In which I take a big risk

by Craig on May 31, 2011

So, back when I began this blog, I decided to start by studying, deeply, and as completely as possible, the book of James. James is a risky book of the Bible.

It’s risky because it comes right out and says we have no faith at all if we don’t have “works” to go along with our belief.

I don’t think this was a risky thing for James to write when he wrote it. But we’ve had a Reformation since. There is an entire denomination of Lutherans, who, if I get into a detailed study of faith and works – I may lose some of you.

I heart you guys,

source

I don’t want to lose any of you.

So, even if you are a Lutheran,
even if you believe that works has nothing at all to do with salvation
NOTHING
please stay with me as I depart from James,
so as not to take James, and this one infamous verse,
“faith without works is dead”
out of context,
but rather within the context of the Bible.

Because it’s the Bible, isn’t it, that counts?

And “Sola Scriptura” – only Scripture – it’s Martin Luther’s basis of doctrine.

And it is only Scripture that I will consider in this risky study.

And if I step on your spiritual toes,
know that I heart your spiritual toes,
please drop me a comment,
and that comment will have your e-mail address,
and let’s have a side conversation. Okay?
Because, in the end,
getting this whole “salvation thing” right is critical. No?

And while I’m at potentially alienating everybody – I guess I should be totally honest about this as well. There are many elements of the Catholic faith that I heart. But I am not a Catholic.

I feel most comfortable with the Old Testament, because Jesus gave that his thumbs-up. I feel most comfortable with the New Testament, because its sources are basically the people who sat at the feet of our Lord. They were students of a Rabbi and there is an uber amount of evidence that they wrote exactly what they were taught.

I admire the breadth of knowledge and wisdom in Catholic Church Tradition.

It is part of my faith.
But when all is said and done,
I put my faith in these collected writings,
that we,
historically,
as a church united,
believe to be infallible and inspired.

source

And now I may just have alienated all whole other part of my readership whom I heart.

If I have, please comment, so I can e-mail you as well.

Again, I heart you guys, and I don’t want to lose a single one of you.

The whole book of James,
to this point,
has been building to this topic
and the rest of it is built around it.

If I avoid it I’m not being true to Scripture.
I’m not being true to myself.
I’m not being true to you.

And that’s why I’m risking this.

Can all of you please pray – because I’m really concerned about stepping on those spiritual toes that I heart so much.

And so I begin…

tomorrow…

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora May 31, 2011 at 9:57 am

I’m still here! No toes stepped on, and I’m still comfortable. Not even squirmming (not sure how to spell that!). So I’m here for the meat and potatoes part.

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Craig May 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

YAY! Grateful I didn’t step on your toes – thank you Cora – and it’s spelled skwirming :-) God bless and keep you!

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Cindy Holman May 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm

You can’t step on my spiritual toes – so speak AWAY!! I’ve been on a long journey of discovery born and raised in a pentecostal home with a lot of restrictions. I’m a grace girl – love the book of James and the teachings of Jesus on that subject. No problem here – I’ve changed many of my childhood ideas on the church and man made rules through my adult life – tried to be very open to many things that are scripture based and have found a freedom in that.

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Craig May 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I promise I will stay absolutely true to Scripture, I had no spiritual training as a child – my mama decided it would be best for her children to make the decision on religion when they got older. Then she married a Catholic – and so I became kind of a “figuring it out on the fly” type of Catholic. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I was really confronted head-on with the gospel. I graduated from a Presbyterian seminary, I have been a member of only one church in all of my 26 years as a Christian – a Baptist church – and that for only about seven years. I believe the Bible to be inspired – because the church has always believed the words of Jesus to be inspired – and the church early on decided that the OT and NT Canon was inspired – I heart my early church history. I come at this with no denominational restrictions – only one restriction – just what the Bible says. I’m just going to travel through and see what the Bible says about salvation – and grace – and faith – and works. I am thrilled to have you along for the ride. God bless you and keep you Cindy.

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Dawn May 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Craig,

All Dawn toes and 12 paws of muttlies’ toes all present and accounted for. Is Laska giving you spelling lessons? skwirming?

Praying for a good exchange here at the double “Deep” sites,
Dawn

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Craig May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

first, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of Laskish every once in a while – Cora needed help. And thank you for all the paws and toes accounted for. I’m just going to plow through the Bible and see what it says – pretty simple – that’s all. Thank you Dawn, and God bless you and keep you.

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Alida May 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

The book of James is one of my favorites and I look forward to hearing what God puts on your heart as you study.

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Craig May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Alida, thank you. There are so many verses that speak about works and faith and salvation – so many of them that we just drive right over like they’re little speed bumps – I’m going to be finding each and every one of those and seeing what it all means. Just read the Bible – dig a little bit – and follow where it leads me. Thank you again Alida, and God bless you and your hubs and your ministry!

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Kristin May 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I’m stilll here:) I’ve been a Baptist all my life, a Christian for 37 years. I love the book of James and am ready for whatever you got! :) Write on!

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Craig May 31, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Thank you Kristin. Everything upcoming will not be from the Book of James – it’ll be biblical context for the famous James verse – all of the important faith/works verses – James needs some back-up :) God Bless!

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Debbie June 1, 2011 at 3:01 am

Thank you for thinking so much of everyone, and their toes. Now, if we have the right shoes . . .with steel toes, no problem. :) teehee. You will be fine. You are following Him and that is a good thing. Praying for you as you head on in! God bless you!

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A. June 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

Craig, you have not lost me. I have been gone due to no computer access for a few weeks and only sporadic now. I also just feel crushed by life. Life has lost its color. Things are only shades of gray. Things/life/color feel so distant. Waves constantly pound and crush. Your site I know is a safe place. thank you for that. so are a few others which I haven’t been to recently for lack of energy and computer.

Bless you.

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Craig June 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm

A. I just got done praying for you. I know life without color. I know shades of gray. I prayed for Angels to be with you. You are a gem A., whether appreciated or not. I heart having you here. God bless you A!

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A. June 2, 2011 at 12:27 am

Thank you for understanding, and for your prayers. Prayers are no trite thing. Thank you, Craig.

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Kris June 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I’m a Lutheran, and I will stick around 😉 Ha! Can’t wait! Sola Scriptura, YES YES YES!

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Craig June 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Kris, first of all – you’ll never guess where I found this comment :-) secondly – I am so glad that you’re sticking around. I promise – Sola Scriptura all the way. Thank you Kris – it wouldn’t be the same without you here! God bless you and your Lutheran heart :-)

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