Justin Taylor has posted helpful background on the recent demotion of Ergun Caner, whose service as Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary will end on June 30, 2010, after which Caner will remain on the faculty of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary as a professor:
Here’s a quick recap of what we know. There are many more details than this, but the following highlights some of the salient facts, especially as they touch on the issue of whether or not Caner was trained as a jidhadist in Turkey. (For a fuller timeline, go here.)
Caner has said that he was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and grew up near the Turkish-Iraqi border, where he was trained in Islamic Youth Jihad until the age of 15. He came to America, he has claimed, in 1978. He was converted to Christianity in 1982.
Actually, he was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in November 1966. In 1969 the Caners moved to Columbus, Ohio, before Ergun’s fourth birthday. In 1975 his parents separated, with his Swedish mother being awarded custody of the children, and in 1978 they were divorced. The boys lived primarily with their mother in Columbus—at least 75% of the year, spending 25% of the year with their Turkish-Muslim father in the U.S. The divorce agreement prohibited the boys from traveling outside the Continental U.S. while they were still minors.
No one doubts that he was converted to Christianity in 1982. But all of the evidence suggests he was was reared in the U.S., and no evidence exists that he was trained as jihadist in Turkey.
Also, Pastor Tom Chantry has posted a very balanced, pastoral response to the situation.