Archives for April 2013

end of an era or a stepping stone?

I’ve been on the road all day, literally. Read about the termination of Matt Olson as president of Northland International University somewhere between Cache Creek and Kamloops, BC. I was more than a little astonished.

I’m not writing to pontificate today. I am sorry to see Matt lose his post, though I have been a very vocal critic of the positions he has been taking over the last few years. Matt and I were classmates and I think at one time I could have counted him as a friend. I doubt that he thinks of me in that way any longer.

His announcement by way of his public letter was very gracious. I applaud him for it. I haven’t seen the chapel session, probably won’t. Don’t have time this week and it will be old news by next week. But I expect it was handled in a similar fashion. I hope that Matt does well in the future and I also hope that he will come out in a better position with respect to fundamentalism / evangelicalism and holiness / worldliness.

Where does NIU go from here? It depends on who they select as a new president. One could wonder if anyone in their right mind would want the job, but surely some courageous soul will take it. Who that is will give us an indication whether the experiment with evangelicalism is over or we are merely moving to phase 2.



Honesty. Integrity. Transparency.

Some people talk a lot about such things. The cynic suspects that those who talk most about these topics give the least evidence of their internal presence. As if talking will substitute for the real thing.

For example, my most recent post highlighted a chapel speaker at Northland International University in recent days. It included a link to a recent worship service at the church where the speaker is the pastor. I encourage you to check out that link today.

  • A sample of the “worship” at this church.
    Today, April 27, 2013, this  is what you get when you click that link:
This is a private video. Do you have permission to watch it? If so please provide the correct password.

Honesty. Integrity. Transparency.

Yeah, you can get that in spades from NIU and its friends.

Below is the “Core Values” page of NIU (emphasis added):

Philosophy of Education

The goal of Northland International University is to provide an atmosphere of academic excellence and classroom discipleship to prepare servant-leaders for Great Commission living. True education produces individuals with “both hands of skill and hearts for God” (Psalm 78:72). The Northland International University faculty is committed to train individuals whose chief desire is to serve the Lord so that they will be motivated to serve others in their chosen field of ministry.

Northland rejects the idea of a value-free education and believes that truth is centered in Jesus Christ and that all knowledge should be related to Him. Northland believes that the Bible should be the philosophical foundation for all subject matter and that it is a faithful guide for all curricular and pedagogical decisions. By committing to carefully and purposefully delivering truth in the classroom, Northland seeks to produce future servant-leaders who can likewise communicate biblical truth with clarity and passion.

To accomplish this goal, Northland strives to offer courses that provide students with both academic theory and character development in a rich, hands-on learning environment. This emphasis allows Northland to equip students with the ability to confront the unforeseen challenges of the future while enabling them to have immediate success in a variety of ministry settings. In order to continue their education and to graduate, Northland students must demonstrate both academic competence and godly character consistent with the vision, values, and philosophy of the institution’s mission and ministry.

Purpose Statement

Preparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living

Mission Statement

The mission of Northland International University is to glorify God (1) by providing an educational environment for developing servant-leaders in honesty, obedience, wisdom, and service to love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, and mind and (2) by teaching students to live by the principles of God’s Word, to walk with God as His faithful laborers, and to serve in local churches for revival, world evangelization, and the discipling of future generations for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Statement of Practice

Northland International University stands firmly in the stream of Baptist faith and practice. We recognize the need for a Bible college to rekindle a fervor and zeal for the ministry both at home and abroad. Each major is saturated with Bible and doctrine courses as well as practical ministerial training courses, both of which are vital in preparing and training students for life and ministry.

