Eric Alexander's Sermon Preached at the Funeral of Rev. Dr. James M. Boice
The enormous privilege of being a pastoral intern with Phil Ryken at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church afforded me many other undeserved and exciting experiences. One of the most special of these experiences was the opportunity to help Linda Boice--Dr. Boice's widow--break down her husband's library that had continued to remain in the church office seven years after he went to be with the Lord. In that library I stumbled across a number of old Keswick magazine's with printed talks by Rev. Eric Alexander--the long time pastor of St. George's Tron in Glasgow. While I am sad that I never had the opportunity to know Dr. Boice, I did, in time, get to know Rev. Alexander. You can listen to a Christ the Center interview that we did with him a number of years ago.
When I was at Tenth, I came across a cassette tape of the funeral service of Dr. Boice. Interestingly, the funeral sermon was preached by his dear friend Eric Alexander. You can now purchase the audio to the memorial service, with the sermon, as a CD or MP3 set from the Alliance.
Since some of the readers of this blog might not be familiar with the life and ministry of Rev. Dr. James M. Boice (and the fact that he founded the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals), take a moment to read the brief bio from the Alliance below:
James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) was a successful inner city pastor and articulate spokesman for the Reformed faith in America and around the world. He was the pastor of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church (1968-2000) and his teaching continues to be aired on The Bible Study Hour radio and Internet broadcast. In 1996 he brought The Bible Study Hour, God’s Word Today magazine, Philadelphia Conference of Reformation Theology, and other Bible teaching ministries under the umbrella of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
Under Dr. Boice’s leadership, Tenth Presbyterian Church became a model for ministry in America’s northeastern inner cities. When he assumed the pastorate of Tenth Church there were 350 people in regular attendance. At his death the church had grown to a regular Sunday attendance in three services of more than 1,200 persons, a total membership of 1,150 persons. Under his leadership, the church established a pre-school for children ages 3-5, a high school known as City Center Academy, a full range of adult fellowship groups and classes, and specialized outreach ministries to international students, women with crisis pregnancies, homosexual and HIV-positive clients, and the homeless. Many of these ministries are now free-standing from the church.
Dr. Boice gave leadership to groups beyond his own organization. For ten years he served as Chairman of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, from its founding in 1977 until the completion of its work in 1988. ICBI produced three classic, creedal documents: “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,” “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics” and “The Chicago Statement on the Application of the Bible to Contemporary Issues.” The organization published many books, held regional “Authority of Scripture” seminars across the country, and sponsored the large lay “Congress on the Bible I,” which met in Washington, D.C., in September 1987. He also served on the Board of Bible Study Fellowship.
He founded the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals in 1994, initially a group of pastors and theologians who were focused on bringing the 20th and now 21st century church to a new reformation. In 1996 this group met and wrote the Cambridge Declaration.
Dr. Boice was a prodigious world traveler. He journeyed to more than thirty countries in most of the world’s continents, and he taught the Bible in such countries as England, France, Canada, Japan, Australia, Guatemala, Korea, and Saudi Arabia. He lived in Switzerland for three years while pursuing his doctoral studies.
Dr. Boice held degrees from Harvard University (A.B.), Princeton Theological Seminary (B.D.), the University of Basel, Switzerland (D. Theol.), and the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church (D.D., honorary).
A prolific author, Dr. Boice contributed nearly forty books on a wide variety of Bible related themes. Most are in the form of expositional commentaries, growing out of his preaching: Psalms (3 volume), Romans (4 volumes), Genesis (3 volumes), Daniel, The Minor Prophets (2 volumes), The Sermon on the Mount, John (5 volumes), Ephesians, Phillippians, and The Epistles of John. And many more popular volumes: Hearing God When You Hurt, Mind Renewal in a Mindless Christian Life, Standing on the Rock, The Parables of Jesus, The Christ of Christmas, The Christ of the Open Tomb, and Christ’s Call to Discipleship. He also authored Foundations of the Christian Faith a 740-page book of theology for laypersons. Many of these books have been translated into other languages, such as: French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
He was married to Linda Ann Boice (born McNamara), who continues to teach at the high school they co-founded.