March 22, 2012

NIU: Let’s Get First Hand on the Facts

Typically, I will not post comments submitted anonymously. If the writer doesn’t have the character and backbone to identify himself he has no reason to expect his comment to appear. This week, however, I allowed for an example of the kind of misinformed, naive attitude and factual errors that exist in regard to the reporting of the changes that have come to Northland International University (NIU) under the current leadership. The following anonymously submitted comment appears in the thread under, Is NIU “Unchanged?” Northland Baptist Bible College Position Statement on Contemporary Issues in Christianity (January 10, 2011).
WOW. I find it interesting how easily people believe information they read and/or hear second and even third hand; and then proceed to make assumptions and attack people and institutions without ever talking and visiting that person or place first hand (not the Biblical model). It is no wonder that Christianity is destroying itself from the inside out with the aid of these negligent and hasty accusations. This is very sad. I have recently visited NIU and talked with leadership there and can emphatically say that your assumptions (and that’s all they are) are drastically wrong. NIU is an excellent institution that is bringing glory to God all around the world.”
My revised reply to that comment follows:
1) Is NIU “Unchanged?” Northland Baptist Bible College Position Statement on Contemporary Issues in Christianity is thoroughly documented. It reports what is widely known and irrefutable about the changes and new direction of the formerly biblically separatist school. 

2) I provided a copy of and communicated directly with Dr. Matt Olson about the article two weeks PRIOR to its publication. I gave him the opportunity to identify any factual errors and in his reply he cited none. That is because there are no factual errors! Dr. Olson knows he has an open door to contact me about any of the NIU articles at this blog. I gave him my personal promise that if he identifies any error I will immediately make the correction or deletion. He hasn’t named any errors in any of the NIU articles at my blog because there are no factual errors and Dr. Olson knows it. Now, I challenge you to cite exactly what areas of the article the unnamed NIU leadership allegedly told you are “drastically wrong.” Of course, these leaders won’t mind if I contact them so that they can help me make the corrections. Incidentally, to post here again use of your full name will be required. 

3) I visited the former NBBC twice, once in 2000 and again in 2001. Both were extended visits as a guest of the college in an official capacity. I became very familiar with the college, its student body, faculty and characteristics as a fundamental, separatist institution. The changes evident today are in stark contrast to what I witnessed firsthand over ten years ago. In late January this year I was on campus again, early one morning, to visit and pray for its recovery from compromise, which has at its end a slide towards New Evangelicalism.

On December 27, 2010 (two weeks prior to publication of Is NIU “Unchanged?”) I sent the complete article to Dr. Matt Olson for his personal review with this header:
Dear Dr. Olson: I rarely send an advance on articles that will appear at my blog, but I am doing you this courtesy. Below is a near final draft of an article I will be publishing in January [2011]. I am attaching this advance for your attention. If you have anything you would like to share in regard to the article itself please reply at your earliest convenience. If there are any factual errors I will be happy to make corrections prior to publication.
Dr. Olson responded. He cited no factual errors in the article whatsoever. There are no assumptions only observable facts. It appears our anonymous commenter has been misinformed by alleged NIU officials, these alleged officials may have never read the article in question, the anonymous person was deceived or is acting alone having never spoke to responsible leadership at NIU in the first place. Whatever the case, he/she is woefully misinformed and misguided.

FWIW, in a separate communication with Dr. Olson on another article he requested that I withhold publication of the article. The article detailed an event at NIU that might have been highly damaging.... I gave conditional benefit of the doubt and did not publish the article. So, to anyone who suggests I have not spoken to NIU leadership: You are dreadfully mistaken! I trust Dr. Olson would verify I have communicated with him about these articles if you ask him.

The invitation is open to anyone in leadership at NIU to identify factual error(s) in the Is NIU “Unchanged” article. Just as I offered to NIU president Dr. Matt Olson, two weeks prior to publication, if conclusive proof of an error is provided I will revise or remove immediately. A full name must accompany any submission to a comment thread. Any e-mail I receive at must include the sender’s full name and will be cited. Anonymous comments and/or e-mails will be deleted without reading. This offer is open-ended and applicable of any of the eleven articles I have published in regard to the changes that have come to NIU. All are open for review and correction.

On Monday I am going to republish the January 10, 2011 article Is NIU “Unchanged?” Northland Baptist Bible College Position Statement on Contemporary Issues in Christianity for open reading and review. This article has had in excess of 10,000 reads and is #2 most read all time at my blog. Of the eleven articles in the NIU series, Dr. Matt Olson Uninvited from BJU Baccalaureate is the most recommended.

Lord willing NIU will one day reverse course from the change in trajectory toward compromise and worldliness it has been set upon by the current leadership. One day NIU might return to the place and standing before God so it will once again become the “excellent institution...bringing glory to God” it used to be.

Yours in His service,


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