FBFI: Questions for Matt Olson and Northland International University

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Alex Guggenheim's picture

I don't wanna talk about the issue I want to talk about Bob Jones University Pensacola Christian College. I want to talk about anything and everything but the issue.

Ummmm.... Remember Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap and First Baptist Church of Hammond ?That's exactly how they became able to do what they did because people didn't want to discuss the issues.

Matt Olson has decided to form a partnership and give a transfer of trust to a charismatic church which is contrary to a fundamentalist position.

But never minding all of that and reminding ourselves of First Baptist Church of Hammond and Jack Hyles/Schaap, SGM And Cj Mahaney have a history of abuse toward its members that would make Jack Hyles and First Baptist and Jack Schaap blush. But mark Deaver put his stamp of approval on heretical teacher Mahaney and SGM and that makes it all okay.

Barry L.'s picture

We all strive to have the proper biblical relationships, and, corporately, organizations publicly declare their criteria for those relationships; however,  every organization has inconsistencies with their public statements. My church has them (IFB), your church has them. My school has them (BJU), your school has them. It is impossible for an organization of any significant size (like more than 2 people) to have 100% consistency with their statements on fellowship and associations.

So why beat the drum on this NIU issue? Because NIU is the flavor of the month when it comes to whipping boys. I have no affiliation with NIU so I have no reason to defend them, but that's just my observation. There have been recent issues come with this institution, lately, so now it has a target on its back and some folks are scrutinizing every bit of the schools activities. Lot like our political climate today.

I am ok with discussing these issues. That's why this blog is here; however, those who bring up issues with other organizations also need to be willing and discuss critically those issues with their own "team".

 

 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I think we need to be careful about comparisons. Mr. Olson visited a church with charismatic leanings/associations, there are some students and staff associated with this church, therefore there is some question as to the dedication, consistency and accuracy of his and Northland's  doctrinal stance on cessationism... so now he's headed down the path of abuser or serial adulterer?

Talk about avoiding the issue...

I agree that if Northland has clearly defined themselves as separatist from any and all charismatic and noncessationist doctrine, then Mr. Olson needs to clarify his and the college's position on this. But I don't think he's going to go out tomorrow and start nailing puppies to garage doors. 

As I said before, so say I now again- when are Fundamentalist organizations going to demand that their member churches also be clearly cessationist, and separate from those churches that are not?

Maybe the intent is for Northland to be the 'example' and serve as a warning to those who are not dedicated and clearly defined cessationists. The problem is that what is claimed and what is practiced are not consistent, which makes many Fundamentalist churches dishonest as well as doctrinally skewed. 

 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Susan,

I agree but rarely do organizations make sudden and dramatic turns. I find this to be pro-activity. Maybe some do not like its degree of concern but it cannot be dismissed and it must be answered.

I am interested in any answer, if it is given. I suspect at some point it will have to be given.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Was Mr. Olson given an opportunity to answer before these questions were published? Seems like a few threads ago people were having an anaphylactic reaction to the idea of forming and voicing assumptions based solely on the possible appearance of evil, and words like "Phariseeical" and "uncharitable" were being tossed around like confetti. What's different about this situation... other than the fact that Mr. Olson hasn't done anything immoral or illegal. 

And to further repeat myself- shouldn't we consider the idea that our own doctrinal tolerance and ambiguity about cessationism, in the form of the aforementioned "God told me" nonsense, has contributed if not caused some of this confusion about apostolic gifts?

Goose-gander, KWIM?

Alex Guggenheim's picture

No he has not had time and no one has scolded him for not answering and he isn't even required to answer this set of questions or interrogators. But the questions won't go away and will have to get addressed at some point and he will if he is wise imo.

As far as "god told me so" its Fundie ambiguity does need cleared up (and most would probably be interested to know that Hyles' "Meet the Holy Spirit" went far in reinforcing this ambiguity eith Fundies in the last 35 years) but it is an illegitimate excuse and/or gateway for deliberate charismaticism in any form, light, medium, heavy or proprietary.

