False Teaching Welcomed At NorthWest Nazarene University

I thought I had seen the worst in this emergent/extreme liberal/man-centered movement that is creeping into our denomination ever so quickly and quietly as each day goes by.  But I have not yet, and I’m afraid there will be worst to come.  The infiltration of emergent ideology and all its various cousins of  New Age, universalism and pantheistic thought is just marching on, seemingly with nary a word from our leadership.  One major concern is the influence on the universities, and the students that are being introduced to heretical teachings- but not with the intention of showing them what is wrong with these ideologies.  Oh no, my friends, believe me, this is a trend which has been going on for a while, and these professors (some are guests, some are Nazarene professors) are being welcomed, and allowed to spread their poison, unchallenged, masquerading their teachings as if they should be accepted as part of normal Christian belief!

My friend Pastor Joe has posted a link on our FaceBook site to a video of a guest lecture by Dr. Jay McDaniel at Northwest Nazarene University.  I have attached the video at the end of this post.  Feel free to go there and read some of the dialogue and concerns amongst Nazarenes and other Christians, especially as each of them viewed the video and had difficulty getting through it all.  I went back several times to Dr. McDaniel’s video, and have not yet finished it.  In the introduction alone, I heard enough that turned my stomach, and I asked, what else is coming in the rest of the lecture, which lasts about an hour, plus some questions and answers after that.

Northwest Nazarene University has its own Dr. Tom Oord as a professor there.  He is known for his support and advocacy of the twin heresies of Open Theism and Process Theology.  At the lecture, you will see Dr. Oord later towards the end as he walks around with a microphone for questions for the audience.  I had been to a lecture by Dr. Oord at Eastern Nazarene College, where he spoke as a guest speaker.  I challenged him on some issues related to death and how it came into the world, and I recall that his response to me when I quoted Romans 5:12 as the reason why death came into the world, was that he disagreed with me on that answer.  Dr. Oord also supports evolution and does not believe in the biblical account of creation.  If I am wrong, I hope he can correct me on that.  (Disclaimer: not all professors at NNU  have bought into this emergent/contemplative ideology, but NNU is a hotbed of emergent and contemplative false teachings).

Here is the link to the lecture by Dr. McDaniel.  It is 80 minutes long, including the Q&A, but I urge you to watch as much as possible, because this goes to yet another level that many of us would not have imagined as Nazarenes.  This man is promoting heretical ideology to our students, unchallenged as far as I know, and I believe he is another false teacher, based on his very words.  He is apparently a big admirer of Thomas Merton, a Roman Catholic monk who mixed Eastern religions with Christianity and was a panentheist, which is the belief that God is IN ALL THINGS.

Dr. Jay McDaniel at Northwest Nazarene University

From an excerpt of his writings, and the lecture, it seems Dr. McDaniel is an advocate of pantheism, the belief that God is in ALL.  He apparently is also a universalist, based on listening to his lecture.   Just for starters, here is a brief transcript of the introduction of Dr. McDaniel.  This was disturbing enough, but you really need to see the entire lecture in order to see the impact of it:

Introduction: “….Theology of Reverence For Life, and Ghandi… See More’s Hope of Learning From Other Religions as a Path to Peace. While a student at a Methodist seminary many years ago he was influenced by the writing of the late Catholic monk, Thomas Merton, whose interest in other religions, especially Buddhism, began to shape his own life. At the same time, he was asked to be the English teacher for a Zen Buddhist monk from Japan and their friendship affected him deeply, as well. He began to believe that Christianity can be and is a way of living in the world that is open to truth wherever you find it, including other religions and including the felt presence of the Earth.”

Here are some additional transcripts which I had written down (my words in red):

“I was influenced by the Catholic writer, Thomas Merton who was a monk.”

“Thomas Merton was a wonderful writer”

“I was interested in Merton because I wanted to be a Christian with roots and wings.”

“I had fallen into a kind of Christianity that I would say had inflexible roots, but no wings. Now that is a metaphor for a way of being Christian that is so tied to a tradition or a set of beliefs that they become a box. And you can’t learn anything new. You can’t look outside the box.”

