Dr. James Boyer: Greek Scholar with a Pastor’s Heart

By Gary M. Kochheiser, DMin

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (NASB, 2 Tim. 2:15).

Another of the men that are being presented as part of the Revived Classics Series is Dr. James L. Boyer, a Greek scholar with a pastor’s heart.

I signed up to take Greek Elements from Dr. Boyer my first semester as a freshman at Grace College. I went to the bookstore to buy my books, one of which was a Greek Bible. I laid that Greek Bible on my desk back in my dorm and set a goal that I was going to be able to read it by the end of the year. With Dr. Boyer’s teaching and encouragement, my goal was accomplished.

James Boyer was born on July 3, 1911, in Ashland County, Ohio, on a farm south of Ashland. At the age of 10 he accepted Christ as his Savior during a revival service at the United Brethren Church in Ashland. He grew up on the family farm and attended Ashland High School, graduating in 1928. He entered Ashland College in the fall with Herman Hoyt. During their sophomore year both signed up for Beginning Greek, which turned out to be a Classical Greek class—not Biblical Greek. Boyer and Hoyt both majored in Greek and graduated together with bachelor of arts degrees in 1932. Read more about Dr. James Boyer: Greek Scholar with a Pastor’s Heart

Making a Covenant with Abraham (Part 1)

Detail from Abraham's Journey from Ur to Canaan, József Molnár

(This is another excerpt from the book I am trying to write.)

The Abrahamic covenant is pivotal to the history biblical which unfolds thereafter, and Genesis 15 is perhaps the key passage to understand with respect to it.1 The initiative is God’s, and it is here that God binds Himself by oath to perform the details of the promises He makes to Abraham. It will be useful to reproduce the first part of the chapter.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Then He said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” (Genesis 15:1-7)

Read more about Making a Covenant with Abraham (Part 1)

Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 4: Good Debt, Bad Debt

Read the series so far.

Some Christians are completely opposed to borrowing.1 Verses such as Romans 13:8, “Owe no one anything except to love one another” and Proverbs 22:7, “the borrower is servant to the lender” are used to support this position.

My own view is that borrowing is permitted in the Scriptures, since the Scriptures provide regulations with regard to lending (cf. Ex. 22:25; Lev. 25:35–37; Deut. 15:7–9; Neh. 5:7; Ps. 15:5; 37:21, 26; Ezek. 22:12; Matt. 5:42, “from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away”; Luke 6:34). The broader context of Romans 13 speaks of paying “all their due” (Romans 13:7), so the teaching of Scripture is that one should honor debt agreements and pay on time. Read more about Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 4: Good Debt, Bad Debt

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Job's Tormentors. Engraving, William Blake, 1793

You recall how the story goes—God and Satan are having a discussion about a man named Job. He was a man of great character whom God had given much wealth and blessing. God commends Job, and Satan accuses Job, betting that Job would deny God if God would simply allow difficulty in Job’s life (1:7-12). God allows Satan to test Job, and Job loses all of his wealth, most of his family, and his health.

Job is, of course, unaware that he is being tested, and is deeply frustrated by his change of fortune. He feels that he has done nothing to deserve these tragedies, and he speaks out—essentially proclaiming his innocence and the unfairness of the situation. Thankfully, Job has three friends who come to the rescue. They all have the same message: this could only be happening to Job if he had done something wrong. They understood that God would not allow such things to happen to an innocent person. Read more about Why Do Bad Things Happen?

What Does "Son of God" Mean?

Read the series so far.

The New Testament is saturated with the title “Son of God.” So are our church documents, such as confessions, creeds and statements of faith. The church I used to Pastor, for example, had a statement of faith which read, “we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man.”

Christians from more Reformed backgrounds do not use “statements of faith”; they are explicitly confessional. Thus, we have the Second London Confession (1677) which affirms that “it pleased God in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus his only begotten Son.”1

As we journey further back in time, the Apostle’s Creed, for example, reads, “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.” Notice the creed does not explain the title; it simply states as a matter of fact that Jesus is God’s “only Son.” The Nicene-Constantinople Creed does the same thing. “Also, we believe in one Lord; Jesus, Messiah, the unique Son of God.”2 The phrase here is τὸν uἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ; a phrase many Christians know better as “the only-begotten Son of God.” Read more about What Does "Son of God" Mean?

Purpose & Principles of a Local Church

Sometimes people think I or our elders don’t know the rules for the game of “doing church.” In many ways, however, the difference between HPC (Highland Park Church) and more typical approaches is intentionally engineered based upon convictions and understandings derived from a fresh study of the Word back in 1995-6.

Besides studying relevant Scripture portions, the elders (yours truly included) read Gene Getz’s book, “Sharpening the Focus of the Church” as prerequisite preparation. We had a second meeting every month for the better part of a year to construct this document. When you consider all the individual work we did at home, this was quite an undertaking.

Our approach was to be different from the typical conservative evangelical/ fundamental church by trying to get as many people involved as possible in our services and church life. One key statement is, “We want people to be attracted to HPC primarily because they see God at work in the lives of our people.” Read more about Purpose & Principles of a Local Church

About the Choice to be a Stay-At-Home Homeschool Mom

Running a household frugally and efficiently on one income takes creativity and commitment, but the family benefits when a parent is dedicated to overseeing the emotional, educational, and physical needs of the children.

However, the parent who stays home may have some doubts about what being a stay-at-home parent will cost them personally.

It’s common for a mom to be the one who stays home or does the majority of the teaching. That’s been my situation for many years, so I’m going to address the issues I’ve dealt with because of that choice. Read more about About the Choice to be a Stay-At-Home Homeschool Mom

Hey, I'm Just Being Honest!

We’ve all been there. Someone says something tactless, crass, slanderous—or all of the above, and the justification offered is, “Hey, I’m just being honest. Am I supposed to lie?!” No doubt, some of these “honest” folks are only posturing. But some seem to genuinely confuse the act of speaking one’s mind with the act of speaking honestly.

Yes, honesty, transparency and frankness are related. They share similarities—but so do cream of tartar, flour, and borax. Confusing similar things can have dramatic consequences.

Scripture helps us distinguish between frankness, openness, and honesty and, as a result, better distinguish right from wrong. Read more about Hey, I'm Just Being Honest!