The apologetic of James P. Boyce
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This dissertation explores the apologetic approach of the founder of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, James P. Boyce. Chapter 1 begins with a brief biographical sketch of the life of Boyce, a statement on apologetics in the nineteenth century, the dissertation thesis and the method and scope of research. The chapter demonstrates that work has been done regarding Boyce's theology but what is lacking is an examination of how Boyce defended the Christian faith in the nineteenth century. Chapter 2 defines the two sources of knowledge, reason and revelation as they are found in Boyce's work. Attention is given to identifying the sources of his thought on this topic in an effort to examine how Boyce formulated the relationship of reason and revelation. The final section explores the implications of his formulation. Chapter 3 identifies and discusses all of the a priori arguments for the existence of God found in the extant student notes of Boyce's lectures and the Abstract of Systematic Theology . In conclusion, examples of additional a priori arguments Boyce employed are presented. Chapter 4 discusses four of the ten a posteriori arguments found in the extant lecture notes and the text of the Abstract . Extensive discussion is given to the lengthy presentation of the cosmological argument found in the Abstract . Some attention is given to his use of a posteriori arguments for God's existence in his sermons. Chapter 5 examines how Boyce held the testimony of Scripture as the revealed truth in relation with the increasing discoveries of science. The conclusions of Boyce are contrasted with Crawford Howell Toy. His response to science is further demonstrated in one of his most widely preached sermons. Chapter 6 draws some conclusions about the consistent work of Boyce to reason carefully while remaining surrendered to the revelation of Scripture and offers limited suggestions for further research.