James K's picture

Alex, how do you go from Olson to Hyles/Schaap?  No one is saying Olson shouldn't talk about the issue.  He has issued a statement once already recently about NIU.

As for Mahaney, I haven't figured out why anyone listens to that guy for anything.  He writes a book about humility yet has the arrogance to go start his own religious movement and call themselves apostles.  I am not sure how he is a heretic though, maybe explain that part.  Bad theology yes, heretic though?  I would be interested to see your rationale for that.

Olson cannot simply unilaterally change the school.  He isn't alone on this.  If they have rethought the application of how separation should play out, and that includes redrawing the lines, then it does not necessarily mean a withdrawal of fundamentalism.  As you know, fundamentalism was always bigger than IFB.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Joel Tetreau's picture

For the 4 of you who are interested - I reworked post #27 during a commercial - enjoying college football this morning.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I'm not really trying to follow this discussion (I no longer have time for the messy ones!).

But I scanned enough to see if anyone had posted this link. Doesn't appear so. It's an old post by Challies ('06) about a SGM conference.

It's a nice, thought, calm​ (boy do I love those rare gems) report exploring how SGM views the role of gifts it believes continue (the ones cessationists like myself believe do not continue in any normal sense) today.... and how they show up in worship.

It can help put some things in perspective. SGM is not mainstream "Charismatic Movement" but is also not in the "non-cessationist as a mere abstraction" group either. They are fairly serious about making sure the gifts they believe continue actually have what they see as a continuing presence--though use of tongues is interestingly rare.

http://www.challies.com/liveblogging/worshipgod06-reflections

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Olson makes a complimentary comment on his blog about a Bible church that includes NIU alumni, which happens to affiliate with SGM – even though that is not relevant to his comments – and we are now wanting clarification on the NIU doctrinal statement and wondering if NIU will go charismatic??

Give me a break, guys!

If you were thoughtfully weighing the question: "Why would NIU grads want to associate with the SGM? What was deficient in their training that caused them to take this turn?" – I could see having the conversation.

But to argue about this? And we wonder why IFB is losing the tiny bit of credibility it has left in both the Christian and secular worlds??

Come on guys – we have to do better... Let's get real...

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
As far as "god told me so" its Fundie ambiguity does need cleared up... but it is an illegitimate excuse and/or gateway for deliberate charismaticism in any form, light, medium, heavy or proprietary.

I think 'God told me' qualifies as charismaticism, only it is cloaked instead of obvious. If SGM churches are being honest about their beliefs on apostolic gifts, they are a step ahead of IFBism IMO, because Fundies have been far from honest in this area. Most refuse to admit that making prophetic declarations and claiming they receive  special revelation is just as charismatic as speaking in tongues. 

So why not take some responsibility for the state of affairs? Doesn't humility require us to consider ourselves first when making accusations? Why, instead of "Those sheep you gave me" we don't hear leadership say "It's my fault they went wrong". Why can't associations and organizations admit that they've tolerated this error for far too long in their own camps, that it is possible this has contributed in some way to some (not all) of this doctrinal confusion, and do a thorough house cleaning? If that includes Olson and Northland- fine. But for cryin' out loud, let's be fair, honest, and equitable about it. 

I'm still waiting for evidence that visiting a church and saying nice things about it is tantamount to a wholesale endorsement of everything in their SoF to the color of the carpet. 

Jim's picture

Question: If one commends another ministry does that mean that said commender agrees with every aspect that that ministry?

 

So Matt's commendation:

 

My soul was refreshed and encouraged as I saw a variety of things taking place at Grace. At Grace they focus on Christ in all that they do. This was evidenced by their worship, expository preaching, and deliberateness of their service. This is a church that is multi-ethnic, has a heart for the city, thriving with young people, and getting ready to launch a church plant in the next 9-12 months into another part of the city. They get what matters most.

