RSS

Book Review: Foundations of the Christian Faith by James Montgomery Boice

20 May

First of all – *Dr. James Montgomery Boice (He could have easily been a theologian – with degrees from Harvard and Basel – but chose to be the senior pastor at the Historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA) was a theologian/pastor extraordinaire. All his writings are worth reading for their clarity, depth of theological insight and precision, cogent exposition of the Scriptures, and exaltation of Christ. I have read everything Dr. Boice has written and I can’t recommend him highly enough. Heaven’s gain was certainly our loss (he died of cancer in 2000) – but at least we can still benefit from his many books on theology and various books of the Bible that have been left behind.

This “Systematic Theology” was originally released as four distinct books on: 1) The Sovereignty of God; 2) God the Redeemer; 3) Awakening to God; and 4) God and History. Dr. Boice was a tremendous gift to the Body of Christ. He was one of the few Biblical Expositors and Scholars that had the ability to build bridges among the Dispensational and Reformed camps and do so with scholarly and pastoral integrity. There is virtually no discussion of angels, demons, or Satan in this book. The weakest part of this book is in the area of eschatology – but I think his intent was merely to focus on the Sovereignty of God in salvation and history with the emphasis on being primarily on God’s redemptive plan for mankind. I hope that IVP or some other publishing company reprints this book – its simply too good to miss – it’s God-centered; practical; concise; clear and elevates and exalts Jesus Christ like few theologies today. I can’t recommend Boice’s theology highly enough. I have included below all that Dr. Boice covers in these four books in one place, so you can see what a big bang for your buck you are getting.

BOOK 1: THE SOVEREIGN GOD

PART I – The Knowledge of God

Chapter 1 – On Knowing God

Chapter 2 – The Unknown God

PART II: The Word of God

Chapter 3 – The Bible

Chapter 4 – The Authority of the Scriptures

Chapter 5 – The Proof of the Scriptures

Chapter 6 – How True is the Bible?

Chapter 7 – Modern Biblical Criticism

Chapter 8 – How To Interpret the Bible

PART III: The Attributes of God

Chapter 9 – The True God

Chapter 10 – God in Three Persons

Chapter 11 – Our Sovereign God

Chapter 12 – Holy, Holy, Holy

Chapter 13 – The God Who Knows

Chapter 14 – God Who Changes Not

PART IV: God’s Creation

Chapter 15 – The Creation of Man

Chapter 16 – Nature

Chapter 17 – The Spirit World

Chapter 18 – God’s Providence

BOOK 2: GOD THE REDEEMER

PART I – The Fall of the Race

Chapter 1 – The Fall

Chapter 2 – The Results of the Fall

Chapter 3 – The Bondage of the Will

PART II – Law And Grace

Chapter 4 – The Purpose of God’s Law

Chapter 5 – The Ten Commandments: Love of God

Chapter 6 – The Ten Commandments: Love of Others

Chapter 7 – The Wrath of God

Chapter 8 – Salvation in the Old Testament

PART III – The Person of Christ

Chapter 9 – The Deity of Jesus Christ

Chapter 10 – The Humanity of Jesus Christ

Chapter 11 – Why Christ Became Man

PART IV – The Work of Christ

Chapter 12 – Prophet, Priest, and King

Chapter 13 – Quenching God’s Wrath

Chapter 14 – Paid In Full

Chapter 15 – The Greatness of God’s Love

Chapter 16 – The Pivotal Doctrine: Resurrection

Chapter 17 – Verifying The Resurrection

Chapter 18 – He Ascended Into Heaven

BOOK 3: AWAKENING TO GOD

PART I – The Spirit of God

Chapter 1 – Personal Christianity

Chapter 2 – The Work of the Holy Spirit

Chapter 3 – Union With Christ

PART II – How God Saves Sinners

Chapter 4 – The New Birth

Chapter 5 – Faith And Repentance

Chapter 6 – Justification By Faith: The Hinge of Salvation

Chapter 7 – Justification By Faith: The Place of Works

Chapter 8 – The Tests of Faith

Chapter 9 – A New Family

Chapter 10 – The Upward Way

PART III – The Life of the Christian

Chapter 11 – Embrace The Negative

Chapter 12 – Freedom, Freedom

Chapter 13 – Knowing The Will of God

Chapter 14 – Talking To God

Chapter 15 – God Talking To Us

Chapter 16 – Serving

PART IV: The Work of God

Chapter 17 – Called By God

Chapter 18 – The Keeping Power of God

 BOOK 4: GOD AND HISTORY

PART I – Time And History

Chapter 1 – What’s Wrong With Me?

Chapter 2 – The March Of Time

Chapter 3 – Christ, The Focal Point of History

PART II: The Church of God

Chapter 4 – Christ’s Church

Chapter 5 – The Marks Of The Church

Chapter 6 – How To Worship God

Chapter 7 – Salvation’s Signs And Seals

Chapter 8 – Spiritual Gifts

Chapter 9 – Equipping The Saints

Chapter 10 – Church Government

Chapter 11 – Body Life

Chapter 12 – The Great Commission

PART III: A Tale Of Two Cities

Chapter 13 – The Secular City

Chapter 14 – The Secular Church

Chapter 15 – God’s City

Chapter 16 – Church And State

PART IV: The End of History

Chapter 17 – How Will It End

Chapter 18 – Home At Last

Subject Index

Scripture Index

*Dr. James Montgomery Boice, just 8 weeks after being diagnosed with a fatal liver cancer, died in his sleep on June 15, 2000. The senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, he was a world-famous Bible teacher, author, and statesman for Reformed theology. He informed his congregation of 32 years of his condition on May 7, proclaiming his complete confidence in God’s sovereignty and goodness.

In the past 72 years, historic Tenth Presbyterian Church has had two senior pastors, Donald Grey Barnhouse and James Montgomery Boice. Founded in 1828, the church itself predates their tenure by another hundred years. Tenth Presbyterian Church lies in the very heart of the city and today has about 1,200 members.

James Montgomery Boice accepted the position as senior pastor in 1968, and was the teacher of the Bible Study Hour since 1969 and the more recent God’s Word Today broadcast as well. Dr. Boice held degrees from Harvard, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Basel, Switzerland. He had written or contributed to nearly 50 books, including Foundations of the Christian FaithLiving by the Book, and exegetical commentaries on Genesis, Psalms, Acts, and Romans.

He was no less involved in the preserving of the fundamentals of the faith than his predecessor, Dr. Barnhouse. In 1985, Boice assumed the presidency of Evangelical Ministries, Inc., the parent organization of the Bible Study Hour, Bible Study Seminars, Bible Studies magazine, and other teaching ministries. In 1997, Evangelical Ministries merged with Christians United for Reformation and the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, taking the latter as the new organization’s name, and Dr. Boice assumed the presidency. In 1997, he was a founding member of, and chaired, the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.

Of particular concern to Boice was the matter of the church and her relationship to and engagement of society. His recent book, Two Cities, Two Loves, maintains that Christians are citizens of the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven and that they have responsibilities in each. He urged Christians to “participate in secular life rather than merely shoot from the sidelines at secular people.”

Dr. Boice is survived by his wife, Linda, and three daughters. Characteristic of his ministry was his pushing Christians to commit themselves to staying in one place. He lived what he preached, committing to the church and his downtown neighborhood for 30 years. A gifted pastor and leader, he turned down many attractive opportunities in order to build a sense of permanence and belonging. And he urged his parishioners to do the same.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: