I’m enjoying studying James and proclaiming Christ and Thanks to my professor and mentor, Dr. William Varner, I was directed to the writings of Richard Bauckham on James.
What really counts is not an intellectual formulation which demonstrates their conceptual compatibility, but the existential discovery of their complementarity in practice. Those who read scripture in order to practise it – doers, not mere hearers of the word (Jas. 1:22-25; Rom 2:13) – find that the different messages of the Pauline literature on faith and works and James on faith and works address them in different contexts of their lives, correct the misapplications to which each can be subject, and finally cohere in the experience and practice of relationship with God in Christ (Richard Bauckham, James: Wisdom of James, Disciple of Jesus the Sage, [London, U. K..: Routledge, 1999], 134-5).
As I’ve studied the passage I’ve been striving for the “intellectual formulation which demonstrates their conceptual compatibility” and not intentionally aiming at proclaiming and praying CrossView Church toward “the existential discovery of their complementarity in practice.”
James wants us to check and see if the faith we profess is a saving, living, active, more-than-intellectual, faith. Paul would never have affirmed the dead faith James attacks as the faith alone which justifies. But I need to keep in mind, even explaining the coherence of the two, that I’m praying and pressing the church (and myself) into active faith that examines my life, examines opportunities, then intentionally trusts God in those opportunities to love and do good to others.