He said they focus on Christ:

  • evidenced by their worship ...
  • expository preaching ..
  • deliberateness of their service

Further commendation:

  • multi-ethnic
  • a heart for the city
  • thriving with young people
  • getting ready to launch a church plant

He concludes: "They get what matters most."

Again my question: If one commends another ministry does that mean that said commender agrees with every aspect that that ministry?

Joel Tetreau's picture

Susan,

I understand I think what you are trying to say to Alex and can appreciate your direction there.

One point of consideration - in fairness - for 2000 years there have been many, many different kind of strong Bible-based believers and leaders in a variety of movements that believed in one way or another that, "God told me." Many of them predate the "charismatic movement." I don't believe that in fairness you can call that view (which is mystical to a greater or lesser degree) "charismaticism." When one says, "God told me" and then equate that to the same level of Scripture/Authority - that would (at least in my book) place one within the charismatic "tent."

I appreciate the way you ended your post to Alex and I would agree with you entirely. I have said some positive things about a variety of leaders and their ministries - even though in many cases it would not be possible for me to give a whole-hearted endorsement.

Straight Ahead,

back to the football game!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Jim's picture

Paul commends Corinth:

 

 

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Joel Tetreau wrote:

Susan,

I understand I think what you are trying to say to Alex and can appreciate your direction there.

One point of consideration - in fairness - for 2000 years there have been many, many different kind of strong Bible-based believers and leaders in a variety of movements that believed in one way or another that, "God told me." Many of them predate the "charismatic movement." I don't believe that in fairness you can call that view (which is mystical to a greater or lesser degree) "charismaticism." When one says, "God told me" and then equate that to the same level of Scripture/Authority - that would (at least in my book) place one within the charismatic "tent."

I appreciate the way you ended your post to Alex and I would agree with you entirely. I have said some positive things about a variety of leaders and their ministries - even though in many cases it would not be possible for me to give a whole-hearted endorsement.

Straight Ahead,

back to the football game!

jt

Not to go too far down the bunny trail, but I don't want folks to think I'm confusing the idea of God 'speaking' to us through His preserved Word via the Holy Spirit in ways that are consistent with what we know to be Scripturally supportable, and "God impressed on me that we needed to move to Detroit" (it had to be God, ya' know, because if it wasn't, they'd've been impressed to move to Waikiki) or "God has called my son/daughter to be a missionary" (and the poor kid is about 4 years old). This is all too common in IFBism, and if that ain't claiming a gift you ain't got no kin to, I don't reckon I know what is. 

As for which came first and what it was called, I don't grasp how that is meaningful to this discussion. If we are declaring noncessationists to be in error, then errors relating to apostolic gifts are erroneous, be they errors of the charismatic movement, or errors in making false claims about gifts not granted to us. Folks died from something called 'the consumption' until Dr. Koch discovered the tuberculosis bacillus. ​Is anyone less dead because it now goes by a different name?

Bottom line, IMO- Proverbs 25:14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. ​I think we are bound by honesty and humility to consider ourselves before attempting to address the errors of others. If the beliefs and associations of Mr. Olson ergo Northland are the first stop this particular bus is taking, then by all means, go for it. But let's not park the bus there for any longer than necessary. 

(This post took forever because I had to stop and buy some popcorn from a Cub Scout. This is serious stuff.)

 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

I think the melodrama by those protesting the inquiry regarding inconsistency at NIU and Matt Olson with respect to their historic and still present policy concerning charismatic doctrine, practice and association is simply an embarrassment to claims, stated and assumed, of integrity in dealing with the matter.

What is somewhat stunning is that the very tactics of the sycophants and lapdogs of Hyles and other discredit Fundie leaders as well as the leaders themselves, are being used to attempt to simply silence the stated objections of Olson. As some Fundamentalists rise to a better level of good thinking, we are watching another group sink and imitate the very thing they claim to eschew in Fundamentalists of days gone by and of recent isolated incidents.

