James, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. By George M. Stulac. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993. 206 pp. Paperback, $17.00.
Though this book was originally published nearly twenty years ago, it is still being marketed to schools and scholars. I just became aware of it. And I’m glad I did.
Stulac takes the normal Reformed understanding of James. He suggests that James has a “redemptive message,” then he adds: “The problem is that James does not seem to fit readily enough our concept of redemption. We describe our redemption as “salvation by grace alone,” and James writes so much about works” (p. 11). His understanding of James 2:14-26, for example, is that true faith necessarily results in a life of good works (pp. 107-120).
Despite the Reformed viewpoint, Stulac does make many helpful observations. For example, the footnote on the question, “What good is it?” (2:14, 16) is outstanding. And if one overlooks the fact that by salvationStulac most often means regeneration rather than deliverance from death, his comments are very helpful.
Interestingly when the author comes to the last use of the word save in James (Jas 2:19-20), he concludes that salvation from physical death is in view (pp. 188-89).
I recommend this commentary. It is worth reading.
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society