No Contradiction Between James and Paul
I think it was a short piece I was reading by William Pemble when I noted two simple statements:
PAUL SEVERS WORKS FROM OUR JUSTIFICATION, BUT NOT FROM OUR FAITH.
JAMES JOINS WORKS TO OUR FAITH, BUT NOT TO OUR JUSTIFICATION.
Let Paul be Paul in CONTEXT and James be James in CONTEXT and there is no need for reconciliation. Thomas Shepard, aptly named was the first President of Harvard and the man most often quoted by Jonathan Edwards in his RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS believed “faith” to be one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible. Show me just one Arminian biblically sound on the doctrine of faith. Not only do they get the cart before the horse, but for the main their horse is already off track. Can an Arminian properly expound Philippians 1:29? I think not.
Consider…What would it have been like to have lived with SINLESS PERFECTION (humility included) every day, all day (24/7) from the days of your boyhood, in public and private, to along with Peter and John to have been a part of the “inner circle” and then to have heard many professing the Holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ with no apparent intent to “depart from iniquity”; giving no evidence of being BOTHERED by sins of omission/commission.
Nicknames often tell us a lot about a person, and this dichotomy did and should have BOTHERED James the JUST, and it should also bother ME and others claiming His Holy Name. In rational probability, James had probably spent more time in the physical presence of Jesus Christ than any man to have ever lived. No opposition with the Apostle Paul, James under inspiration speaks of operative faith that will to varying degrees manifest itself. For want of a better term James is “evangelical” as he writes, “Of His own will begat He us…” (James 1:18), and “receive with meekness the ingrafted Word” (James 1:21) James was not a legalistic.
– Bill Bryant