How would you rate the Systematic theology Of Dr James Boice?

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I have access to now be able to purchase a 4 volume paperback edition of the Systematic theology Of Dr James Boice. Would he been seen as being a respectable Theologian?
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I would recommend purchasing the one volume hardcover edition Foundations of the Christian Faith (1986), which is the revised edition.

The four book organization is based on the 4 vols of Calvin's Institutes.

I haven't read it through, but I'd say it is pretty good as far as it goes. It isn't intended to be a ST on the order of Hodge or Berkhof (or Buswell for that matter.) Although it is about 700+ pages, it seems aimed more at the layman as a "training wheels" type of book. So in that sense it is closer to the abridged versions of Grudem and Horton's ST, although in this case it isn't a smaller version of a larger work.

It appears to be fairly thorough on things like inerrancy and soteriology, but much less so on ecclesiology and eschatology, which was my biggest disappointment with it. Unlike his emphasis on the Doctrines of Grace, he seems to have aimed for the lowest common denominator on ecclesiology and eschatology, at least with regard to millennial views. (His own views were premil and pretrib, although he can't be said to have been a dispensationalist, as he was also a covenantalist. So in the eyes of many Reformed people today, it is probably for the best that he didn't address that topic in the book, although he does refer the reader to his little pretrib book "The Last and Future World" in a footnote.) If I recall correctly, the book does have a chapter on what some term "personal" eschatology, and emphasizes eternal punishment. The ecclesiology section focuses much more on the "practical" areas of church life and does not really address the mode and subjects of baptism, polity, etc., directing the reader to other works on that subject.

In short, if you're looking for a more or less solid book on the basics from a Calvinistic point of view, this is a good buy. If you're looking for something more on the confessional end of the scale and/or for something that more thoroughly addresses all of the areas of ST, you should look elsewhere.

If you didn't get those paperbacks, you should be able to get a used copy of the HC in Very Good or better condition in the $10-$15 range, plus shipping.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I've read parts of it. It's decent theology but it doesn't stand out. I don't see how he would be different from the average Sproul book or someone like that.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I've read parts of it. It's decent theology but it doesn't stand out. I don't see how he would be different from the average Sproul book or someone like that.

It is probably fair to say that it was a more significant work at the time it was published (1986, with the first edn in the late 70s) than it is now since it came before the last wave or two of the Calvinistic resurgence or whatever you want to call it. It was published before most of Sproul's books and before most or all of the books of more recent writers, many of whom owe some debt to the late Dr. Boice through his work at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and so on.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
It is probably fair to say that it was a more significant work at the time it was published (1986, with the first edn in the late 70s) than it is now since it came before the last wave or two of the Calvinistic resurgence or whatever you want to call it. It was published before most of Sproul's books and before most or all of the books of more recent writers, many of whom owe some debt to the late Dr. Boice through his work at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and so on.

That's probably true, though I think his published legacy will mainly be his homiletical commentaries.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I would recommend purchasing the one volume hardcover edition Foundations of the Christian Faith (1986), which is the revised edition.

The four book organization is based on the 4 vols of Calvin's Institutes.

I haven't read it through, but I'd say it is pretty good as far as it goes. It isn't intended to be a ST on the order of Hodge or Berkhof (or Buswell for that matter.) Although it is about 700+ pages, it seems aimed more at the layman as a "training wheels" type of book. So in that sense it is closer to the abridged versions of Grudem and Horton's ST, although in this case it isn't a smaller version of a larger work.

It appears to be fairly thorough on things like inerrancy and soteriology, but much less so on ecclesiology and eschatology, which was my biggest disappointment with it. Unlike his emphasis on the Doctrines of Grace, he seems to have aimed for the lowest common denominator on ecclesiology and eschatology, at least with regard to millennial views. (His own views were premil and pretrib, although he can't be said to have been a dispensationalist, as he was also a covenantalist. So in the eyes of many Reformed people today, it is probably for the best that he didn't address that topic in the book, although he does refer the reader to his little pretrib book "The Last and Future World" in a footnote.) If I recall correctly, the book does have a chapter on what some term "personal" eschatology, and emphasizes eternal punishment. The ecclesiology section focuses much more on the "practical" areas of church life and does not really address the mode and subjects of baptism, polity, etc., directing the reader to other works on that subject.

In short, if you're looking for a more or less solid book on the basics from a Calvinistic point of view, this is a good buy. If you're looking for something more on the confessional end of the scale and/or for something that more thoroughly addresses all of the areas of ST, you should look elsewhere.

