[Vision2020] Civility is a two-way street

nickgier at adelphia.net nickgier at adelphia.net
Sat Dec 1 15:56:14 PST 2007

Hail to the Vision!

This is my response to Roy, edited somewhat from the version appearing in the comment section of the Daily News on line.

Dear Roy,

You have a very short and selective memory about how this all came about.

In April, 2000, I was invited to speak before NSA faculty and students.  I found it amazing that afterwards you claimed that you invited me.  It was Doug Jones who made the gracious invitation and gave me the bottle of French wine after the talk.

I prefaced my talk with a note of congratulations to Doug Wilson for the success of Logos School and NSA.  I mentioned that fact that I had spent over 60 hours working with an NSA student on this thesis on Buddhism.  (Previously, you personally thanked me for the effort.)  I then offered to help any NSA student with future thesis work. My topic that day was Confucian virtue ethics and I suggested that I would love to work with any NSA student on Christian virtue ethics.

In a letter to the editor I mentioned your contributions to the UI as scholar and administrator.  I was on cordial relations with Doug Wilson until November, 2003. 
After that, I sometimes prefaced my criticism of you, NSA, and Wilson with commendations about Logos or NSA student success.  Just as criticism of other evangelical preachers is never intended as a blanket condemnation of their congregations, my only wish for the good people of Christ Church is that they have honest leaders and move to churches that do have such leaders.

In December, 2002, I sent invitations to NSA faculty and students to attend the regional theology meeting that was to be held in Moscow in May, 2003.  I was president that year and 40 percent of the papers were presented by faculty from conservative evangelical schools in the region.  I now invite NSA faculty and students, once again, to attend the meeting in May, 2008, which will be held at conservative evangelical George Fox University. 

At the beginning of 2003, we patiently waited for NSA faculty and student papers to arrive, or at least an indication that NSA would attend. Institutions in the host campus' area always helped out in the past and sent all of their students. The May meeting came and NSA was conspicuously absent. 

I wrote a letter to the Daily News lamenting this fact, and on May 23, you responded with a letter that implied that NSA was an accredited college but the accrediting agency was unclear.  It turned out that NSA was not accredited, even though later NSA attorney Greg Dickinson, in testimony in a city hearing, testified that it was. NSA's credibility was crumbling and when the full history of zoning infractions were released, NSA's credibility was even further eroded.

Since 2003, I've invited you and your faculty to the regional meeting.  When Ed Iverson first arrived, I sent him a personal invitation and requested that we dialogue.  He refused and NSA continued to be absent from the regional theology meeting.  As you yourself said in a letter to the editor: NSA "had better things to do."

And then came the news, in October, 2003, about Wilson's and Wilkins' slavery booklet.  Wilson's response was quite incredible and very uncivil.  Two UI history professors wrote a critique, and Wilson fired off a memo to Idaho's governor requesting that they be fired.

I e-mailed you about it and you started to defend Wilson's  views.  I wrote a response for Vision2020, and you promised to respond point by point.  Instead of responding, you wrote an e-mail stating that you never wanted to talk or write to me again.  I've honored your request until now.

The rest is history, and I've already repeated myself here about the particulars.  As far as I'm concerned, you guys started it, and I have to say that I have no respect for you or Wilson.

With regard to the boycott list, I had nothing to do with it.  I've not seen it and I don't want to see it.  I don't eat at the French restaurant primarily because of the snotty response the chef made about his right to serve anything he liked regardless of what people thought about stuffing geese with food until they die. His rhetoric was surprisingly like Wilson's, one that shows his "crawling over cut glass" total disregard for basic civil and academic standards.

There is, of course, much more I can say and have said in many venues.  Please go to www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/Wilson.htm for more details.

Nick Gier

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