One of conundrums for protestants over the past 500 years has been the epistle of "James, brother of Jesus, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion." What is James talking about? How do we integrate him with Paul, "who's all about grace and justification by faith not works"? And how do we integrate James into our Luther-Calvin-(Zwingli) evangelical-protestant schema? Do we act with frustration, like Luther, who reportedly declared (fumed) James to be the epistle of straw, and tried to drop it from the New Testament Canon, (along with The Revelation)? Should we just ignore it, as some ministers advise.
Perhaps we should just continue in frustration and pretend that this issue doesn't exist (just don't run a youth group, this can often be a commonly asked question.
Maybe we should look at the wealth of scholarship in Pauline studies over the past 30 years and try and do the same with James. That is what I suggest. I freely confess my ignorance about this epistle; I can barely read it in koine Greek. However, I will endeavour to do a "fresh perspective" on James on this blog ASAP. James has it's own historical, political and cultural context and schema, and I will try to draw that out.
If anyone wants to pay me the $70 to buy the Richard Bauckham commentary on James, that would be appreciated, ha ha. Please stay tuned for more from me and the five exciting chapters of James.