This is a response to the much-hyped “silver bullet” post which Mr. Wario has, as of the end of this post, sent out via twitter to 51 people, thus far. I’m sure the number will grow daily, if past tendencies bear out. The problem with the post is that 1) It is chock-full of libel, while putatively rebuking libel/slander. 2) He has been corrected concerning the “facts” contained therein multiple times before. 3) While he does have two good points, they are a) buried beneath the mud he is slinging, and b) unrelated to any of the subjects he has been challenged on repeatedly. 4) Mr. Wario continues to offer fallacious arguments that have had thorough responses offered to them, and has not substantively addressed any of the challenges made to those arguments.
“Insha’Allah “name withheld” will continue to learn about Islam & become Muslim Insha’Allah,” wrote a Muslim in reaction to a link Mr. Mohammed Khan of “fake ex-Muslims dot com” posted on Dr. Ergun Caner’s Facebook fan page on Sunday, June 6, 2010. [Inset and emphasis mine.] You probably are curious to know who Muslims wish would become a Muslim. They are not involved in this saga in vain. He is none other than Dr. James White. The link was to a post on Alpha and Omega Ministries’ website. I have discussed how desperate Muslims are at spreading Islam in the United States. Apparently some Reformed Christians don’t get the point. One of them even said, “Regardless of what Ergun Caner has done, it does not change eternal truth in what God has done. Muslims laugh as do Christians.” I partly agree—we cannot change God’s will—but the lack of restraint is nauseating.
What is interesting here is that there is a complete lack of balanced address of the discussion. Notice that this entire entry says nothing concerning the demonstrable sins Ergun Caner has engaged in. It never makes any positive comment about commitment to seeking the truth displayed by those who have uncovered his falsehoods. Instead, we are told that an unnamed “lack of restraint” on the side of the Reformed folks, of course, is “nauseating”. Well, while that is an interesting personal opinion he has offered us, is there any explanation or proofs offered to back this claim up? The only discussion that follows is about Alpha and Omega. Therefore, we are left only to guess that this is whom he is referring to.
Some of these Reformed Christians have asked me on Facebook, twitter and comments on my blog, begging me to quit standing beside my fellow Christian of Muslim background, Dr. Ergun Caner. Some of them even argued I would lose credibility. I have defied their calls solely because there is not a vestige of truth in their claim. Their insults are proof that fidelity to the gospel is not what drives them, but advancing Dr. White’s cause at whatever cost, even to the truth.
Well, would you care to argue about more than piecemeal issues? When we argue sans context, and artificially limit the terms of the discussion, it’s possible to argue anything. However, when the context is allowed to be present, and the entire issue with all of it’s facets is discussed, the picture drawn is often much different. For instance: arguing “devout” in a limited context of what a Muslim considers to be devout, devoid of the context of audience, devotion as a lasting attribute, and disregarding “convert syndrome”. Any of those things will necessarily add depth to the discussion in question, and requires more argument to overcome. Stating things differently from the critic’s position, *not* addressing the critic’s position at all, and claiming victory is not sound argumentation.
Before I get started, I would like to thank Muslims who have helped us Christians to realize that we have a gargantuan problem within the Body of Christ. I apologize to Yahya and Jonathan on behalf of my Reformed Christian brethren who have insulted you. Please, forgive us.
I’d just like to remind Mr. Wario of his recent comments.
“While a lot of Muslims were seeking information about Jesus Christ online and looking for Christians to talk to, some of us have been busy on our blogs and webcasts entertaining Muslims who have an agenda.”
“They have an ulterior motive, they tell you what you want to hear, or make the agenda – so because of that, maybe you need to make some apologies to these brothers for some of the things you have said which are not true.”
“Muslims started it with ex-Muslims, now they are taking it a step further in attacking Dr. White. He is already under a Muslim’s attack, being accused of denying “the doctrine of eternal security.” I bet there will be more of these attacks after the dust “settles” on the current discourse. His debates, podcasts, and speeches will be dissected. Muslims are on a mission and we are oblivious.”
