Parkview Christian Church invited me to come spend a day with some folks for what I called “A Day with the Letter of James.” The pastor of spiritual formation, Casey Tygrett, invited me — and we fired up just after 8am and didn’t finish until 3pm. So, it was a full day.
And it was a lively, energizing, and I hope mutually beneficial session. I really enjoyed the folks at Parkview — and it was good to see Casey again.James is a one-of-a-kind letter, springing as it does from the messianists of Judaism, written (so I think) by a brother of Jesus, not utilizing the typical salvation categories of Paul, Peter or Hebrews, and striking its ground in the wisdom tradition.
Here are some themes we dipped into — James and Jesus, the meaning of “trials” in James 1:2 (economic oppression), a possible temptation to use violence, how Christian James is — in my commentary I argue Luther got this wrong, and the Christian life as a life of doing good works. I was surprised I didn’t even get through all my notes, but that was mostly because the folks at Parkview had so many good questions. (See our James.)