Moody’s NEW Vision?

In a recent chapel Moody’s president, Dr. Paul Nyquist, unveiled his vision for our beloved institution’s future.  His message, originally presented live to the Chicago campus early last month (found here), was one of continuing to hold firm to Moody’s roots of spreading biblical truth while seeking to do so in ways that utilize the technological advancements of a modern world.  Put precisely, Dr. Nyquist shared the vision as follows:

Across the globe, cultures and generations, Moody will equip people with the truth of God’s Word, using new technology, in an agile and innovative community.

This, taken at face value, is a noble pursuit that has the full support of this particular student.  The manner by which Dr. Nyquist aims to go about doing this, however, seems contradictory to the goal itself.  How so?  As expressed in the president’s message to the student body, Moody plans to move forward in following this new direction by expanding both its radio and publishing branches.  In fact, Dr. Nyquist revealed plans for the construction of a new $20 million facility to house both the radio and publishing departments.  These are said new technologies that Moody plans to utilize “in an agile and innovative community”.  Perhaps radio was considered new to D.L. Moody himself, or publishing to Luther, but these mediums are far from new to the world in which we preside today. 

Now, it is undeniable that both the radio and publishing departments of Moody are currently doing the job of reaching out and spreading the knowledge of biblical truth, but the width of their reach can expand no further.  Radio and publishing are becoming obsolete, possessing only the possibility of constant and consistent diminishment with each year the world steps into the digital future.  Just look at the mediums through which Dr. Nyquist’s chapel message came to Moody Spokane.  We did not gather and tune in our transistor radios to the right frequency.  Nor did we open up a newspaper to an article detailing the story days after it happened.  We broadcasted a video feed to over 450 students, uploaded by one person in Illinois and downloaded by another in the state of Washington and could have even done so live if we so chose.  Respectfully Dr. Nyquist, if you want Moody to impact the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ globally, cross-culturally, and generationally with new and innovative technology, please stop advocating growth in our radio and book publishing departments.

We live in a world where over two billion men and women currently have access to the Internet on a daily basis, a group that sees exponential growth each year, and yet our web presence is doing next to nothing to impact the world for Christ.  What is our website doing to make the truth of God known?  How are we utilizing social media to connect with those of different worldviews?  What do we have to provide for the generations to come who seek out knowledge not through books but through search engines?  The war in the coming century for Christ and His Kingdom shall not be won on the battlefield of radio and publication, but rather in the vast expanse of the digital age.

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9 comments on “Moody’s NEW Vision?

  1. Dale Kompik says:

    Taylor,

    Although I do agree with the heart of this article, I think that Dr. Nyquist addressed your concerns within his presentation. I had to listen to it again before I responded to this in order to make sure, so I am glad you wrote this. If you go back and start listening around 16:30 you will hear him list off ways that MBI is planning on striking out into the digital age; through ebooks, apps, and streaming radio. I have a feeling that when he says “publishing”, he isn’t referring exclusively to paper, but also to digital publishing.

    One thing I think is important to remember, is that this was merely a general presentation. I am sure there are a million details that he was unable to cover in the short amount of time he had. I think we need to consider this before making any assumptions that they have not thought this through.

  2. Mike Guzman says:

    I find this completely arrogant and prideful. To think that for one second you can comprehend the depths of outreach that MBI has, is complete nonsense. ANYONE can look at a church or organization and pick out all the flaws they want to see and then get on a soap box and have the audacity to tell them they are doing it wrong and they themselves have the solution. Even in the context of your first paragraph you don’t give any true from the heart recognition for the great things that MBI HAS and IS doing.

    Word of advice, once you have successfully concurred all ways possible to minister, evangelize, and reach the lost, then and only then should you open your mouth and give your two cents.
    Don’t be that guy that argues about the color of the carpet.
    Step back and see the whole picture, not just what you want to see.
    You don’t have to agree with it for it to be the right thing, but if you want to see change then offer your help, not “the solution”. A real man will support his church and organization WHILE offering his help in anyway, not just an arrogant critique.

    In Christ,
    Mike Guzman

  3. Gentlemen,

    Thank you for the responses. It is always encouraging to see that people read and think about some of the things I am privileged to share.

    I would like to iterate that my purpose in writing was by no means to state that Moody Bible Institute has not been or is not currently impacting the world for Christ and His Kingdom, nor was it to to show disrespect to President Nyquist in any way. Rather, I attempt to suggest that more focused attention should be given to mediums other than radio and publishing to better fulfill our new vision.

    Mr. Kompik, I believe your point regarding the generality of Dr. Nyquist’s presentation to the student body is entirely valid. I am not omniscient, and thus I am unable to see all of the details that are being worked out behind the scenes. However, I can only adequately respond to that which has been presented to me (the general presentation alone) and that is what I have done above. Based on the limited scope of the information that has been shared with me, I remain hesitant to unconditionally support the $20 million project.

    It is also worth noting that this is purely an opinion piece of one student of the Institute. You are absolutely entitled to express any and all disagreement with my thoughts (in fact, I encourage everyone to do so if they truly do disagree).

