Thank you Reinder for your well thought and timely article. While you address specifically the Newbold situation, in the larger context this could apply to many of our colleges in the USA and even our churches. My opinion is that this is, in a simplistic way the between the polarization of Traditional Adventism vs The Progressives. If I wanted a conservative education, I would go to Southern Adventist University. If a more progressive one I would attend La Sierra. If I even wanted something more conservative, I would go to Hartland Institue which is like a Bible College. If I wanted to go to a Progressive Church I would attend Crosswalk Church in Redlands Ca or I would go to the Village Church,Berrien Springs Mi for a conservative service. If I wanted a Great Controversy book Administrator I would hang out with Dr. Ted Wilson. If I wanted a pastoral theologian Dr. Jan Paulsen would be my buddy.…and so on.
Newbold in 1972 for me represented the best in Adventism. It shaped my future in many ways. First as a minister, then a healthcare executive and finally as CEO of my own technology company.
Newbold at that time was diverse, tolerant, scholarly and spiritual at its core. I hung out with the liberal Dutch, loud mouthed Americans, joyful Caribbeans and stiff British! I loved them all. They were good people with all kinds of visions for the church. Moor Close and Keough House was big enough to hold all our differences in theological thought.
I even befriended the most infamous Newbold student, Steve Schneider, spokesman and second in command of the David Koresh Waco tragedy. We held Friday night vespers together with me on the organ and he leading out in the songs and preaching. While planning an evening “revival” meeting with him at Newbold, I remember him telling me that he wished Newbold was more of a Bible College promoting Revelation and the end times. I wished after we left Newbold that I would have spent more time drinking tea with him. I believe initially his heart was in the right place. I tried calling him a couple of days before the fire destroyed the Waco facility that burned Steve, along with 75 souls, including 25 children. I guess only time will tell if Steve’s wish for a reorganized Newbold as a Bible College will come to pass.