- Earlier rumblings
- Taken over by Nazarene Board of General Superintendents
- Building emptied
It looks like this "gift" in particular involved about 1.4 million dollars of debt and a commitment to pay $36,000 a month for the "gift" property. So the Kansas City Star compares the gift to the Trojan horse of Homeric fame.
The rumor is that all the employees were given a month's notice and varied severance packages. VERY sad for them by all appearances. I hope the Nazarenes will rally around these individuals. The ones I know are really good people.
1. I'm reminded of something said to me in relation to academic institutions about a year ago. In this climate, one false move can take a solid institution and tank it. NPH was not on good financial ground anyway but this seems to illustrate the point. The money apparently runs out by the beginning of next year.
2. Everyone knows that the traditional way of doing publishing business is pretty much over. Church publishers need to shift to a print-on-demand model with mostly outsourced editing. I sense that drastic measures were needed to turn NPH around anyway, even if they hadn't been torpedoed. Now this is REALLY drastic. The new model is, "has to break even with only one copy."
1. First, a lament. NPH has been the flagship for resources in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. The Beacon Hill commentary series is the most significant commentary series for the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition by far, indeed practically the only one. The Nazarenes are the ones who produced the Wileys and their most significant successors in theology. They are pretty much the last man standing with Wesleyan-Arminian Sunday School literature.
Although I've always hated to admit it, NPH is really the only Wesleyan-Arminian contender against the Calvinist hegemony of Christian publishing. They are about the only ones putting out serious Wesleyan-Arminian scholarship. [However, I might add that I am involved with a project that seems likely to happen and will be dedicated to publishing scholarship in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition and to resourcing Wesleyan-Arminians in areas like theology, Bible, and church history. I have jokingly said that it will be dedicated only to publishing the irrelevant.]
2. Second, I firmly believe that a phoenix will rise from the ashes. I have no doubt that the General Board of the Nazarene Church will maintain key pieces of NPH. But they will re-establish them on a basis that gives them a long term sustainability. In the meantime, I doubt there will be any break in our ability to purchase books from the Nazarenes. I actually received Romans 1-8 in the mail yesterday from NPH. But I fully believe that I will still be able to purchase Romans 9-16 whenever I'm ready.
I hope they will finish this series. It is really the only thing we have in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition that is a serious alternative to the sea of Calvinist-leaning evangelical commentaries out there on the market.