Is the Book of James Really ‘An Epistle of Straw’?

We have a lot of books in our New Testament. All of them, we believe, are divinely inspired. And yet we don’t spend equal amounts of time reading them. For most of us, our reading pattern is profoundly lopsided, focusing mostly on Paul (especially Romans and Galatians) and the Gospels (with John leading the way). Indeed, some books (like 3 John) hardly get read at all.

This trend raises intriguing questions about why certain books were even included in the New Testament. What purpose do these less famous books serve? This becomes particularly acute with the book of James. Although 500 years have passed since Martin Luther called it …

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What Exactly is Legalism? It’s More Complicated Than You Think

Legalism. Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s bad.  And in a world where Christians seem to disagree over basically everything, that’s saying something.

Even so, if you asked the average Christian to define legalism, the answers may not come so quickly. What exactly counts as legalism?  How do we know it when we see it?  The confusion is exacerbated by the fact that the term can be used in different ways.  People can use the same word but infuse it with very different meanings.

In hopes of dissipating a little of the fogginess, here’s a breakdown of different ways to understand legalism.

Legalism and Salvation

Let’s begin with the most …

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