“Muslims are on a mission, please let us not aid and abet to their tactics that attempt to discredit the Caner Brothers, other Christians of Muslim background, Dr. James White, et al. We should give our brothers the benefit of the doubt before going global with what Muslims bring to our attention. We need to become aware of the desperate tactics Muslims employ even attempting to discredit the Bible, Jesus Christ, and etcetera.”
Now, keep in mind that this is not my position. This is Mr. Wario’s position. By his own standard, he is now guilty of precisely what he has been attempting to argue against. I’m perfectly fine with arguments from Muslims being given. If there are people insulting Muslims, or anyone else, they should stop, of course. What I’m pointing out is the glaring inconsistency shown by Mr. Wario. We’re more than capable of answering objections for ourselves. Mr. Wario cannot seem to answer the ones made against his position. This may be due to the fact that his position has moved 180 degrees recently, but I’ll let him defend that. This may also be due to the fact that Dr. White is not an ex-Muslim, and is thus fair game, despite what he said above. As his positions have been demonstrated to be inconsistent, it’s logical to assume that this one has also changed, due to his behavior in recent weeks toward Dr. White and any who disagree with Mr. Wario.
Dr. James White asked me to appear on his radio program, the Dividing Line, to answer some of the “accusations” I had made about him and his ministry. He insisted that I call into his radio program to discuss him publicly. Even a friend of his wrote to me. He had a problem that it only took me six weeks to find inconsistencies in his statements. I was going to write and post about his double speaking last week but decided against it. The call to the radio was supposed to discuss him and his ministry. Please listen and judge for yourself if the rules were followed.
Note the discrepancy here. First, you say that you were asked to answer some of the accusations you had made. Simple grammar denotes that this means you were to be the one answering, not asking more questions and slandering him further – as it has been demonstrated. Next, you say that the call was “supposed to discuss him and his ministry”. Which is it? Was it for you to answer for your allegations, as I provided documentation of in my previous post, or was it for *you* to discuss him and his ministry? I have listened for myself, provided a transcript, and commentary. Note also that Dr. White is a presuppositional apologist. The presupper demonstrates that the only proof that can be provided is one given from a Scriptural foundation. Instead of providing anything of the sort, you used your opportunity to slander Dr. White on his own radio show. As Dr. White has been known to say – and has said multiple times even since you began listening – “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument”. Your inconsistency showed up quite clearly, and he nailed you on it in the call.
He has gone on record to claim that the Christianity Today article on Dr. Ergun Caner did not go “far enough” because Liberty University is its main advertiser. I called him on his speculation. For example, when Mr. John Kennedy of CT called on April 22 to interview him about the saga, he praised him on the Dividing Line as an experienced reporter who had written “over 1000 articles.”
I’m once again fascinated that you are using the exact same term you did in the call, when Dr. White corrected you. Giving factual background concerning the reporter is hardly “praise”, yet again. The comment in question merely said that he is an experienced reporter, who has written over 1000 articles for CT. Nothing else was said. For further context, this is a transcription of the portion of the 5/04 DL you are objecting to. (6:15ff 5/04) “I do not know Mr. Kennedy, we only spoke briefly on the phone, he just asked a few questions, there was no basis for me to have any knowledge of who he is, or what he’s about, or anything like that. It is very hard for me to avoid the consideration that Liberty University is a very large source of advertising budget for certain Christian media outlets, because the whole form of the article was clearly not done in an unbiased fashion. The idea that this is just some “bloggers” trying to create problems. I mean, documentation, documentation is not even discussed, linked to, anything like that, and the fact that statements were made, especially by Elmer Towns that are just completely disconnected from reality.”
Did Dr. White go “on record” to claim that Liberty was Christianity Today’s “main advertiser”? Hardly. What were you saying about speculation, Hussein? If you’re going to make accusations, make accurate ones, please.
