The last few months of activity from Northland International University (NIU) have produced a great deal of reaction, concern and controversy. Later I am introducing two blog partners who speak to these issues.
Current NIU president Dr. Matt Olson has praised a church and its pastor, which is a Charismatic sign gifts ministry with ties to CJ Maheney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries. More recently we viewed a video that showed NIU students, under faculty supervision, performing a blasphemous interpretation of “Jesus Loves Me.” In the coming days we will discuss NIU excursions to conferences such as T4G and John Piper’s Desiring God. These are tragic days, and quite possibly the beginning of the end, for a once fine institution. You can review several examples of the changes at NIU by reading these articles:
Is NIU “Unchanged?”
Dr. Olson dismisses legitimate concerns with these and additional issues under the umbrella mantra, “It’s all about the Gospel.” He, furthermore, has not and will not answer any of the legitimate questions in regard to what he has done to change NIU and why he is acting in ways that contravene current NIU Articles of Faith and its student/faculty Handbooks. He will not answer questions about the theological and practical changes he has initiated at NIU. See, Dr. Olson, Would You Kindly Tell Us...?
Dr. Bob Jones, III defined the new wave of compromise exactly right when he said,
One of the starkest examples of the new tolerance was in regard to Dr. Al Mohler signing the Manhattan Declaration (MD).2 Mohler’s signing the MD (Nov. 2009) gave Christian recognition to the “deadly enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Phil. 3:18) Al Mohler has never apologized for or repented of having signed the MD along with Roman Catholic priests and apostates. Dave Doran dismissed the incident as merely, “a wrong decision based on bad judgment.” Kevin Bauder suggested it was nothing more than a, “single episode...an occasional inconsistency.”3“There is the saving gospel, which introduces us to the faith of the gospel. And if we embrace the philosophy that it’s just about the gospel we can put our arms around about every wrong, unbecoming Christian behavior in all the world. We can put our stamp of approval on counterfeit Christianity. If they’re preaching the gospel… no matter what else is going on in those ministries, no matter what endorsements and involvements they have with liberal unbelieving religion, no matter what ecumenical reach they may have, no matter what distortions they may have, no matter what tolerance for the intolerable…we can embrace all of that and say that’s fine, that’s good they’re preaching the gospel. This verse [Phil. 1:27] makes it very clear that there is a lot more than that….”
Today, I want to recommend two blogs for your consideration. They are: Parsings of a Preacher, Pastor Brian Ernsberger and Faith, Theology & Ministry, Evangelist Gordon Phillips. Both of these have been part of my Recommended Sites feature and very helpful addressing both from their own blogs and at IDOTG the concerns many of you share with the spread of the new wave New Evangelicalism making inroads into and around fundamental Baptist circles. Brothers Phillips and Ernsberger have addressed and even interacted with certain men and institutions that once were considered and unashamedly identified themselves as part of the separatist fundamentalist movement.
“If it were all about the importance of the Gospel then variations of the Biblical Gospel would matter. No man could truly believe in the utmost importance of the Gospel but then walk in the shadows when it comes to matters of a Crossless or Lordship Gospel. His voice would be clear and distinct defining with great clarity where he stood. The truth is that the Gospel does matter, and it matters much. But its place of importance rather than diminishing other Scriptural teachings elevates them all in importance. Because the Gospel matters, everything else matters. Because Christ is my Savior, everything He taught should be important to me.”
“This idea of the primacy of the Gospel over the other major tenets of the faith has opened up the flood gate of ecumenical evangelism, particularly since the days of Billy Graham’s compromise in the 50’s. One wonders if this push of primacy is not tied to Covenant Theology’s faulty understanding of God’s primary purpose on earth being redemptive rather than doxological. But then, Matt Olson has relegated Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism to the second tier of importance.”
1) Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page
Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran to Join Mark Dever at Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?
Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale) Hosting Haddon Robinson
Dr. Ernest Pickering, A Mood of Broadmindedness: The “NEW” New Evangelicalism
Dr. Ernest Pickering, “The Separatist Cause is Not Advance by Featuring Non-Separatists”