McDaniel admired Merton
“because he was open to truth wherever he found it.”

He quotes a Buddhist who he spent some time teaching English “I know that you are me, and I am you too, but you don’t know that.”

“By the way, if one of my children happens to go to hell, I would like to go there with them.”

“Maybe my Buddhist friend can help me think about God in a fresh way.”

“I, to this day, feel grateful to a Buddhist for helping me understand my own faith more deeply. He knew something I needed to know.”
And so that made me begin to wonder: can we Christians be more open? Can we be more receptive to people of other religions, than we so often have historically?
Can that be part of our good news to the world?…can our good news to the world be that we will listen, with a willingness to be touched? With a willingness to be moved? With a willingness to be in a way, converted, into deeper forms of love, with their help?”

Finally, here is a link that shows you some of his clear affinity for panentheism, the belief that God is IN ALL:


These are just some short excerpts.  The rest is very disturbing, and I believe a great majority of Nazarenes will be upset as well.  Particularly if you have children who are going to, are will soon go to, a Nazarene university, you will want to, at the very least, ask some hard questions of the administrators at NNU and other colleges.   If NNU and any other schools refuse to uphold Nazarene principles, then they ought to the Nazarene name from the school, and  not call it Nazarene.  I for one will not give a penny to NNU if they asked, until they repent from the direction they are going.  How much more should we tolerate and allow to go on without raising our voices?  What else can we expect our universities to bring in, in the name of “educational freedom?”

I have sent a link to this video to our General Superintendents, and I hope they will be able to see this.  I have asked them if they could possibly sent me their thoughts on whether they believe this is acceptable or not at any Nazarene university or seminary.

May God open the eyes of many in our denomination, and bring them discernment.  We are fighting heresy, plain and simple.
I urge all Nazarenes who are as concerned about this, to start asking more questions of our leadership, until we get answers.

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent.” (Isaiah 62:6)

16 responses to “False Teaching Welcomed At NorthWest Nazarene University

  1. Hi Manny. You mention in this post that you’re open to being corrected about your statements with regard to me and what I think. In the past, I’ve tried to respond on this forum. But my responses were not posted. Is this post suggesting that you’re now willing to allow me to post a response to your charges?


  2. Manny just my two cents.
    You never need to take correction from someone who is involved in false teaching such as open theism, process theology, and evolution.
    All which are false teaching.
    That teaching does not stack up to Gods Word.
    Plus they do not come from a point of view that teaches Gods Written Word as Absolute Truth.
    Do what you want to of course you are my brother in the Lord and I do love and respect you.
    This is your blog and whatever you choose to do know that me and some others have your back. In conclusion I would certainly see no harm in Tom Oord posting a single response to what you stated.

    Sincerely in Christ

  3. Thanks Tim. Just to clarify for everyone, when I said : “If I am wrong, I hope he can correct me on that.”, I meant this:

    if anything I said was really NOT his position, it would be great if he corrected me on it- such as my comment regarding his view of Romans 5:12 as being true or not. If Dr. Oord does believe that sin and death came into the world as Romans relates it, I will correct mt statement on that, and celebrate the fact that he believes the biblical account as written!

    I won’t waste time on arguments that will try to show me that Open Theism or evolution is right. That would be a waste of time.

  4. Manny,

    While I would like to say a great many things about the way you wrongly characterize my theology in various posts, I will stick to just this one instance that you allow: my interpretation of Romans 5.

    I do believe that Romans 5 is true.

    But like the vast majority of biblical scholars, I don’t think the “death” mentioned there refers to a biological death. I think it refers to spiritual death.

    My justification for this position comes from Romans 5 itself. Here is what Paul writes later in that chapter as he continues the argument you cite in verse twelve:

    17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

    18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

    If we say that Romans five is referring to biological death, it makes sense that when it also refers to life, it would be referring to biological life.

