Wednesday was Ergun Caner's final day as president and dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, but Liberty University officials are mum on the leadership future of the Lynchburg, Virginia, school.
In a seven-sentence statement to Christianity Today on Friday, Liberty University announced that Caner would no longer serve as head of the seminary, which had tripled in enrollment since he arrived five years ago. But Caner will remain on the faculty for the 2010-11 school year.
The unrevealing statement announced that a four-member committee of Liberty Board of Trustee members headed by Vice Chancellor Ronald Godwin had conducted a "thorough and exhaustive review" of Caner's public statements and concluded that he had made "factual statements that are self-contradictory." The school cited "discrepancies related to matters such as dates, names and places of residence," but offered no specifics. The university said Caner had "apologized for the discrepancies and misstatements that led to this review."
Tuesday, university spokesman Johnnie Moore told CT, "Liberty is not making any additional comment or granting any interviews at this time."
The torrent of comments on related blogs suggests a mixed response within the Liberty community. The Washington Post quoted a student transferring to another seminary in the wake of the decision, yet approving of Liberty extending grace to Caner instead of firing him outright.
Many observers were left unsatisfied. Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds insisted that one question still remains unresolved: "Was Dr. Caner raised in Turkey as a Muslim terrorist trained in jihad?" ...