And when the article did not meet his expectation, he was quick to speculate on the advertisement and he ran away with it. He claims CT is a for-profit organization and it risked losing ad money had the reporter covered everything he had said in the interview. He defended his speculation on the radio. He insisted that he was not defaming Liberty University, John Kennedy or Christianity Today. I was bothered by his claim and decided to contact Christianity Today.
When Dr. White’s treatment of the article did not meet Hussein’s expectations, he speculated on his comments, and ran away with them. He claims that Dr. White said that CT is a for-profit organization, and risked losing ad money had the reporter covered everything in the interview. Listen to that show again, Hussein. You will find that this is not what he said. I also insist he was not defaming any of the above. Listen to the show or read the transcript. It’s quite obvious that Dr. White did not say what you are claiming he said. I’m beginning to wonder if you, like Dr. Caner, believe that no one can access this readily available information.
What I discovered is shocking. Liberty University is not even in the top “100 CT advertisers.” Contrary to Dr. White, it is a non-profit and you can find its IRS information here and its Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability records here. I am in shock that the Diving Line has officially become the Dissing Line not only of Christians but also of reputable Christian organizations.
Frankly, it doesn’t shock me. Contrary to Mr. Wario’s claims, Dr. White did not say it was “for profit”. I’m sadly not amazed that Mr. Wario is continuing on in a line of discussion that is distinctly unprofitable, untrue, and frankly, libelous.
Is Dr. White going to apologize for ruining these reputations? When I asked him where his speculation fit in Ephesians 4:29, he retorted in a tweet, “Before I block you, I must say thank you as well: your unwillingness to answer direct and honest questions was very telling.”
Is Mr. Wario going to apologize for the weeks of his libel of Dr. White? For speculating about Dr. White’s motives?
Dr. White’s Christian fans believe everything he says about Islam. They would rather take his word on Islam than a Muslims’. For those who are unaware, he made what I call a “parody” video of Dr. Caner’s pronunciation of Arabic words. I urged Dr. White to refrain from discussing the Caner Brothers. He never listened. Now Muslims have a better reason, which would be a clue to stop but I do not know if he would listen. I wonder if he is accountable to anyone.
No, we actually do independent study of our own, and ask questions as well. I find it interesting that you continually denigrate whole swatches others to “demonstrate” your position. As for me, who has spent a significant amount of time offering substantive response, which has not been addressed in any meaningful fashion, I find your statement distasteful, at best. It is akin to the commentary given by Romanist apologists and others who dismissively title friends of the ministry as “minions”. If you’d like a list, I keep track.
There is a problem with the video. Some Muslims kindly asked Dr. White to edit the video or put a disclaimer that there is a verse missing. The error is due to a mishandling of Suratul Al-Fatihah, the “first” chapter of the Qur’an. An entire verse was left out when the tutor recited. (The tutor is an Arab Christian and was never a Muslim.) Dr. White joined in the recitation and did not catch the error. The video is now on YouTube. Muslims want it edited because it misrepresents the Qur’an.
First, this has been addressed.
Apparently, that is too much to ask of Dr. White. He wrote a blog entry about the error, dismissing Muslims’ request as “irrational.” Is this sort of arrogance befitting of a minister of the Gospel?
Apparently, it’s too much to ask Hussein to mention that the blog post contained much more than a single word. Was that all he said, Hussein?
I asked him about it and he tweeted, “Why do you care so much about what irrational people think? I do not understand it.” He and his tutor made a mistake and he does not acknowledge it. Do Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church and Alpha and Omega Ministries have a consistory and board of directors respectively? If they do, something needs to be done about his behavior.
Feel free to contact Pastor Fry or A&O’s board of directors. I will mention to you that if this behavior continues, I will be contacting your consistory, on the charge of libelous troubling of the brethren. I’m not kidding, and I don’t make empty promises, sir. This is getting ridiculous to an absurd degree. You seem to consider everything in a personal fashion, and your statements in reply to consideration of your argumentation is *personal attacks*. This, sir, is quite ridiculous. Repent.