Institutional Objectives

We aim to direct students to:

  • Grow in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds.
  • Develop hearts for God and conformity to Christ’s character in academics, attitudes, and actions.
  • Strike a biblical balance in their lives between holiness and love, the external and the internal.
  • Build and defend their faith.
  • Grasp the polemical (attacking the error) and the apologetical (stating the truth).
  • Grasp the exegetical (opening their minds to the Word in private) and the affirmational (opening their mouths to the world in public).
  • Gain confidence in holding their views and humility in expressing them.
  • Live in godliness and faithfulness by developing the following patterns: walking in the Spirit; learning and living the principles of God’s Word; establishing daily devotions, Scripture memorization, and an effective prayer life; and serving in the local church and reaching others for Christ.
  • Demonstrate the love of Christ by reaching the unsaved for Christ and by strengthening and discipling other Christians.
  • Have a burden for worldwide missions and to prepare laborers for worldwide evangelism.
  • Develop their academic potential to the fullest for the glory of God and the good of others.
The Seal

We have chosen the Northland International University logo to be a constant reminder of our mission and core values: the four missional lines from Acts 1:8 crossing our four core values of honesty, obedience, wisdom, and service.


Being transparent with God and others


Doing what I should do, when I should do it, how I should do it, and with the right heart attitude and spirit toward the authority asking me to do it


Skill, ability, and insight gained from God’s Word for the purpose of living a life that honors and glorifies God


Investing my life (personal relationships, personal plans or priorities, and personal possessions or pleasures) in ministry for the good of others rather than for the pleasure or advancement of self.

Our desire is that Northland will encourage others to experience “an extraordinary life.” May God be glorified throughout all His creation, and may the good news of Jesus Christ be preached to the ends of the earth!

Code of Conduct

To preserve the integrity and philosophy of ministry at Northland, we have established the following standards of biblical conduct, as further explained throughout our policies and procedures.

  • Dedication to God: an unreserved, life time commitment to God (Romans 12:1–2)
  • Devotion to Others: an unselfish, sacrificial love for others (1 Corinthians 13; Mark 10:44)
  • Disciplined Living: a sustained, daily effort to be controlled and directed by the Holy Spirit (1Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:25–27)
  • Dependable Spirit: doing what I ought to do (1 Corinthians 4:2; Proverbs 25:19)
  • Discerning Mind: the ability to see people and circumstances as they really are (Hebrews 5:14; 1 Corinthians 2:14)
  • Discreet Lifestyle: the ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes that are not pleasing to God (Psalm 112:5; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:29–30)
  • Discipleship Ministry: transferring convictions to others (Matthew 28:19–20; 2 Timothy 2:2)


Northland Today (2013.4.23)

I am not going to load this post up with a lot of commentary. Just three points:

I guess that is what this means:

It has been our desire to reach out to scripturally solid churches who in the past have not been familiar with Northland as well as continue to serve our current constituents.


following blogs

Google Reader is dead. I guess it is old news, but it is scheduled to happen on July 1, apparently. I thought I was safe, since I was using FeedDemon. Alas, I discovered that since FD depends on on GR, it, too, will die on July 1.

Mad search ensues… the winner, for me, is RSSOwl, a nifty feed reader that has some neat features FD did not (and a few minor ones that FD had are missing…). If you scan a lot of blogs, as I do, RSSOwl might be for you.


“music in my life”

A ‘mostly sensible’ pastor’s wife offers us a testimony about “music in my life”. I’d encourage you to read it, especially in light of the many wrangling posts about music all over the internet.

One thing this lady points out is that there is a line somewhere, but where? It seems that even the advocates for a looser standard for music (in the fundamentalist orbit and its derivatives) agree that some music isn’t acceptable for worship. Most will also agree that some music isn’t acceptable for Christians, period.

Since we agree that there is a line, why must we insist on drawing it in the middle of a genre that mimics the world in its styles? The line becomes very subjective that way and the basis for setting it boils down to “what I like.” Given my human nature, my susceptibility to pride, my self-centeredness… that’s not a real safe strategy. Far better to draw the line at what I am sure God likes, what for sure glorifies him, not what is questionable.

So I miss out on some songs that might be acceptable? Please! Life is too short for that. I don’t live for music. I live for God. (Well, that’s the idea of what I am trying to do, anyway.)

Go have a look at the ‘mostly sensible’ pastor’s wife. I think you will find her testimony edifying and refreshing. A quick look at the rest of her blog suggests that she tends to write a lot about things that would interest Christian women. I’d encourage the ladies who read this to look over her writings and see if she might add an edifying perspective to your reading as well.