    Once again, thank you for your thoughts and your time.

  4. Jacob Young says:

    Amen and in total agreement with Mike Guzman. This is a Bible College. We are supposed to be about the Bible and what the Bible prescribes for people to do.

    MY Dad always says, “You are either one of two things. Either part of the problem, or part of the solution to that problem.” The Bible advocates being active and doing things, note merely listening and chit chatting about things. If we just hear the Word and not DO the Word, we fail.

    We MUST be a part of the solution to the problems (if any really).

    • Let me clarify that I am by no means arguing that Moody CEASE equipping people with the truth of God’s Word (a fact that I would hope is made clear throughout the article). Rather, I am endorsing that Moody do so in a MORE EFFECTIVE manner (especially considering the new vision). The attempt is to SUPPORT Moody’s mission, not tear it down.

  5. Gentlemen,

    I am glad to see some discussion. Dale I appreciate your contribution. I just finished listening to the presentation and it does seem to lack some detail as to what our technological innovations will look like, other than offering educational and radio resources through “mobile and web platforms” and “ebooks.” So I am sure that there are a lot more details that were not shared. On the other hand what was shared with us was a calculated action by our administration, and so our evaluation is not negated by their level of disclosure (or lack thereof). We judged what we received. But that is what I find most interesting. I assumed a presentation that reveals the new direction of the institution, with a particular reference to technology (and new mediums), especially to our technologically saturated generation, would include substantial details. Now the phrase “leveraging emerging technology to accelerate the spread of the Word” was repeated but the explanations that followed left me with a lot of questions. So with that I understand Taylor’s hesitation to “unconditionally support” this new building project. And again I appreciate your helpful response.

    Mr. Guzman, I am a little taken aback by your tone. I am not even sure you read the article. I understand there are a few points where Taylor’s use of sarcasm is unhelpful, specifically “Perhaps radio was considered new to D.L. Moody himself, or publishing to Luther, but these mediums are far from new to the world in which we preside today.” but to warrant a response like that surprised me. Either way, I would grant that Taylor’ evaluation is still true, even if you dislike his tone, radio and print publishing are not cutting edge mediums.

    Now, you make a few statements that I would like to address, “ANYONE can look at a church or organization and pick out all the flaws they want to see and then get on a soap box and have the audacity to tell them they are doing it wrong and they themselves have the solution.” You are absolutely right, anyone can do this. This freedom to critique can be a blessing or a curse to an organization, but to treat “critique” as if it were always inappropriate (which your tone implies), my protestant friend, is to deny your own religious heritage. Sometimes organizations and churches make poor decisions (I am NOT referencing MBI, I am making a generalization) and insightful individuals must offer their help. For, as I have said before “one of the blessings of living in a community is collective dialogue and analysis, which often brings us to an awareness of what we do not know and cannot otherwise see.” and I stand by this statement. So your statement is meant to discourage Taylor in what he did, and I stand to encourage him.

    I would also like to address “Word of advice, once you have successfully concurred all ways possible to minister, evangelize, and reach the lost, then and only then should you open your mouth and give your two cents.” This effectively means “shut up” implying that omniscience is necessary before giving our two cents, which is not a helpful suggestion to all of us who want to dialogue. And finally, “if you want to see change then offer your help, not “the solution.” Offering the fact that over 2 billion people have access to the internet (the most expansive medium in the world) is an extremely helpful suggestion if we are to reach “across the globe, cultures and generations” for Christ. I cant think of a more simple way of helping MBI then to remind them of the internet.

    Mr. Young, its always a pleasure to have you engage with us. Could you please clarify what exactly you mean by this “This is a Bible College. We are supposed to be about the Bible and what the Bible prescribes for people to do.” Do you find Taylor disagreeing with you? Is Taylor not simply suggesting a more expansive medium for reaching the nations with the gospel. Please help me understand where your disagreement lies.

    And once again, “MY Dad always says, “You are either one of two things. Either part of the problem, or part of the solution to that problem.” The Bible advocates being active and doing things, note merely listening and chit chatting about things. If we just hear the Word and not DO the Word, we fail. We MUST be a part of the solution to the problems (if any really).” I am not quite sure what you have offered here.

    If, and a big IF, Moody is neglecting to use the largest medium on the planet, is this not a problem? If it is a problem, is Taylor’s suggestion not a solution? Is Taylor not being active by suggesting a solution? I guess I need clarification.

    Thanks guys for reading through this, I appreciate your time and dialogue.

    Collin

  6. inescapableabby says:

    Gentleman, After reading your replies, the thought came to my mind: Ad Hominem. Let’s look at the ideas presented, rather than the writers themselves, maybe?

  7. k j says:

    I personally totally agree with taylor. anyone who disagrees with such a harsh tone, why are you so defensive about this? Moody is not perfect, mistakes happen and they’re not always going to be right. take a deep breath, mike. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions and a mature adult knows how to play devils advocate and keep a level head when arguing something.

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