    But if both life and death are interpretted here as biological, this means that verse 18 says that no one was biologically alive until Jesus’ righteous act was done. But to say that no one was biologically alive until Jesus’ righteous act is to say that the entire Old Testament is fictious myth.

    Given the Biblical text itself — not some outside interpretation — it seems best to interpret the death and life mentioned in Romans five in spiritual terms. That’s the way most biblical scholars interpret the passage. I agree with them in their interpretation.

    Thanks for being given the opportunity to correct your interpretation of my position on this issue. I know we disagree about many things, but I witness to my desire to speak the Truth of Jesus in love — as best that I, a fallible human, can speak that Truth.

    Please pray for me. I am praying for you.


  5. There is no warrant in the New Testament for the heretical notion that”Adam” is simply a generic term representing the human race. He was the one man in fact the first man (1 Co 15:45). There were no pre Adamic race as some have alleged and certainly no population of evolving hominds or ape like creatures becoming Adam. In fact Christ Hiself made it clear that Adam and Eve were “from the beginning of the creation” (Mk 10:6, quoting Ge 1:27). Adam was a real person, directly created and made by God and so was Eve. The entire argument of Romans 5:12-21 becomes moot and irrelevant if the Genesis record of the creation and fall of Adam did not happen just as recorded in Genesis 1-3and this would mean that there is no reality in the saving work of Christ either. Destroying or distorting the plain Genesis record undermines and eventually destroys the gospel of salvation.The only creatures in history who have not sinned like Adam (note 5:12) are the animals. But death reigns over these also, because of Adams sin. In fact the very ground was cursed out of which all living bodies had been made when Adam was cursed for his disobedience. When Adam sinned God bought the curse of decay and death upon Adam and also upon all his dominion (Gen 3:17-19). See also 8:20-22; 1 Cor 15:21-22.
    Tom stating “If we say that Romans five is referring to biological death, it makes sense that when it also refers to life, it would be referring to biological life.
    But if both life and death are interpreted here as biological, this means that verse 18 says that no one was biologically alive until Jesus’ righteous act was done. But to say that no one was biologically alive until Jesus’ righteous act is to say that the entire Old Testament is fictitious myth.”
    It is foolish reasoning and makes no sense to anyone with indeed a biblical mind sense.
    Tom is also overstating when he says “That’s the way most biblical scholars interpret the passage.”
    It is just a flat out untruth in my opinion.
    Maybe this is some scholars Tom knows, and I personally would’nt put much into that seeing that Tom teaches open theism where indeed God is made in the image of man.
    There is no real foundation for Tom’s assumptions or theology.
    Sincerely in Christ

  6. Hi Tom,
    I am not a theologian, but I do know this: I believe in the Bible, and all it teaches us as true- including the story of creation as it is told- not that we came via evolution. I believe Adam and Eve existed as real, directly created humans by God. I don’t believe these things are fables or allegory.

    That is why I have a hard time with anyone who cannot start from the basic belief that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God. It is interesting that in his lecture, I did not hear a word of scripture from Dr. McDaniel, until questions and answers- and this after someone mentioned John 14:6 to him. Not one affirmation of the supremacy of scripture- instead, much repetition of the words “I think”, instead of “this is what the Bible says to us.

    Please know that I pray for you and the folks at NNU.
    In Christ,

  7. Found a good source of biblically based research on the heresy of open theism.
    For more go to this link-


    Things you might hear the God of open theism say
    The following list of statements are not meant to be offensive to the Open Theist. They are meant to be both humorous and illustrative. Open Theism teaches that God does not know future events, that He can be surprised by them, that He can make mistakes, and that He learns what will happen as people make choices. Therefore, what kinds of things might we hear the God of Open Theism say?

    3.Uh, oh.
    4.Oh, no.
    5.Dang it!
    7.Let me get back to you on that.
    8.Wow, that was a surprise.
    9.I hope it works out.
    10.Oh no, now what is he going to do this time?
    11.No, I haven’t heard the joke about the open theist.
    12.Please, oh please, please, please believe in me.
    13.I’ll not do that again.
    14.That didn’t turn out to well, did it?
    15.I’ll try and get it right next time.
    16.I’d answer your prayer but I don’t know what is going to happen.
    17.Hey, I just learned something.
    18.Well, I can always go to plan B.
    19.Well, I can always go to plan C.
    20.Well, I can always go to plan D.

