If you ignore the impact of technology, you're missing out on this new and expanding area for mission.
James Boyce has one main goal in his New Testament classes: "I want students to have a growing sense of the importance of the Scriptures as the living Word of God in their own lives and for the communities of faith in which they participate."
He also hopes that in the process of careful reading and study, students will become open to other responses to and interpretations of the text. "I want them to be aware of a broader conversation than their own," he says. "My grandma didn't read the Bible in the same way I do. Yet both our readings are valid ways of hearing God's Word."
Boyce believes that struggling with language is one way to build an appreciation and respect for Scripture. Reading the text in the original Greek opens up new understanding and points to new possibilities in the text. "How can anyone say, 'I want to give my life to wrestling with the Scriptures' without wanting to know as much as possible?" he asks.
Ordained in 1972, Boyce served as minister of education and co-pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. He received his M. Div. degree from Luther Seminary and holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of North Carolina. He led students on four archeological digs in Israel during the 1980s.
Boyce's interests include the use of computer resources to expand and enhance opportunities for theological study, especially for students in non-traditional settings. He has worked with colleagues to develop opportunities for online learning through the Internet. For several years he has been teaching the introductory Greek course online, and has taught other New Testament courses through the Fisher's Net virtual campus for online learning.
For a number of years he has also helped lead Kairos continuing education workshops on computer resources for church leaders. Technology, he believes, is an important tool that encourages leaders to think creatively about the church's mission in a changing world. "If you ignore the impact of technology, you're mission out on this new and expanding area for mission," he says.