What part of...

Come the beginning of September Greg Dietrich and his wife will be relocating to Philadelphia to attend Grace and work remotely for us at Northland.

...is still not connecting with those who wish to pass this off simply as "commending" or "complimenting" a ministry. It is beyond that and most of that most know it is not merely complimenting.

It is a partnership, limited or otherwise but a partnership with a charismatic church buy NIU at the approval of Matt Olson. End of story.

If you cannot bring yourself to say that, fine, but that how it is.

The question then is, why is there a contradiction in policy vs practice? Don Johnson clearly documented the policy and demonstrated in this case the the practice of this partnership is contrary.

But wait...let's instead, question the motives of those raising questions. This is Jack Hyles/Schaap FBHC Hyles/Anderson all over again except with different story lines but still ending outside of fundamentalism, only in a different place.

If Matt Olson and NIU wants to be something else, more power to them but be honest.

As to unilateral changes, certainly no one can unilaterally make changes because rarely is that how it is done in any organization other than very critical and lifesaving restructuring, even with the most dynamic leadership. It is done incrementally.

So though this is a singular event it is pivotal. The pivot is not toward fundamentalism but away from it. SGM is not fundamentalist.

So at some point, Matt Olson will be answering these concerns. You can afford to pretend he only gave a compliment but he won't be able to because the questions will not go away.

 

 

 

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Brother Alex,

I think, frankly, that you're creating some of the drama here. Comparing this in any way, shape, form or fashion to the Hyles/Schaap situation is absurd beyond any reasonable limit. There is no need to make such a ridiculous comparison. In fact, even making it softens the impact of the incredibly serious problems at Hammond, which go infinitely beyond intricate theological differences and the wording of a doctrinal statement in a catalog.

Good grief!!! Would you come up with something better than that!!! This is what I was talking about in post no. 41.

FYI – I am not a lapdog of Olson. I have never even met the man or heard him preach.

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

Greg Long's picture

Let me begin by saying I appreciate much about and have benefited greatly from C. J. Mahaney and SGM. He is probably the best preacher I have ever heard and I highly recommend his book Living the Cross-Centered Life (in fact our small group just finished studying it). I love SGM music, too.

HSAT, I think Don raises at least one legitimate question. I have no problem with Olson commending an SGM church, but the issue of a Northland employee a member of an SGM church would raise my eyebrow given Northland's doctrinal statement (if that is indeed the situation). 

What would we think about an NIU employee joining Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian? 

I have no personal problem with these ministries as I believe overall they are advancing the cause of Christ but it is a matter of consistency with the institutional doctrinal statement.

At the very least further explanation is needed.

 

Wow...I agree with Don and Alex? I am stunned. Smile

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Thanks for that Greg.

I'm disappointed to see so many emoting so much in the thread. If there is anything at all worth talking about here (and "if" is the right word) it's what Don's post asserts, and how he makes his case and some larger questions like what sort of relationship should historically cessationist (passionately cessationist) institutions have with organizations like SGM.

(But I guess talking about silly things like ideas and principles is just too boring when you hiss and spit about people.)

I seem to be increasingly alone in believing this, but attacks on Don's motives or Matt's motives or anybody else's motives do not belong here. You all agreed to the Comment Policy. Some of you need to review it.

Some have reacted here without apparently even reading Don's piece. It's about more than MO saying nice things about some SGM guys. If I were Don, I'd have skipped that part entirely just to increase the chances that the weightier questions would not get lost in the inevitable furor.

The situation calls for reining in tempers and making measured statements (if any at all).

Chances are good the thread will close before much longer.