He maintains that the Caner Brothers are fake ex-devout Muslims. Court documents destroy his argument. He has not apologized and it does not look like he will any time soon. He argues that a Christian leader should be “above reproach.” Now he balks at what he has been calling Dr. Ergun Caner to do. Even a legal document, one that was issued more than three decades ago by a county government in Ohio cannot convince him. Are we going to believe this document, which a private investigator in a concerted effort with Dr. White unearthed, or Dr. White, who merely pontificates? You be the judge.
I’ll address this allegation next, but it’s rather simply handled. First, the post in question has a significant problem in context. “…the trial court erred in failing to make specific conclusions of law as to the constitutionality of an order requiring defendant-appellant’s children to continue their instruction and practice of the Islamic faith.” I haven’t answered this until now, because it’s blindingly obvious, on a cursory reading, and to anyone who reads it straight through. Who is the defendant in the *appeal* to follow, where he takes that last quote from? “‘The trial court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion to require the children to be raised in the Islamic faith by their mother.’ [Emphasis mine.] This proves that Dr. Caner’s mother was a Muslim even when she was going through the divorce proceedings, because Mr. Caner asked the court if she could raise the children as Muslims.” Whose order was *denied*? Acar Caner’s. Who *appealed that ruling*? Monica Caner. Thus, Hussein’s argument is entirely backwards. Acar Caner’s request stood – Monica appealed it. Appealed raising her children as Muslims.
Muslims’ attack on Dr. Caner has fizzled but Reformed Christians are striving to keep it in the spotlight. I am fully convinced that nothing would satisfy them to drop some issues.
Nothing but truth, no. But it doesn’t seem as if Mr. Wario is concerned with truth. Oddly, this is directly contrary to what Dr. White tells every Muslim critic. Seek truth. Mr. Wario is not concerned with truth, by everything we have demonstrated thus far. He is dedicated to personal attack rather than addressing the argumentation provided, and he simply will not admit to wrongdoing thus far.
Here is a prime example. There are Muslims who scrutinize everything Dr. White says about Islam. They are keen, especially when he spews his knowledge of Islam to debunk Dr. Caner.
Note the usage of terms. “Spew” Not poisoning the well there at all, is he?
Not all his outings have been successful. He made mistakes—with no corrections or apologies—on Islamic teachings, most noticeably prayer in the bathroom.
He has responded to your critiques.
A Sunni Muslim who adheres to Malik Madhaba (school of thought) had urged him to stop his charade in March when he first started talking about the issue on the DL. This Muslim man in fact wrote to Dr. White six weeks before I called into DL. He asked him to stop discussing the prayer in the bathroom issue, because it was a non-issue, citing different Islamic fatwa (edicts), which according to Hanafi School (which Dr. Caner’s father adhered to) supported prayer in the bathroom. This Muslim even brought up a scenario with Dr. White about an incarcerated Muslim in a cell with no walls separating the bathroom from his living area. Dr. White never listened and continued discussing the issue. He got airtime out of it even after I called into his program six weeks later. He even brought it up last Thursday on DL.
This is an exercise in missing the point. I invite any reader to examine whether any of these extreme cases have anything to do with Ergun Caner’s case, which, as a differentiation, has been discussed, at great length.
I know Reformed Christians who have written to Dr. White about their concerns in regards to his involvement in this saga, and how he has not acted according to scriptures. Whenever they tried to have him focus, at least examine his own involvement; he always ended up turning the conversation toward the Caner Brothers.
Well, using the anonymous correspondent card is well-played. I would venture a guess that they brought up the same objections that have been personally addressed multiple times since this saga began. I’d invite these correspondents to post their letters – I bet I can finagle getting the response they received posted, as well. As far as I know (and I asked on this point), there has been no such private outcry from “Reformed Christians”. I’m willing to be corrected, of course – but I do not speak from no knowledge on this point.
