Sunday, May 23, 2010

Just Finished: James & a Commentary on James

I should write lots about what I learned while I read James and the Reformed Expository Series to go with it, but I'm a little tired so it's a little or nothing.

I always loved the book of James. James is to the point, practical, pastoral, and seemingly applicable; however, I never realized how difficult it is to follow his train of thought. Upon reading the first two or three chapters (with some friends), we were all finding it a challenge to piece together James' train of thought. The topics seem to jump around all over the place from trials to prayer to taming the tongue. (In fact, James paints a pretty negative picture of mankind and our sinfulness.)

The more we read and prayed, the clearer and more organized the compact five chapters of James seemed. Themes jumped off the page along with the increasing knowledge that without the Gospel, there is literally no hope of fulfilling any of the commandments James gives us. That is a truth I need to remember daily.

As for the commentary, it is part of a series called Reformed Expository Commentary. The goal of these commentaries is for them to be clear, readable, and provide a good jumping off point for the text. Daniel Doriani wrote this one, which was pretty good. Doriani used a lot of examples from his experiences in life and ministry and approached some difficult and controversial aspects of James with an even hand.

And that was my inarticulate review of James. It's probably better if you read the whole thing for yourself (at least 5 times.)

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