On Tuesday, October 5th Northland International University (NIU), formerly Northland Baptist Bible College, hosted Pastor Rick Holland, [former] executive pastor of John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC), and presented him in chapel to address its student body.
Does the appearance of Rick Holland signal a new direction for NIU? You can draw your own conclusion and furthermore view Northland’s line up for modules in their Doctor of Ministry program. There you will find names such as Dr. Bruce Ware who teaches at Southern Seminary and contributed a chapter to a new book For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper.
When a man’s shoes are pointed west, he is headed west; pointed east, he is headed east. When you look at a man’s friends, fellowships and conferences he attends; whom a man opens his pulpit, chapel ministry or seminary to, whom he shares platforms with, it tells you something about him. It tells something about an institution. It tells you what he and the institution is now or what they soon will be.
Names and labels can give an indication of where a man comes from, his heritage. Names and labels can also indicate what direction a man and/or his ministry is headed toward. When a man or a Bible college changes or sheds a label it may indicate what he/it is headed toward or what he/it is headed away from. Not much different than a church that once had “Baptist” in its name, but dropping it for “community” church. It tells you something.
When Northland adopted its new name, Northland International University, it was IMO a sign telling the Christian community that Northland would be moving in a new and different direction, which is just now coming into full view.
Please continue to the second installment, NIU’s Convergence With Evangelicalism: What Does It Mean For Impressionable Students?
For an extended treatment of the changes that have been introduced at NIU please read, Is NIU “UnChanged?” Northland Baptist Bible College Position Statement on Contemporary Issues in Christianity
*“The new Calvinists constantly extol the Puritans, but they do not want to worship or live as they did. One of the vaunted new conferences is called Resolved, after Jonathan Edwards’ famous youthful Resolutions (seventy searching undertakings). But the culture of this conference would unquestionably have met with the outright condemnation of that great theologian. Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr. John MacArthur’s pastoral staff [Rick Holland], gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment. (Pictures of this conference on their website betray the totally worldly, showbusiness atmosphere created by the organisers.)” The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness by Dr. Peter Masters. (bold added, italics his)