His fans, supporters and colleagues have been asking me about “Hadith 29:82” that he challenged me to identify on DL. Once again, I repeat. I addressed the Hadith issue—which even Muslims do not make an issue—in a previous post on May 15, 2010. I said “there is no “official” way to cite Hadith. The most authentic Hadith collection is Sahih Bukhari. Many times when it is quoted, it comes without the name because it is the most authentic and widely referenced. I have checked some of the aHadith in question and they come from Sahih Bukhari.
Once again, you not only failed to listen to the call you made, Dr. White’s comments afterwards (the one he asked you in the phone call was NOT Bukhari, although there is a 2982 in Bukhari), and failed to read my post – where I answered your point quite thoroughly. If you had done more listening, and less speaking (Anyway, anyway…) you might have learned something. Honestly, I fail to see how on earth you could tell which Hadith 2982 Dr. White was referring to. In fact, you just gave the wrong one, assuming Bukhari.
If there were any errors on the Caner Brothers’ part, it was very minor. I never said that there was no problem in Unveiling Islam pertaining to how aHadith were cited. I avoided answering the questions “on-air” because Muslims are some of Dr. White’s biggest fans. His lampooning of any Christian who disagrees with him on any matter draws them. Since I did not have the Hadith books at hand, I did not answer it lest Muslims use the incorrect answer against me.
Note the prejudicial language. “Lampooning”. You didn’t mind answering the questions you had prepared answers for. The ones you didn’t – you didn’t answer. However, if you are going to make a claim, at least try to back it up. There was no way you could have known which Hadith he wanted cited. You know that, and everyone else does. Only you don’t know that, apparently.
Dr. White is frantically trying to keep the Hadith discrepancies in the spotlight. I should recommend that Dr. White venture out of his self-schooling environment. Only then will he open his eyes to Islamic views that differ from his or meet people who would call him to account. There is more a student gains outside of his or her self-study. A complete library can only take you so far.
I would suggest that you venture outside the Islamic apologetics environment for a while. You will acquire needed breadth, depth, and perspective. You have now backed yourself into the opposite corner from which you started, doing exactly what you claimed your opponent was doing. Is this consistency, or anywhere near what our calling is to be? I find it amazing that you think Dr. White’s only encounters with Muslim thought or argument is in books. Did you forget his debates? The discussions prior and following? The youtube engagements he has been involved in for years now? Sir, you have no idea what you are talking about. You have made it readily apparent to all that you have not taken the time to get the background of the man you are critiquing. You are apparently unaware of the most basic things concerning his ministry, and as a result, your criticisms falter quite often on that basis alone. Sir, as I warned you as you started this; your credibility will suffer. If you haven’t felt it yet, you will. The resultant catastrophe will be solely yours, as well. Several of us have tried to turn you back, but you refused to listen.
A few Reformed radio programs have given some airtime to Dr. White. He continues the same stories. I am convinced beyond the shadow of any doubt that Dr. James White is not participating in this saga to get to the truth but to drag this issue on for personal gain.
Fascinating that speculation is okay in your case, but not in others. I’m convinced that you got in over your head, and now you’re resolved to go down swinging. You don’t have to.
So far, people who have publicly disagreed with him have been labeled. His fans have targeted them as well. He and his fans blame my “irrationality” on my cultural background. Rich Price, the President of Alpha and Omega Ministries, tweeted about me, “@HusseinWario I am seriously beginning to wonder if you are nothing short of a crackpot.”
No, we are quite familiar with Muslim argumentation, and yours is very similar. Keep in mind – we are a listening audience who has listened to hundreds of hours of Islamic lecturers and debaters now. We’re quite familiar with the patterns of Islamic thought. If you don’t recognize it, I’ll tell you this – we have a man in channel whose parents are from Ghana, and now lives in the United Kingdom. Just today he was affirming that this pattern exists in his extended family. It’s not personal. It’s an observation. once again – learn to separate the position from the person, or you will be continually offended.
As for Rich’s tweet – I agree, it was uncalled for. I even discussed it with him, and he agreed it was borne of frustration. As I’ve said – I’ve been consistent.
