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Book Review: Come To The Waters by James Montgomery Boice

23 Sep

Be Blessed By Boice’s Best From the Bible

I am a teaching pastor who was deeply grieved by the earth’s loss (Heaven’s gain) of *Dr. James Montgomery Boice just over a decade ago to cancer. He was a gifted theologian who happened to pastor a large church in Philadelphia where he faithfully preached the Bible expositionally for over thirty years. I have read all of his published books – most of which are sermons – and what’s great about this book is that it compiles the best of most of his published works and some unpublished works that the editor was able to find at the Princeton Theological Library.

Organized from January to December and from Genesis to Revelation this daily devotional is like getting the best of Boice from the Scriptures every day – sort of like a mini sermon – but packed with solid theology, exegesis, and life application. For Boice fans this book is a “must have” and hopefully for those of you who have never been exposed to Boice – you will not only “come to the waters” in this book – but go deeper into the waters of the plethora of Boice’s books and be blessed in your pursuit of the knowledge of and reflection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks and Kudos to the editor for giving us more Boice, so we can get more of Jesus in our lives!

 

*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.

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