April 24, 2010
Can I tell you how thrilled I am right now to have my hands on McCartney’s commentary on James from the Baker Exegetical series! The book was published in 2009, the library had it on the shelves, and I am only the third to check it out. Be expecting a review here in the not so distant future.
One of the key areas of discussion related to this epistle is always its “conflict” with Pauline theology. McCartney writes:
“Luther’s own theology is closer to James than he perhaps realized. In his preface to Romans he declares that real faith is ‘a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith…it is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. It never asks whether good works are to be done; it has done them before the question can be asked, and is always doing them. Whoever does not do such works is an unbeliever…Thus it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire” (McCartney, 1).
Doesn’t this just make the whole discussion of “conflict” between Paul and James irrelevant? Maybe Luther was having a couple bad days when he read James.