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Attack on the ‘Camel Method’ gets personal/political

It’s intuitively obvious why a former Muslim would criticize the controversial “Camel” method of evangelizing Muslims. But it is startling to hear a Southern Baptist theologian accuse the retiring head of a key mission board of lying.

Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va., is the latest to take issue with the evangelistic method promoted by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) International Mission Board as a way to reach Muslims.

Caner said on a podcast at the blog SBC Today that the “Camel Method” is heresy. He went on to say that the method is based on deception and that means Jerry Rankin, the president of the mission board, is lying.

Caner’s opposition takes on new light considering the wrestling for position brought on by Rankin’s upcoming retirement? Keep in mind that Caner and his brother, Emir, have strong ties to Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a major player in SBC politics.

In his book, Hardball Religion, former IMB trustee Wade Burleson says trustees loyal to Patterson tried to embarrass Rankin with the intention of removing him, according to a review by Baptists Today editor John Pierce.

In 2003, Patterson sent IMB trustees a paper questioning the mission board’s theological foundation. The document was written by Keith Eitel, then professor of Christian missions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where Patterson previously served as president and now dean of the School of Evangelism at Southwestern.

Ongoing efforts to discredit Rankin could convince trustees that a new direction is needed at the IMB. Perhaps one led by Eitel. Or someone else loyal to Patterson and his allies.

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February 16, 2010 - Posted by | SBC | , ,

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