BJU releases response to G.R.A.C.E. report

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Jim's picture

Also ... interesting about Jim Berg (in QA section):

With regard to the writings of Jim Berg, we have reviewed his written material on a wide variety of topics and have found them to be faithful to Scripture. Obviously, as would be expected of any writer, his later works reflect the benefit of ongoing growth in and mastery of his subject matter. Thousands of believers have benefited from his books and hundreds of churches have used his materials with great spiritual profit. His book, Changed into His Image received a positive review from the late Roy Zuck in Bibliotheca Sacra, the theological journal of Dallas Theological Seminary. His writings have appeared in the Journal of Biblical Counseling and are recommended reading for courses at several Bible colleges and seminaries, including Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. We will continue to use these materials in our courses and make them available in our campus store and through BJU Press.

mmartin's picture

One of the main items listed in GRACE's report to BJU was regarding Berg and BJIII.  I saw a response about Berg, but nothing about BJIII.  Did I miss something?

I don't have a problem with BJU keeping Changed Into His Image in their store.  However, BJU justifies keeping this material because of Southern?  Most definitely not a normal BJU attitude.

About BJIII, I didn't expect BJU to fire him, but (unless I missed something) the lack of response about BJIII is very surprising.  What, is BJIII untouchable?

Not sure what to make of this response.  I don't think it is complete.

Jim's picture

mmartin wrote:

One of the main items listed in GRACE's report to BJU was regarding Berg and BJIII.  I saw a response about Berg, but nothing about BJIII.  Did I miss something?

I don't have a problem with BJU keeping Changed Into His Image in their store.  However, BJU justifies keeping this material because of Southern?  Most definitely not a normal BJU attitude.

About BJIII, I didn't expect BJU to fire him, but (unless I missed something) the lack of response about BJIII is very surprising.  What, is BJIII untouchable?

Not sure what to make of this response.  I don't think it is complete.

 

Bob Jones University considers all personnel matters private and handles them internally.

Jay's picture

mmartin wrote:

One of the main items listed in GRACE's report to BJU was regarding Berg and BJIII.  I saw a response about Berg, but nothing about BJIII.  Did I miss something?

About BJIII, I didn't expect BJU to fire him, but (unless I missed something) the lack of response about BJIII is very surprising.  What, is BJIII untouchable?

Honestly, though...what are they supposed to say?  "Oh, we're firing the school chancellor and last of the Jones namesakes." Or maybe, "We think that the role of Dr. Jones III was overemphasized in the GRACE report and will therefore be ignoring those recommendations."  

If you look at the website, it does say that they don't comment on personnel matters, and I think that's a good policy to take as a rule.  Contrary to popular opinion, not everything on the 'inside' of a company should be publicly announced and publicly responded to.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

JJ Hoban's picture

No surprise that they refuse to deal with the men who were so influential in their counseling methods and programs and the men who are the reason for the GRACE project to begin with.  One need to look no further than the Bible Conference Schedule to see the 3rd as a keynote speaker.  Their quip about dealing with personnel is all too easy for them to avoid the ramifications of their wrongful doings-- they need to deal with the matter according to the scope of those who were affected by their SIN.  They will deal generally with the nameless (victims) and those who are named are protected behind Vatican walls. 

JGreen's picture

There are some disturbing allegations in the GRACE report which were completely ignored in the response or handled with the generic statements such as "Bob Jones University considers all personnel matters private and handles them internally."  I would have liked to have seen some of those items addressed, specifically where past BJU leadership was mentioned.  Yes, Pettit admitted that BJU failed some students and asked for forgiveness and that is a good thing but how they address future incidents will be crucial.

The primary issue in my mind though has never been whether BJU students were safe on campus but whether the children at the local churches were/are safe. The culture of BJU may change under the leadership of Pettit but I fear that the culture of the home churches will not be affected by this for possibly generations to come, if ever.  Many of the churches which feed BJU with students are led by BJU graduates themselves.  These BJU graduate pastors may still be tempted to protect their ministry from embarrassment/financial loss by handling the crimes associated with sexual/physical abuse in-house.   Statutes of limitations are very helpful to those who want a problem to legally go away....

Bert Perry's picture

Let's be serious here; if Berg or Jones had been disicplined by BJU, we would have known.  Obviously BJU, for better or worse, has decided that their record does not merit obvious discipline.

It puzzles me, FWIW, that the lawyer didn't find some failures to report.   Seems that he was looking at different records than was GRACE?  Hmmm......there might be something of interest there.  Exactly what, I don't know, but the GRACE report reported some things that were slam dunks IMO.

Reread a portion of the GRACE report, and the response about the counselors, Berg's work in particular, puzzles me.  Now I'm no expert on Berg's work, but if indeed some of his videos & books include the notion that a woman can lead a man astray by her clothing choices, those videos and books need to be at the very least revised, if not withdrawn completely.  The adulterous women spoken of in Proverbs 7 are doing a lot more than just dressing up to catch a man, and the very reason God put that passage into Scripture is because it is the son's sin if he goes in to "that woman".  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

jimcarwest's picture

Jim wrote:

Also ... interesting about Jim Berg (in QA section):

With regard to the writings of Jim Berg, we have reviewed his written material on a wide variety of topics and have found them to be faithful to Scripture. Obviously, as would be expected of any writer, his later works reflect the benefit of ongoing growth in and mastery of his subject matter. Thousands of believers have benefited from his books and hundreds of churches have used his materials with great spiritual profit. His book, Changed into His Image received a positive review from the late Roy Zuck in Bibliotheca Sacra, the theological journal of Dallas Theological Seminary. His writings have appeared in the Journal of Biblical Counseling and are recommended reading for courses at several Bible colleges and seminaries, including Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. We will continue to use these materials in our courses and make them available in our campus store and through BJU Press.

Joeb's picture

I still give BJU credit for laying all the cards on the table and making some effort to admit fault and ask for forgiveness.  That was a big move on their part and they have made some positive changes in the right direction.   I am not happy about them sticking with Berg and them sticking with his  counseling but hopefully they will not blame the victim anymore.  I think they should steer clear of matters that happened off campus and just report the matters to local and state authorities and leave most of the counseling with the home churches. BJUs comment about personnel matters is the only one they can give per the privacy act.   So anyone who criticizing BJU for this and saying they are not being transparent is way off base.  Even if they fired Berg they could not comment on it.   Hopefully with the Lords blessing BJU can move forward in a positive way.  I do truly believe there is place for BJU as a Christian college they have a fine reputation for academics and in a world were so many other Christian schools are compromising themselves BJU can be a beacon for Christians can do what's right.  As I said before all my father and mothers friends were once on fire for the Lord and compromised themselves and their testimonies.  The one lady who was my mothers mentor was the aunt of all these friends expressed her sadness to me that these family members went to the wayside.  My family referred to her as Aunt Austrid and the last time I was with we visited a fundamental Baptist Bible college she was working with. She related that these people were standing for the Lord even though her family was not. At the time she was a retired educator who loved working with Christian young people.   The point I am making is there is strong argument to be made to not compromise to the world and that is one of BJUs strengths.  As far as the whole matter being over with it is not.  There is still the criminal investigations by the solicitor and other authorities.  There is also civil actions that the victims can take.  BJU officials track record in saying nothing is there is in question.  Dr Mczak opined that nothing would happen to Ernie Willis and Ernie is doing 20 to life.  Tina Anderson's stepfather was convicted for raping her too.  So it's not over till it's over.