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October 16, 2012
Second Coming Christ Controversy Update: LifeWay Won't Sell to Olivet
Decision comes after report from National Association of Evangelicals on school's founder, David Jang.
The Tennessean is reporting that LifeWay Christian Resources will not sell its Glorieta Conference Center to Olivet University amid concerns that the school's founder and spiritual leader heads a movement that teaches he is a new Christ.
LifeWay spokesman Marty King told the paper that a National Association of Evangelicals report on Olivet's theological compatibility with the Southern Baptist Convention's resources arm, commissioned by LifeWay and Olivet, was completed last week.
“LifeWay Christian Resources has reviewed the report from the National Association of Evangelicals, and decided not to go forward with the sale of Glorieta Conference Center to Olivet University,” said a statement given to the paper by King. "We are appreciative of our relationship with Olivet's leadership, and indebted to NAE for their thorough work. We will now renew our pursuit of viable options for the sale of the property.”
But in a separate statement, Olivet president William Wagner told The Tennessean that the school will keep trying. “Olivet University leadership has been made aware that Lifeway Christian Resources plans not to proceed with the transfer of the Glorieta Conference Center,” he told the paper. “Olivet intends to further discuss the decision of LifeWay Christian Resources’ leadership in moving forward and continuing negotiations in hopes an agreement can be reached regarding the purchase of the Glorieta Conference Center in Glorieta, N.M.”
Christianity Today published two major investigative reports on Olivet founder David Jang and his movement. The first examined the group's teachings and its growing influence in mainstream evangelical circles. The second looked at the story of two leaders of the movement in Singapore. CT will publish a more detailed update later.