The Scandalous Message of James: Faith Without Works Is Dead
Pages 102 pages
Publisher Meyer Stone Books
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Commentaries by Female Scholars by John Dyer
This commentary approaches the text from a “liberation theology” point of view. There are some good insights and reminders here that will not be found or emphasized in other commentaries. She stresses that James is speaking to Christians who were literally poor and oppressed by the rich and powerful. She believes that most current evangelical commentaries today are written by those who would be among the rich and therefore they have missed hearing what James is saying. She then interprets the book through the eyes of the poor (not just spiritually poor, but physically poor and oppressed). I am grateful to have read it to be pressed on my thinking on how caring for the poor is such an important responsibility for the Christian and how it is so much a part of the book of James. In some ways her argument is not just that we are to care for the poor, but we are to be the poor that God gives preferential treatment to. Caring for the poor and yet being the poor . . . an interesting place to be in as the church. Though I was not always convinced by her arguments, I would recommend using it in your study of James if you have access to it. It will more completely explain a perspective that most evangelical commentaries perhaps a little too easily and hastily write off. It is written in a popular easy to read format – perhaps especially lending itself to group study. The whole second part of the book is devoted to resources for applying what is learned. So yes, though this commentary will at times leave you unsettled because of lack of understanding the fullness of the issues of James or even poverty, it will also possibly leave you unsettled because you need to be (and where other commentaries may just leave you feeling good about yourself).