Timothy Luke Johnson on the New Christian Reality

James’ critique cuts deeper than that, however, for he challenges the very view of reality assumed by such “friends of the world.” Their speech betrays a perception of the world as a closed system of limited resources, available to their control and manipulation, yielding to their market analysis and sales campaign. When James recommends that they say “If the Lord wills it, we will both live and do this thing or that thing,” he is not recommending an empty piety, but a profoundly different understanding of reality. He challenges their construal with the perception given by faith and friendship with God; that the world is an open system, created by God at every moment, and infinitely rich in the resources provided by God for humans to exist and prosper in cooperation, rather than competition. And within this understanding, their pretension and boasting is not the symptom simply of foolish heedlessness. It is the symptom of something evil – Letter of James, pp 307-8

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