The following is excerpted and slightly modified from “Is Northland Opposed,” Lou Martuneac, In Defense of the Gospel, Aug. 19, 2012: “Beginning in October 2010 In Defense of the Gospel (IDOTG) has exposed and addressed a number of significant changes at Northland International University (NIU) the former Northland Baptist Bible College (NBBC). ... Today, we are going to consider another change in trajectory for NIU by President Matt Olson, who has moved beyond issues of music, discipline and legalism into compromise of doctrinal and institutional fidelity. On July 2, 2012, from his personal blog Dr. Olson wrote, ‘[On Sunday I visited] Grace Bible Church in Philadelphia, where Ian McConnell serves as the pastor for preaching and vision. It was great to connect with some Northland alumni at Grace as well. Danny Adams (and his wife Becky) serves as the pastor for children’s ministries. Jesse Trach is currently an elder in training and being evaluated for pastoral ministry and Nathan Branine is attending Grace while making much of Jesus in the Philadelphia school systems. 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.’... At first read the paragraph seems harmless until you review the doctrinal statement of the Grace Bible Church. There you find that among its beliefs: ‘We are evangelical, Reformed, and continuationist.’ The latter is a contemporary term for those who believe and teach that the 1st century sign gifts of tongues, prophecy, miracles and healings have continued without interruption. The Grace Bible Church site lists itself as one of the family of Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC) founded by charismatic C. J. Mahaney, who, like John Piper, believes the 1st century sign gifts are in operation today.
The Grace Bible Church links to SGM where you will read that, ‘One of the primary connections among Sovereign Grace churches is our commitment to a common Statement of Faith, which we summarize as evangelical, Reformed, and charismatic.’ ... We have three statements from the Northland Graduate School Academic Catalog that unequivocally oppose and reject the Charismatic Movement signs and wonders teaching. ... [Yet a] current Northland staff member (Greg Dietrich) will remain employed by Northland while in Philadelphia and a member of this church. Northland will pay salary to a man who will be actively participating in and under the authority of a church that is advancing the Charismatic Movement. ... Historically changes in music and association eventually lead to a change in doctrine or reveal a doctrinal change that has already taken place. This has happened at NIU. ... NIU’s recent changes have shown us that its student body will be taught and influenced to tolerate, accept and/or embrace CCM’s ‘rock’ styling, Calvinistic theology, the ‘Lordship Salvation’ interpretation of the gospel, and Charismatic sign gifts. These things have made inroads at NIU. Matt Olson has yoked the university to ministries, opened the university’s classrooms and chapel to guest speakers who believe, preach and defend these views.”
(Friday Church News Notes, August 31, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Ad above does not necessarily imply endorsement