Boers, Arthur Paul 1957–
BOERS, Arthur Paul 1957–
PERSONAL: Born March 16, 1957, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada; son of Pleun (a greenhouse manufacturer) and Roelofje (a homemaker; maiden name, Genzevoort) Boers; married Lorna Jean McDougall (a registered nurse), May 10, 1992; children: Erin Margaret, Paul Edward. Education: University of Western Ontario, B.A., 1979; Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, M.A., 1983; McCormick Theological Seminary, M.Div., 1988; Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, M.A., 1998; Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, D.Min., 2001. Religion: Mennonite. Hobbies and other interests: Reading mysteries, birding, walking, listening to the blues.
ADDRESSES: Office—Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 303 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 46517. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Church Community Services, Elkhart, IN, client counselor, 1981–82; Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, Lombard, IL, director, 1983; history teacher and business manager at an alternative high school for Latino youth in Chicago, IL, 1984–85; associate pastor of a United Methodist church in Chicago, 1985–87; pastor of a Mennonite fellowship in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1988–92; Bloomingdale Mennonite Church, Bloomingdale, Ontario, pastor, 1992–2002; Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN, assistant professor of pastoral theology and coordinator of Spiritual Formation program, 2002–.
AWARDS, HONORS: Second place award in interview articles, Evangelical Press Association, 1989, for article "Henri Nouwen: A Conversation between Friends."
On Earth as in Heaven: Justice Rooted in Spirituality, Herald Press (Scottdale, PA), 1991.
(With Howard Zehr) Crime: Mediating the Conflict (slide show), Mennonite Central Committee Office of Criminal Justice, 1992.
Justice that Heals: A Biblical Vision for Victims and Offenders, Faith and Life (Newton, KS), 1992.
Lord, Teach Us to Pray: A New Look at the Lord's Prayer, Herald Press (Scottdale, PA), 1992.
Never Call Them Jerks: Healthy Responses to Difficult Behavior, Alban Institute (Washington, DC), 1999.
The Rhythm of God's Grace: Uncovering Morning and Evening Hours of Prayer, Paraclete Press (Brewster, MA), 2003.
Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Gospel Herald, Mennonite, Our Family, St. Anthony's Messenger, and Sojourners. Columnist, Christian Living and Christian Ministry. Contributing editor, Other Side, beginning 1988; editorial adviser, Christian Ministry.
SIDELIGHTS: Arthur Paul Boers, who has worked as a counselor, pastor, and professor, has written several books that typically focus on either the subject of prayer or on the issue of various types of conflict between people. He addresses the latter in books such as Crime: Mediating the Conflict, On Earth as in Heaven: Justice Rooted in Spirituality, and Justice that Heals: A Biblical Vision for Victims and Offenders. In his more recent Never Call Them Jerks: Healthy Responses to Difficult Behavior, Boers touches on a much more subtle form of conflict, yet one that is proving very difficult for many pastors in today's churches: combative members of their own congregations. David Mosser, writing in Christian Century, prefaced his review of this book by explaining that there are several sociologically rooted reasons why parishioners seem to be getting angrier these days with church leadership, including an apparent lack of tolerance for "either real or imaginary second-rate service" and "unrealistic expectations" of their pastors. In response to this, Boers's book, intended for preachers, tries to advise them how to deal with the conflicts that can arise from this demanding attitude. "Boers is familiar with church pathology and with how that pathology affects church leaders," wrote Mosser. "He gets beneath the symptoms of difficult behavior and explores root causes of aberrant conduct."
Boers has also written books on the subject of prayer, such as Lord, Teach Us to Pray: A New Look at the Lord's Prayer. A more recent work on the subject, The Rhythms of God's Grace: Uncovering Morning and Evening Hours of Prayer, was a rather surprising addition from a Protestant, according to some reviewers, because it acknowledges the benefits of disciplined prayer, such as that practiced by Catholics and Jews. Many Protestants object to prayer performed by rote and at specified times of the day because it is seen as less vital and "alive," explained a Publishers Weekly reviewer. But Boers asserts there are some benefits to disciplined prayer, including freedom from the burden of always trying to create one's own original prayers and the sense of community in sharing the same prayers with others. "This book," concluded the Publishers Weekly contributor, "is a lovely addition to the growing literature inviting Protestants to embrace pre-Reformation practices that they have long eschewed."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Christian Century, November 14, 2001, David Mosser, review of Never Call Them Jerks: Healthy Responses to Difficult Behavior, p. 35; May 3, 2003, Richard A. Kauffman, "Prayer Time: New Books on Spirituality."
Publishers Weekly, March 17, 2003, review of The Rhythm of God's Grace: Uncovering Morning and Evening Hours of Prayer, p. 72.