Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth, 2018 The Let’s Study series published by the Banner of Truth has been a most helpful one for pastors, Bible study leaders, and Christians seeking […]
Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth, 2018
The Let’s Study series published by the Banner of Truth has been a most helpful one for pastors, Bible study leaders, and Christians seeking to delve more deeply into the Word. Sinclair Ferguson’s work on James more than maintains that standard. His comments are always based on a close reading of the text. On James 1:5 he agrees with Calvin that the wisdom referred to is not wisdom in general but more specifically ‘wisdom when going through trials’.
There are also a number of nice turns of phrase to help the reader, so on the subject of the tongue (3:1-12), Sinclair speaks of ‘a kind of spiritual version of Newton’s First Law of Motion: a tongue at rest tends to stay at rest, but a tongue in motion tends to stay in motion!’ He makes a very modern application in saying that the worldwide web has brought with it ‘a cosmos of cyber sin.’
As is well-known, there is an emphasis on works in James, and Sinclair points out how Christians can easily deceive themselves by activism or doctrinal understanding where one is a substitute for the other. Both are needed. Luke 7:29, 35 may help to explain the use of ‘justify’ in James 2:21. Anointing the sick with oil is accepted by Sinclair – rightly so, in my view (5:14). All in all, this is a stimulating and faithful piece of work.