Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College and the brother of Dr. Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke at Liberty University’s Wednesday convocation about bringing the first-century voice into today’s churches.
“We are not called to be a 21st century church; we are called to be a first-century church in a 21st century world. We are counter-cultural,” Caner said.
Citing Jude 3, Caner emphasized four words that should be integrated into today’s church — the first being “struggle.” He said Christians are to contend earnestly for the faith.
Caner said it’s the job of Christians to “defend” the faith by speaking up and telling others about Christ.
“We are to picture our ministry as a ministry of apologetics, not a ministry where we apologize,” he said.
He then emphasized the word “complete,” saying there are many who confuse the process of sanctification with complete faith of salvation.
“If you don’t believe you have a complete faith, you will not believe you have a confident faith,” Caner said.
Caner closed with his final word of “congregational.” He quoted George Barna’s book “Revolution” where Barna said, “Whether you become a revolutionary immersed in, minimally involved in, or completely dissociated from the local church is irrelevant to me and irrelevant to God.”
Caner emphasized the point that being active in church is not optional and congregational ministry is the very nature of Christians. He encouraged students and the church to stand firm in the midst of an unsaved world.
Born and reared a Sunni Muslim, Dr. Emir Caner converted to Christianity in 1982 and was subsequently disowned by his family. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from The Criswell College in Dallas, Texas; his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Arlington.