, “how can this man, of all men, be so outraged with ‘5 point Calvinism?'”

Anyway…when you lob inflammatory remarks all over the place he should expect some blow back…he’s a big boy. I can and will always be open to working with men like him…Southern Baptists are a diverse group and that is why I love it.

Scott Gordon

To All (& I mean ALL ;-) ),

As a definitively Southern Baptist pastor who espouses the major tenets of Reformed soteriology, I am proud to call Dr. Caner my brother.
*How’s that for a convoluted statement.*

Sola Gratia!

chadwick

Did Butch call Al a LIAR?

chadwick

Chris Johnson

Wes,

Thanks for getting this interview….

It’s always interesting to listen to men talk about their understanding of the atonement. Dr. Caner is no exception. I like what he said,….that “Calvin” was just a man, not an apostle. That is a good thing to understand.

But, I think he would be the first to admit what he has learned from Calvin as well. He is not ambiguous about how he views the world. I am not sure that he is all that accurate on the General Atonement polls within the SBC, but the meter would definitely lean heavier in one direction, none the less.

It’s hard to see him voting for Mohler, especially if there is a “Ryrie” like runner in the race.

Thanks again,
Chris

jigawatt

Dr. Tom Ascol has commented on this interview in a blog post here: http://tinyurl.com/266y4o

Ronk

Seriously, when did the charismatics try to take over? Anyone?

Did this happen?
Who?
When?

Chris Johnson

Wes or anyone else,

Would you say that the Sandy Creeker’s are the poster children for the SBC?

-Chris

WesInTex

Chris,

I don’t know that I’m the one to ask really. I’m just an ol’ country preacher who, after twenty six years of preaching (7 in full time evangelism), is coming to learn that what he has heard all of his life (my dad was a SBC pastor for 40 years); and what he himself has preached from the holy, inerrant and infallible Word – is called Calvinism. As such it’s unwanted in the Convention he loves so much and fought so hard to reclaim from the liberals. Even though I have never read anything from Calvin other than short quotes.

I do believe that the Sandy Creekers were themselves sufficently calvinistic, however, for Dr. Mohler’s comments (about all SBC’ers being calvinistic to some degree) to be correct. The way I see it – we wouldn’t have an SBC without BOTH Charleston AND Sandy Creek. What Charleston brings in depth of theology – Sandy Creek brings in passion and fire. Why should we want one without the other?

Interestingly, I met Dr. Caner some years ago at a retreat for the Conference of Texas Baptist Evangelist while I was traveling as an evangelist. I found him very warm and engaging – when he talked about Islam. When he talks about reformed theology – I suddenly get this shrill noise in my head.

I am still on a learning curve in the blog world – and to this rising opposition to what I have always believed to be the gospel. Thanks for letting me put in my two-cents worth.

Wes

WesInTex

Wow, sorry guys. Forgot there was another “Wes” in the bunch here. My bad!
WesInTex

Chris Johnson

WesInTex,

I like your assessment. Being from Texas, I may have stumbled upon some of that thinking as well. The Sandy Creeker’s may have well provided some ignition to an ongoing source of foundational theology.

Blessings,
Chris

WesInTex

Chris,

I really do apologize for posting a comment when your question was directed at another. I was in my thirties before I ever met someone else by the name of “Wes.” I still get confused sometimes.

I also get confused when people try to deny the clear historical record of our convention as Dr. Caner does. I don’t think anyone believes that every SB was a 5 pointer. We are simply stating that historically there has been a heavy influence of calvanistic teaching – even among the more rural pioneer preaching.

Have a blessed day
WesInTex

Chris Johnson

Thanks Wes,

I completely agree with you. Over the weekend, I was thinking about the influence of Calvin on the Christian world.

It appears to me, if you make a fair assessment of the facts of history concerning evangelism, Calvin is an amazing study. He would tend to make any contemporary Baptist Pastor appear to be a lazy slug (including myself).

Calvin’s love for the Word of God and his evangelistic attitude toward teaching the Word is daunting. Most Pastor’s think they have done a good job by putting together one “long” sermon (30-55 minutes), and one other short study (30 minutes, if the worship leader does not tarry too long). Calvin on the other hand was evangelically tenacious. We could learn a great deal in his love for God’s Word!

John Calvin never wavered from expository preaching for almost 25 years in Geneva. And he even ignored Christmas and Easter and every other event and just kept doing his exposition. He didn’t give any special messages; he just stayed with his expositions. He preached for six years on the book of Acts. He gave 46 sermons on Thessalonians, 186 sermons on Corinthians, 86 sermons on 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus, 43 sermons on Galatians, 48 sermons on Ephesians. In 1559 in the spring he started a study of the gospels, expositing the gospels in a harmony fashion, not getting those completed because he died. While alive though, in the middle of the week he preached 159 sermons on Job, 200 on Deuteronomy, 353 on Isaiah, and 123 on Genesis and so on and so on and so on and all that took preparation and study.

Calvin believed that God’s majesty was revealed in His Word and if you didn’t preach the Word then you didn’t give glory to God.

Calvin preached ten times in two weeks, lecturing three times in theology, having a Friday Bible study, visiting the sick, counseling people, reading and writing. He had a weak stomach. He had severe migraines and the only way he could control his migraines was by eating one meal a day.
He turned the world upside down because of the power of bringing the Word of God to bear. Now that’s evangelism. Some folks may have a problem with some of Calvin’s teachings, but there are very, very, very few Baptists, including any Sandy Creeker, come close to his fire for God’s Word and evangelism (including me). There have been some that try, though. :)

Blessings,
Chris

TimE

I came across this quote some years ago about John Calvin and cannot bring to mind the complete reference.
“Calvin could be a warm friend, and an even warmer enemy as Severtus discovered.”

Severtus was a contemporary of Calvin’s and when the two could not agree, even though Calvin had the authority of Geneva behind him, he felt it was in the best interests of everyone for Severtus to be burned at the stake.

It will be easy to say Calvin was just a man of his times and we surely wouldn’t burn anyone today. Would we?

Chris Johnson

Brother TimE,

Murder is certainly forbidden by God, so Calvin engaged in such activity will not lack the judgment of God.

Unfortunately, this does not dismiss the laziness of Pastors that populate the myriad of Churches across the United States. We would do well to understand Calvin’s passion for God’s Word.

The laziness of Pastor’s kill their own congregates week after week.

Blessings,
Chris

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