St. Louis, Missouri (June 30, 1998)-The Twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America chose three speakers to preach on each of the three themes of the denomination's original motto: "True to the Scriptures, the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission." Tonight, Dr. James M. Boice, Pastor of Philadelphia's Tenth Presbyterian Church, exhorted the commissioners to remain faithful to the Word of God.
Long noted for his leadership on the matter of fidelity to Scripture, Dr. Boice stated that faithfulness to the Bible means not only adherence to the doctrine of inerrancy but also to Scripture's sufficiency. He specifically addressed several areas, including evangelism, sanctification, guidance, and social reform, in urging that the Bible is sufficient in all of them.
With regard to the first category, the veteran pastor expressed his dismay at the increasing loss of traditional practices of worship in the evangelical world and even in the PCA. He particularly decried the fact that significant readings of Scripture and pastoral prayers are often being omitted in public worship; and that sermons today often do not entail the exegesis of a passage of Scripture.
In terms of sanctification, he urged that the answer is knowledge of Christian doctrine-something of which there is decreasing knowledge today.
In contrast to those who would seek extra-Scriptural revelation, Dr. Boice emphasized a return to the Reformed doctrine of sola Scriptura.
And with regard to social reform, the European-educated
minister pointed out that Geneva was radically transformed by
John Calvin-not by social programs per se, but by faithful preaching
of the Bible.