    This is lighthearted, and I mean no mockery nor insult; but this is a way of illustrating the point that the view of God in open theism means God does not know all of the future and can even make mistakes — otherwise, according to openness, God wouldn’t have any regrets.

    If we assumed that the god of open theism was true, would it bring you comfort to know that God learns, that God doesn’t know the future exhaustively, and that He has to wait to find out what people will do? How would that affect your prayers to Him? Would it give you confidence in God? After all, what if something happens that surprises God and He is unable to answer your prayer? If God is hoping for the best, reacting to people, and working around them to make things happen, then can you really count on God to be the sovereign in-charge Lord of the universe? I think not.

    This view is problematic and undermines the trust that we can have in God’s absolute sovereignty. It is a reduction of the stature and abilities of God.

    By the way, how many open theists does it take to change a light bulb? No one knows until it happens.

  8. Manny,

    Thanks for your gracious reply. I appreciate your willingness to treat me and my ideas with respect.

    Thanks for allowing me a chance to share my perspective on Romans 5.



  9. The bigger problem here is that Gods Love can never be seperated from Gods Truth which we find written in Gods Word.
    The cults and false teachers have a hard time balancing or even believing that a loving God can have wrath.
    But God so loved the world-read John 3:16.
    God made a way through His son Jesus Christ so sinners could escape the wrath that will surely come.
    Also even though this lecture was a bit dated NNU still has a record of booking those who I consider to be false teachers.
    Including Brian Mclaren in Spring 2008
    Also look at the resources that NNU suggests
    Missional Leadership Resources

    Emergent Village
    Emerging Scholars Network
    Off the Map
    Leonard Sweet
    Brian McLaren
    source and link

    We of course need to keep this school and there leaders in prayer but that also balances out with exposing false teaching.
    Look at our Concerned Nazarene DVD as well as our website for exposes on Allelon, Brian McLaren and Len Sweet among others.
    Sincerely in Christ

  10. The words of the NNU speaker in this video are no less blasphemous than the Mormon missionaries
    who knocked on my door yesterday. I have the authority and responsibility to assert the Biblical
    position on this garbage. This is why I as a local
    Nazarene pastor refuse to pay my regional college
    budget. Thank you Manny for sharing the link.
    Jesus told the disciples to shake the dust off their feet when they entered towns who reject His message. Mr. Oord I don’t understand how you could sit back and let a heretic speak to a group of young people you are responsible for. How could you do it? The people God has placed in my care may hear it but not on my watch!!

  11. Pastor Rick: You stated” Mr. Oord I don’t understand how you could sit back and let a heretic speak to a group of young people you are responsible for. How could you do it?”
    Tom Oord is part of the problem teaching the heresy of open theism, process theology and thestic evolution all which are incompatable with the true meaning and writing of scripture.
    Of course Tom would have a certain amount of buy in with the false teaching of Jay McDaniel.
    Sincerely in Christ
    Tim Wirth

  12. Tim:
    Why would he dispute his interpretation of Romans chapter 5 while at the same time show hospitality to Mr. McDaniel and promote open theism? It’s much worse than swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat. (I doubt a Bible hater such as Mr. Oord would understand that reference). This video has caused a tidal wave of righteous indignation to rise up inside me. It would be no worse for me to unknowingly send my kid to a class taught by a pedophile than to unknowingly send my kid to a Nazarene school and have a professor peddle this stuff to them.

  13. I’m not a Nazarene (actually a Calvinist), but am first and foremost a fellow Christian. I share many of your same concerns about orthodoxy being undermined. I pastor at a Church in Nampa and am concerned with the stuff that has come out of NNU. Here is a recent blogpost that you might find interesting, where I mention some discouraging encounters with some NNU students: http://endued.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/atheist-pastors-pretending-to-believe/

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