 

Edit... OK, that sounded worse than I intended. There are some pretty good observations in the thread and I don't want to too broadly criticize it. I do appreciate what many of you have contributed here. (It's been a really hard week and I probably need a vacation)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Ron Bean's picture

Could God choose to give a gift of the Spirit today? If no, why not? A simple and scriptural answer is requested.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Greg Long wrote:

... the issue of a Northland employee a member of an SGM church would raise my eyebrow given Northland's doctrinal statement (if that is indeed the situation).

I agree that this is a very good question. Maybe it's a science geek thing, but I don't want to just look at an instance of something, I want to know if it is part of a larger picture. Is it fruit or a root? 

I do hope that Mr. Olson addresses some of the questions posed, but I hope we keep asking questions that get further into the heart of the matter. 

Steve Davis's picture

I would say something like this. Yes NIU has changed in some ways and in some ways will never change. We remain committed to God's Word and seeking to better understand how it relates to all of life. In the past we have gone beyond Scripture in some areas such as separation and believe God has graciously led us to greater balance in seeking God honoring unity while practicing biblical separation. While we remain committed to our distinctives, the Bible does not enjoin knee jerk separation over dispensationalism, non-cessationism, or music choices (for example). We will prayerfully consider how to apply scriptural principles to guide our decisions and seek godly council but we will not bow to any organization or self- appointed guardians of fundamentalism and we will not limit our fellowship to those whom they approve. We have changed and will continue to change as prompted by Scripture. We will not change in the pursuit of our mission to serve God in our generation and to prepare the next generation for global mission.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

Barring some unforeseen twist or turn on this subject, I plan for this to be my final thought on the matter.

Aaron, Thanks for the admonition in post no. 50. It was very thoughtful, and if you were thinking of me, I apologize.

On one level, this should not be a subject I am passionate about because I don't have any real connection to the issues at hand. Nor did I look at this, apparently, as thoughtfully as Aaron did, as I do not see this as the tip of a deep, philosophical iceberg. I guess I am more in Joel T.'s camp on this one. I saw it more as an instance where a voice representing a Fundamentalist institution was able to tie enough connections together to see a problem with Olson commending this Bible church – if they dug far enough into the implications of the whole arrangement. From there, the leap was made to call for a reaffirmation of NIU's doctrinal statement – as if that were ever in question to begin with! Using this type of approach, theological investigators could probably find enough evidence to accuse any Christian leader with gross inconsistencies.

Having grown up in the WELS and then spending the last 25 years within separatist, fundamentalist Baptist and Bible institutions, I think I have the doctrine of separation down pretty well. I am not proposing an ecumenical movement, and I do not think we need to push for cozier relationships with non-cessationists. I also have no desire to fellowship with SGM. But I also think I have grown in my own implementation of separation to become a little more balanced, and I think that the article is out of all proportion in its response to Olson's act of Christian grace.

As for the NIU staffer continuing with both institutions, that may be another matter on an institutional level, but it's not something I'm prepared to lose sleep over until I see more evidence of a concerning nature. Probably all of us have bigger problems than that swirling right here around our ears.

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

handerson's picture

Just a few observations...

1. When was fundamentalism reduced to terminology? It seems like this has fast become a discussion--not of the actual distinctions between SGM and NUI but the terms they use.

SGM "charismaticism" is not much different from what I experienced in Bible-based fundamentalism growing up. (Which is also precisely why so many young fundamentalists can easily make the transition to SG churches--they do not really have to embrace anything distinctly different about how the Spirit works, only the extent to which He plays a role in everyday life.) Let's not forget our own holiness/revivalist roots.

We were recently part of a church that was in the early steps of adoption into SGM. Part of that process included educating the congregation (formerly reformed baptist) about the way SGM embraces the Holy Spirit. The examples they gave were no different than all the examples I heard growing up from missionaries who experienced miraculous gifts, to camp speakers who called for us to respond to the moving of the Spirit at alter calls, to church testimony time where people shared what "God was speaking to them about." I left scratching my head, not so much about how SGM engaged the Holy Spirit, but how this congregation apparently had not for the last thirty years.

