Sunday, August 11, 2013

Is James the word of God?

Yes. Provided that we understand it as a praeparatio evangelium, as pure speech about Christ, as that which turns us away from the royal law which brings freedom to Christ who fulfills the law that we might be free. If we understand by the phrase "όρατε ότι εχ εργων δικαιουται ανθρωπος και ουκ εκ πιστεως μόνον" that deeds which fulfill the royal law of love JUSTIFY a man, that Christ in doing precisely that has won a way for us to be justified, inasmuch as HIS DEEDS become OUR DEEDS (1 Cor. 1:30), then James is in perfect accord with the rule of faith. If, on the other hand, I am wrong in my reading...that the meaning of the above verse is that man will be justified by various concrete deeds which he will effect in this temporal sphere out of obedience to God's law (such as giving money to the poor, tithing to the local parish, praying for his enemies etc...) then James really is "an epistle of straw," worthy of the condemnation spoken of in Galatians 1:8, placed in the canon by a childish misunderstanding of the early church and maintained there by successive ages for fear of subtracting from the word of god. As of yet I see no need to go that route, yet I am baffled by the mindlessness of neo-evangelicals who attempt to synthesize both James and Paul by a sort of semi-pelagianism, which would see our final justification as merited by a cooperation between Christ's grace and our good deeds. These buffoons (Ben Witherington III, N.T. Wright etc...) are worthy of nothing but contempt for their willful abandonment of grace.

It is possible also to see in this epistle an "authorial intent" of judaizing but an inspiration in spite of this intent. The gospel is never bound to the psychological desires or motives of those who proclaim it. They may intend  their words for evil whilst God is superordinately using them for good.

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