In recent articles we have been considering a number of disconcerting issues with Northland International University (NIU). Pastor Don Johnson made significant contributions to this issue from his personal blog an oxgoad, eh and with Questions for Matt Olson & NIU at the FBFI’s Proclaim & Defend blog. We have been discussing what really matters most in regard to the shifting sands and new trajectory of the former Northland Baptist Bible College. Dr. Matt Olson has been reacting, in article form, from his personal blog. Very little in precise terms has been forthcoming in answer to the questions many people have regarding the changes at NIU. We do, however, have some items to consider from Dr. Olson’s What Matter Most series. At the conclusion of What Matters Most (Part 2) Dr. Olson wrote, “Yes, when it comes to Christianity in the fullest sense, it IS all about the gospel!”
Second, the “It’s all about the Gospel” mantra is how men who claim allegiance to biblical separation, claim to be “militant” separatists ultimately legitimize working in cooperative ministry with non-separatists, theological extremists and ecumenical compromisers. If it’s only or all about the gospel they can fellowship and cooperate with men who believe, preach, practice and defend aberrant theology, cultural relativism and ecumenical compromise.
Because Dr. Olson says, “It IS all about the gospel,” he can praise the church, men and ministry of the Grace Bible Church, which is a member of CJ Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries.3 When Dr. Olson praised the ministry of the Grace Bible Church he:
1) Was acting in contravention to the current NIU Articles of Faith and Handbook doctrinal statements, which calls on NIU staff and students to reject and oppose Charismatic theology.4
2) Put a stamp of approval on a counterfeit form of Christianity.
3) In his capacity as NIU president he put the university’s stamp of approval on a counterfeit doctrine.
Families who once attended, once sent or presently have children at NIU are asking legitimate questions. In the previous article we consider Dr. Doug McLachlan’s President’s Page: Philosophy of Ministry5 published in 1998 Dr. McLachlan wrote,
“Covering our beliefs, hiding our theology by masking our identity and camouflaging our name may indeed attract a larger crowd (most contemporary consumers think little of “brand loyalty”), but it has great potential to jeopardize and weaken our doctrine, our truth-claims. It produces an environment where beliefs tend to be minimized, changed and in some cases even abandoned as irrelevant to mission, unimportant to ministry….One of the reasons our name ‘Baptist’ still has merit is because it identifies for honest seekers who we are and what we believe.”Northland, you are no longer the “Baptist Bible College.” Who then are you? what are your “truth-claims?” What exactly do you believe?
Please continue with this series at Where the Lines Are Drawn
Kevin Bauder wrote, “Both fundamentalists and evangelicals believe, preach and defend the [same] gospel.” You would be hard pressed to identify any of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals that do not believe, preach and defend the Lordship Salvation (LS) interpretation of the gospel. There are, however, hundreds of Fundamental Baptist pastors that reject Lordship Salvation interpretation of the gospel. They absolutely reject LS as a false, non-saving message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).2) Dr. Bob Jones, III: The Faith of the Gospel, Part 4
3) CJ Mahaney’s SGM is an association of Charismatic churches. In the event you are unsure of what it means to be a Charismatic (aka, “non-cessationist”) in theology you would believe the 1st century miraculous sign gifts such as tongues, prophecy and miracles of healing are in operation and should be sought after today.
4) “Among the gifts listed in the Bible, we believe that sign gifts have ceased for today. Therefore, we reject the modern charismatic movement and the confusion which it has brought. (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; 13:8; Ephesians 4:11-12).”
5) Dr. Doug McLachlan: The President’s Page: Philosophy of Ministry
Dr. Olson, Would You Kindly Tell Us...?
The Closing of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College