The Epistle of James has been marginalized throughout much of church history. Probably because James wasn’t writing to a Christendom church. With Christendom on death’s door, perhaps it’s time to listen to this punchy little epistle anew.
James, ‘the Rich,’ and the Complexity Argument by Brian Walsh
The argument of complexity is invariably employed to deflect serious moral criticism. From Apartheid South Africa to the Tar Sands of Alberta and along the path of Global Capitalism, critics are always dismissed as being simplistic and not grasping the ‘complexity’ of the issues. James will have none of it!
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You talkin’ to me? James and the Church by Brian Walsh
Is James really talking to us? Are his harsh words about ‘the rich’ really addressed to the church? If so, then so much for certain theological dogmas.
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A Community of the Word by Brian Walsh
James is concerned about how we speak because he knows that we are shaped by language.
We are born, nourished and shaped by word.
And that is why wordsmithing is crucial to forming Christian community.
Christian Expletives and Public Discourse by Brian Walsh
“So speak and so act as those who are judged by the law of liberty,” writes James.
Well, what about expletives?
Specifically, what about using the word “fucked” to describe sin?
Can that pass the judgement by the law of liberty?
From Grace’s to James by Brian Walsh
Dancing at Grace’s with the Sanctuary community and the vision of faith and works that we meet in James takes on gyrating, hands-outstretched, joyful, hopeful and ecstatic flesh.
Faith without works isn’t just bullshit, it is barren.
St. James and Regenerative Eroticism by Brian Walsh
St. James and Barbara Kingsolver share a vision of the world that could be described as regenerative eroticism.
Eroticism in the Bible? And not in the Song of Solomon? Really?
Oh yea, this is sexy stuff.
An Epistle of Straw by Brian Walsh
Might it be that James is just too in your face? Might it be that James is just so damn uncompromising that he makes it all too uncomfortable? Might it be that an ‘established church’ that has made its peace with the empire simply cannot countenance such a radical call to discipleship?
When The Bottom Falls Out by Brian Walsh
So, blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. And woe to you who are rich, for you have already received comfort. And blessed are you who persevere under these kinds of trials. Blessed are you when you have stood the test. Blessed are you when you gave up everything, but held on to Jesus.
Desire of the Rich and Doers of the Word by Brian Walsh
Maybe we can only understand James if we are in exile. Maybe we can only understand this letter written from the margins to the margins, if in some sense we experience our life at the margins, if we experience our selves as a community in diaspora.