An evangelical Christian publisher is defending the integrity of the books written by Dr. Ergun Caner weeks after the ex-Muslim theologian was demoted by his school for making self-contradictory statements.
"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 publisher announced in a statement.
"We accept as sincere Dr. Caner's statement, posted on his Web site in February," it added, citing a statement in which Caner said he "never intentionally misled anyone" and apologized "[f]or those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing."
Kregel went further in saying the outcome of Liberty University's investigation actually "vindicates Caner," citing comments made by Norman L. Geisler, distinguished professor of apologetics at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, Calif.
According to Christianity Today magazine, Geisler said the members of the investigative committee "exonerated him (Caner) on everything except some misstatements on nothing that was crucial."
"No moral or doctrinal charges were established; no culpability was proven," the apologetics professor added.
On June 25, Liberty University had issued a statement announcing the conclusion of the four-member committee's "thorough and exhaustive review of Dr. Ergun Caner's public statements" in response to accusations made over the internet.
While the committee said it found no evidence to suggest that Caner was not a Muslim who converted to Christianity as a teenager, it said it did find "discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence."
The committee "has concluded that Dr. Caner has made factual statements that are self-contradictory," Liberty stated.
As a result, Caner's time as dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary was allowed to run out at the end of June and the former Muslim from Turkey was invited to remain on the faculty of the seminary as only a professor.
In light of questions over the truthfulness of Caner's story, Kregel said the story – as presented in Caner's 2002 bestseller, Unveiling Islam – has been verified by numerous persons who knew Caner and his brother as teens and throughout their adult lives.
"Kregel Publications has found no credible evidence that contradicts the biography as presented in Dr. Caner's books," the publisher added.
Kregel further noted how court documents related to the divorce of Caner's parents – posted on pro-Islamic, anti-Caner websites – "confirm beyond dispute" that his father was a devout Muslim who did his utmost to insure his sons' training in the Muslim faith.
According to the introduction Caner wrote for his 2003 book More Than a Prophet, the Caner brothers "were both raised to be faithful Muslims within Turkish culture, yet our religious upbringing and understandings were those of devout Sunni Muslims everywhere."
"Whatever deficiencies we may have had in our understanding have been compensated by over twenty years of study in Islam as we have tried to understand the Muslim mind," Caner had added.
Caner's current titles with Kregel include Christian Jihad, More Than a Prophet, Unveiling Islam, and Voices Behind the Veil. The first two, Caner wrote together with his brother, Emir Caner.