Still, there are a lot of reasons I'm not a fan of SGM just as there are a lot of reasons I'm not a fan of FBC in Hammond--ironically most of them have to do with polity and leadership paradigms--but I think if we're honest, the differences between NUI and SGM are not as huge as the words each are using imply.

And just to stir the pot...

2. How much of the concern is fueled by the exodus of NUI graduates (and young fundamentalists) to churches outside the constituency? 

(If #2 goes too much against Aaron's admonition to avoid evaluating motives, feel free to ignore it.)

Mike Harding's picture

Joel,

 

Matt and I both attended and graduated together from BJU in the late seventies.  We both served together on summer evangelistic teams.  I have served on three separate board of directors with Matt.  We are friends.  We have enjoyed meals together.  I have supported Northland financially, sent students, and have used their camp for many years.  I have deep respect and appreciation for the church Matt started years ago in Colorado.  I am also well acquainted with Les Ollila and count him as a dear friend in the ministry.  Needless to say, I have always appreciated Northland and have spoken there on numerous occasions as well as had Northland reps. speak in our church, Christian school, etc.  Also, I have no problem with a culture of appropriate change.  All the schools I am familiar with go through change.  I don't have an ax to grind here.

If Northland is changing to the extent that Dr. Steve Davis (earned) has written, it would be appropriate for the leaders to say so clearly.  Steve and I have also been close friends for decades.  I know and love Steve and his family very much.  I supported Steve as a missionary all over the world for many years.  Steve graciously informed me several years ago that he would be starting a church with his brother John (whom I also know).  Both Steve and I knew there were enough differences between us that it would be best if I gave that support to someone else, namely his brother-in-law who is serving out of DBTS in China.  What I appreciated about Steve was his honesty and transparency and integrity in the matter.

Frankly, I liked Northland the way it was under the direct leadership of Les Ollila.  It was a strong separatist, Baptist school both culturally and theologically. It had a strong separatist stand, an excellent theology, and a warm-hearted servant's spirit under Les's leadership. To what extent that has changed I cannot say for certain. What I can say for certain is that the policies cited by Don in Northland's documents are on target.  It is not unreasonable for us to expect the current leaders to follow, believe, and espouse those policies.  How hard would it have been for Matt to simply say there are some wonderful things he appreciates about this particular SG church while at the same time bemoan the acceptance of their charismatic, non-cessationist views?  Doctrine is also a big deal.  When SGM allows for prophets and apostles today, that is a big deal!  It may be as Shayne has suggested that this particular church is a reforming influence in that denomination.  I hope so.  Still, it is incumbent upon Northland that the Bible faculty be members of churches that are of like faith and practice with the institutional documents of the university for which they work.

I remember having a conversation with Dr. Bill Combs at DBTS several years ago when they were interviewing a brilliant young professor for possible faculty.  One of the issues that came up was the fact that this professor was not clear on the cessationist question.  Combs told me that they could never seriously consider hiring a professor who was not solid on that issue.  I appreciate the doctrinal clarity and militancy of that institution.  I think Northland would do itself well to hold to its historical doctrinal positions with the same clarity and consistency as it did under the previous administration.

Pastor Mike Harding

Joel Tetreau's picture

Mike,

This is a big deal because you are making it a big deal. NIU is not charismatic! They hold the same doctrine they've always held. The only difference is that they are extending certain grace that others (like you) would not extend on a personal level to other "sub-groups" within wider evangelicalism. You guys are driving a truck into this! Movement fundamentalism does this - scare tactics - you hate that NIU is ministering within your orb and they dare to practice a bit differently than you - so now we are going to tag them with this "pro-charismatic" label and you do that by throwing them under the bus - or maybe in this case - under the snow plow! You did the same thing when Pillsbury was doing a few things differently. I've heard the same kind of stuff being thrown at Calvary of Lansdale because they had Dever in. This is what you and others do! So what is telling about this note is your continued accusations:

1. You set up this dualism explaining that Matt is dishonest and Steve was honest. Matt has clearly stated publicly and in private who he is and where he's going. NIU is not changing who they are in essence merely how the accomplish that in mission.

