Study # 4
September 10, 1997
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: A significant grasp of James' message is only possible when the hermeneutically significant issues of his mindset of servanthood are embraced. Introduction: There are at least three highly significant problems in the typical American believer's approach to the Scriptures. The first is the enormous subject of 'agenda conflict' in which most people do not even realize that their war is with God; the second is the enculturated view of slavery which most American believers do not even attempt to unseat in their own world-view; and the third is the rather cavalier approach taken in interacting with the Word of God--ignoring the fundamental issues of hermeneutics. In his opening words, James briefly alludes to the first two issues as foundational to all real Christianity. And, though he makes no allusion to the third problem, it is an assumption of all Scripture that when God speaks, creatures have an obligation to be diligent to understand what He means. James' allusions to the first two issues are brief, not because they are insignificant, but because they will be further developed in the body of his entire letter. This evening we want to consider hermeneutically critical issues of James' mindset as the author of this letter.