If you didn't get those paperbacks, you should be able to get a used copy of the HC in Very Good or better condition in the $10-$15 range, plus shipping.
I think that he later on moved away from the pretrib rapture view, but still held strongly to the Premil position. I remember hearing years ago on Moody radio them interviewing Leon Morris, and he remarked that Boice was really good on most of his theology, but really wrong on his eschatology position.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It is probably fair to say that it was a more significant work at the time it was published (1986, with the first edn in the late 70s) than it is now since it came before the last wave or two of the Calvinistic resurgence or whatever you want to call it. It was published before most of Sproul's books and before most or all of the books of more recent writers, many of whom owe some debt to the late Dr. Boice through his work at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and so on.
Interesting that he was a Presbyterian who held very strongly to end time views that were not prominent at all among his colleges.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I think that he later on moved away from the pretrib rapture view, but still held strongly to the Premil position. I remember hearing years ago on Moody radio them interviewing Leon Morris, and he remarked that Boice was really good on most of his theology, but really wrong on his eschatology position.
I've never seen any definitive proof that he abandoned pre-trib. Perhaps he did. I haven't seen it in print or in audio form. But it is also something that he didn't emphasize. But he also had Moishe Rosen of Jews for Jesus speak at one of the meetings of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology in the 80s, I think. The message may still be available on Oneplace.com

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Interesting that he was a Presbyterian who held very strongly to end time views that were not prominent at all among his colleges.
At the time that he was coming of age, his views weren't uncommon among evangelical Presbyterians, such as those in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, which eventually joined the PCA. Sure, they weren't welcome at WTS, but that's a big part of what the split of 1937 was about. It might have remained more prominent had Carl McIntire not been such a divisive figure and there had not been so many splits from the Bible Presbyterian Church.

Much of the early faculty at Covenant Theological Seminary were premil, such as J. Oliver Buswell, (who was mid-trib) J. Barton Payne, (who taught "imminent" post-tribulationism), R. Laird Harris and perhaps others. That's not surprising since it basically was formed by those who left the BPC. But in more recent years premil has waned among Presbyterians.

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
At the time that he was coming of age, his views weren't uncommon among evangelical Presbyterians, such as those in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, which eventually joined the PCA. Sure, they weren't welcome at WTS, but that's a big part of what the split of 1937 was about. It might have remained more prominent had Carl McIntire not been such a divisive figure and there had not been so many splits from the Bible Presbyterian Church.

Much of the early faculty at Covenant Theological Seminary were premil, such as J. Oliver Buswell, (who was mid-trib) J. Barton Payne, (who taught "imminent" post-tribulationism), R. Laird Harris and perhaps others. That's not surprising since it basically was formed by those who left the BPC. But in more recent years premil has waned among Presbyterians.

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I had a ST written by Dr Buswell, and it seemed to be a useful book for theology. what is Imminent Post trib position, like pre wrath?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I've never seen any definitive proof that he abandoned pre-trib. Perhaps he did. I haven't seen it in print or in audio form. But it is also something that he didn't emphasize. But he also had Moishe Rosen of Jews for Jesus speak at one of the meetings of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology in the 80s, I think. The message may still be available on Oneplace.com

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
He was not as Dispensational as Dr MacArthur though.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Buswell was mid-trib. Unlike Boice, he spends two or three hundred pages on eschatology. (Other than Buswell and Gleason Archer, there haven't been many notable defenders of mid-trib.)

I'm not really that familiar with Payne's views in detail. His books are out of print and some are hard to find at a reasonable price. He was an OT scholar who rejected pre-trib but thought that the Scriptures do teach an imminent Second Coming, (i.e. without signs, etc) which is something that post-trib usually emphatically denies. To get around this, I think he was basically a preterist on texts like the Olivet Discourse.

Millard Erickson has a chapter on Payne's view in his intro to eschatology book, which is a useful volume, although it doesn't cover developments over the last 30 years.

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
He was not as Dispensational as Dr MacArthur though.
He certainly wasn't as dogmatic, but in his commentary on the Minor Prophets, he doesn't rule out a rebuilt temple, for example.

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Buswell was mid-trib. Unlike Boice, he spends two or three hundred pages on eschatology. (Other than Buswell and Gleason Archer, there haven't been many notable defenders of mid-trib.)

I'm not really that familiar with Payne's views in detail. His books are out of print and some are hard to find at a reasonable price. He was an OT scholar who rejected pre-trib but thought that the Scriptures do teach an imminent Second Coming, (i.e. without signs, etc) which is something that post-trib usually emphatically denies. To get around this, I think he was basically a preterist on texts like the Olivet Discourse.

Millard Erickson has a chapter on Payne's view in his intro to eschatology book, which is a useful volume, although it doesn't cover developments over the last 30 years.

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I barely remember the section on eschatology of Dr Buswell, but he seemed to do a decent job giving forth his viewpoints as per the scriptures.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
He certainly wasn't as dogmatic, but in his commentary on the Minor Prophets, he doesn't rule out a rebuilt temple, for example.

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Dr Boice was a living witness for Jesus in a mighty way, as he endured terminal cancer, and throughout, he kept the faith, and kept on praising God for even allowing him to go through the cancer experience.
 
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