Dr. Busic's 2017 Commencement Address
"ALL THINGS NEW" Isaiah 11:1-10; Revelation 21:1-6
It is a privilege for me to be with you today on this 50th anniversary for Nazarene Bible College.
I bring you greetings and congratulations from the Board of General Superintendents and 2.5 million fellow Nazarenes from 162 countries of the world. We are a part of something significant that God is doing in the world.
I want to express my thanks to Dr. Graves for his gracious invitation to share some thoughts for this historic commencement. I am also grateful for the administration, faculty, staff, and trustees of this impactful college.
In these days of celebration and change, I have been asking what new thing does God want to do with Nazarene Bible College?
There are certainly challenges to be faced. We live in a culture of controversy where it is difficult to have civil conversations about important issues. We exist in a world where if you disagree with me, you are not only wrong, you are the enemy. Name-calling is rampant. Demonizing those who think differently is routine. New opportunities in technology have created new expectations from students, threatening the accustomed way higher education has been done. We must continue to innovate additional ways to deliver excellent Christian education in the 21st century. There are other challenges, including decreasing denominational loyalties, a global economic downturn, terrorism, and global conflicts.
So the question remains: What kind of College shall we be in this time of massive change and upheaval?
I want to go on record with a few essential, indispensable core values of Nazarene Bible College’s identity that cannot change, even as our world is.
1. NBC is a Christian college.
Relativism and general spirituality may be a popular cultural point of view today, but NBC is unapologetically a school who holds the particular belief that Jesus Christ is Lord.
With the Church Universal we affirm the historic Trinitarian creeds and beliefs of the apostolic faith.
We believe that the Word of God, as found in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are initiated by God, inspired by God, and authoritative in all things pertaining to our salvation.
We believe the Christian Scriptures are the center of our life and practice.
We love the whole church of God, joyfully celebrating the inbreaking of God’s kingdom whenever and wherever it may be found.
NBC is a Christian college.
2. NBC is a Protestant college.
We believe that we are saved by grace through faith, and not by our good deeds or spiritual performance.
We believe in the priesthood of all believers and in the primacy of proclamation. Preaching and teaching matter a great deal to us.
We want our ministers to be passionate preachers of God’s Word. Not preachers who will deliver moralistic, humanistic, legalistic sermons; but preachers who will preach the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ with eternal conviction and Holy Spirit anointing.
NBC is a Protestant college.
3. NBC is an Evangelical college.
We are a school that takes the Great Commission seriously. We stand in the tradition of John Wesley who said: "The whole world is my parish." We believe we have been called and sent to participate in the mission of God and to make Christlike disciples in the nations.
NBC is an evangelical college.
4. NBC is a Wesleyan college.
We believe in the prevenient grace of God that goes before us drawing us to Jesus.
We believe the foundation of our theology is built on the love of God that casts out all fear.
We believe in the radical optimism of grace that not only forgives us of our sins, but transforms us from the inside out.
We believe that the perfect love of God can be poured into our hearts, making us into the likeness and image of Jesus.
We are via media (middle way) people of faith, who will not be pulled to the extremes of the left or swayed to the fears of the right. We choose the stability of the orthodox, middle way.
We believe God has called us to serve the poor, the marginalized, the hurting, and the underserved, and that to be like Christ calls us to care about issues of biblical justice and righteousness.
NBC is a Wesleyan college.
5. NBC is a Holiness college.
We believe God is holy, and calls his people to a life of holiness. We believe there is a deeper work that God wants to accomplish in every believer that not only purifies our heart from sin, but enables us to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
This doesn’t mean that a believer will never be tempted again or that we are incapable of sin. Rather, it means that through the power of the Spirit, we are given the power NOT TO HAVE TO! We are free to say "yes" to God, and "no" to sin.
We believe that personal piety and intellectual integrity can coexist.
We maintain the highest academic standards necessary for well-equipped spiritual leaders, even as we recognize that we must have women and men who are Spirit-filled, and who think, act, serve, and look like Jesus.
Holiness is nothing less than living in the world like Jesus, through the indwelling power of the Spirit of Jesus.
NBC is a Holiness college.
6. NBC is a Nazarene college.
We are not a generic/mainstream Bible college. We have been birthed by and called to serve the Church of the Nazarene.
This does not mean we cannot be a resource to the wider community of faith. But it is to say, that you are NAZARENE Bible College.
Which means that the College does not demand the Church conform to our needs; but that the College stands ready to serve the Church and her needs.
Right belief and right practice go together. Orthodoxy and orthopraxy are inseparably united.
God has gifted us with one of the finest liberal arts education systems in the world. It is in our Nazarene DNA.
But let us be clear. Like all of our outstanding schools, NBC must never be far from the local church and the local church must never be far from NBC. As we forge a new future, this relationship of church and school must be stronger than ever before!
Our world is rapidly changing. And no doubt, NBC will look different in 10 years than it looks today.
But we are not afraid … because we have the absolute assurance that our faithful God is making all things new.
Filed Under: The Torch Published: 11/15/2017