2. What's up with highlighting Steve's doctorate was earned? Are you trying to use the fact that Steve's was earned as a shot at Matt or someone else? Mine was earned but I don't wear it on my lapel and I certainly don't use it to whip others who were either given a doctorate or who haven't been able to earn one yet because of the particular demands of their ministry in their corner of the vineyard. Besides wasn't your doctorate given to you Mike? Maybe you've earned one sense one was given to you. I'm sorry for not staying in touch with you. I probably should know this. My simple point here is that even if your doctorate was given to you, I wouldn't imply less than "rose-y" things about you just because yours was not earned!

3. We get it. We understand that you and others wish that Matt was Dr. O. Matt is not Dr. O! Matt is Matt. Most of us out here - we love them both - as well as the other Godly leaders who have and continue to serve at NIU.

Nothing else to say that I haven't already said before. I think I'm going to just start using "short hand" for these responses. I'll note the year and the thread post where I've already said this. Something like - "3 Lines - 09' post #2." That would be much better. Yep - think I'll do that from here on out. That way only those who are really motivated will look up my past logic (or non-logic).

Straight Ahead

jt

"The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin and never seeing noble game. The cynic puts all human action into two classes: openly bad and secretly bad" (Henry W. Beecher)

 

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Jim's picture

Joel ..  you are ascribing motives here: "you hate that NIU is ministering within your orb and they dare to practice a bit differently than you" (previous post)

 

Please refrain. Thanks

 

Joel Tetreau's picture

So Mike,

Per moderation - which moderation is a good thing!

I don't know for sure why you put the "earned" comment with Steve's doctorate - my fear is that you were setting up a kind of veiled whatever contra Matt - it may have been a completely honest descript. If it wasn't that then I apologize for reading that which I read into that...... 

Also - friend Jim here is correct.

There is no way for sure that I know for sure that "you hate NIU for ministering outside your orb." My fear is that you "really, really, really dislike" NIU for such n such - but the mod's are good for making sure we don't assume or attack motive.......which maybe others have done towards NIU......but we'll let others decide.   

Straight Ahead!

jt

ps - Jim thx for the help there - sorry to cross the oncoming lane of traffic there officer! Smile

 

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Mike Harding's picture

Joel,

 

Just a clarification or two for you.  I mentioned that Steve Davis's doctorate was earned because Steve and I had a misunderstanding in a previous thread about a comment cited by me that was originally made by David Wells.  I have a B.A, M.A., M.Div. and Th.M.  Folks around here call me Pastor Harding, some call me Mike, and some like you call me a hate mongering cynic. 

 

I had no knowledge of, participation in, or remote liability regarding the demise of Pillsbury.  I love their cakes, however.

 

I have never gone after Tim Jordan over the Dever issue and defended my friends (Bauder and Doran) who spoke at that conference.

 

Cessationism/non-cessationism is a big deal as reflected in Northland's institutional documents. 

 

I think Matt did make himself clear in part three which I just read a few minutes ago.

 

The problem with taxonomies is that you attach everything in your ABC labels to individuals as you just did with me.  Junk the taxonomy; it's not new revelation.

 

One final comment, I just read your latest point.  Thanks for the clarification on your side.

 

 

Pastor Mike Harding

Joel Tetreau's picture

Mike,

You think I see you as a hate-mongering cynic. You wound me. I don't see you as hate-mongering! 

I'm grateful you are a pastor who loves the gospel, stands for truth and cares for the sheep. Despite our differences (which seems to be growing) I love you both in the Lord and within the "Aug-ust" orb of we humble DBTS grads!

And in the words of one of my favorite Puritans, Jeremiah Burroughs - "variety of opinion and unity of opinion are not incompatible"

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

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