I was familiar with the Reformed faith even prior to coming to the United States in 1996. I never heard of Dr. White or his ministry until April 2010. Now that tells you where he ranks as a Reformed theologian.
I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware Reformed theology or apologetics was a popularity contest, or that there were “ranks”. If you treat it that way, I’m afraid to say that you will be doing the work of man your entire “ministry” – not of God. Take that to the bank.
For you Baptist folks, I know we have some theological disagreements but do not look at Reformed Christians through what Dr. White or his friends espouse.
I’m once again struck by the obvious holes in your theological background. Once before I’ve mentioned to you that “Baptist” also applies to Reformed Baptists. Like me, like Dr. White, like Tom Chantry. In fact, historically, confessional Baptists have been the theological core of Baptist life. I refer you to Tom Nettles’ excellent book on the subject – “By His Grace and For His Glory”. Differentiating “Baptists”, as if they are either monolithic, or not including Reformed Baptists, is a non sequitur.
Even Reformed people have written to him to ask to stop his campaign.
Not according to my information, as stated above. A simple jaunt around the blogosphere or Reformed sites is quite sufficient to note that practically everyone in the Reformed world who is paying attention to the Caner fiasco does not agree with you.
It seems like only his fans (who include Muslims) agree with him that it is biblical to continue this public debate about a brother in Christ. The time has come to ignore Dr. James White as long he continues to promote himself and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It seems like only Caner’s fans (and you) agree that it’s acceptable to launch personal attacks consistently and systematically against anyone who says something negative about the veracity of Dr. Caner’s statements. The time has come to repent, and leave that raging fire of a tongue you’ve been utilizing behind when you do.
I have said in the past that he has some underlying problems, which his supporters and fans are oblivious to. I have consulted a few brothers about his situation. Some of what has been said is not fit to share.
Then why share that? Once again, to you, it’s primarily about the man, not his arguments. I challenge any reader to go visit Mr. Wario’s blog to verify my statement. Read over my posts which document his continuing refusal to be corrected. Who is being unteachable, and who is responding factually, and cogently to what is presented to them?
I have been asked to leave him alone because he does not even get along with his colleagues. The man is never wrong. He, as a smart and prolific Christian theologian should concede some grounds that he is not well versed in, right?
I would posit, sir, that apologetics in general is not something you are versed in. I have significantly more material produced on the subject than you do, in fact. I don’t dispute you know more about me in one specific topic. However, you have shown by your behavior that you are lacking the key element of an apologetics ministry. The ability to give an answer with gentleness AND reverence. This is something lost on many polemicists in today’s high-speed, fast-paced, instant-answer society. I’m able to answer quickly at need – but only because I’ve studied to show myself approved – a workman that need not be ashamed. I’m sure I will make mistakes, and shame myself as well as my Lord at times. However, the behavior that you have displayed for us all, Mr. Wario, is distinctly not that of a Christian apologist. Once again, repent. I have no animus against you, but I will not correct forever. As I said, if this behavior continues, I will contact those to whom you are accountable. I have nothing to fear in that regard, and will gladly give you the contact information of my elders. However, know this – it’s been both plain and well-documented that you are behaving in a manner unfitting to a Christian. Repent, sir.
Sadly, even his narrow knowledge of Islam through self-study cannot be challenged. I hope he reconsiders his way. He asked for this post and his wish has been granted.
How on earth does Mr. Wario know what the breadth of Dr. White’s study in Islam is, having only listened to the Dividing Line for 2 months? It’s readily apparent that he hasn’t read the long list of articles on the website under “Islam”, or viewed the many, many videos related to Islam that he has produced. On what basis – other than speculation – does he say this?
I really wish I didn’t have to write these sorts of posts. I really do. However, I made it my point early on to take up Dr. White’s request that someone attempt to explain what it is that we are about. I have made the best effort, God willing, that I can manage, and I pray that God be glorified by it.
~Joshua (The guy who hides his name, like most Reformed guys) Whipps