Item description for Practically Christian: Applying James Today by Phillip A. Ross...
James was written to correct a church that was going astray in the early years of Christianity. From James we learn that the gospel is intensely personal, that it is not just a matter of signing a pledge or joining an institution.
The gospel, James reminded his readers, is a practical way of life. And where the actual living of that way of life is not demonstrated in the lives of Christians, the Holy Spirit must be presumed to be absent and the faithfulness of such people called into question. The gospel is not just a head belief, nor a heart-felt experience. It is primarily a way of life. Initiated through the grace of God alone, the gospel is not the gospel apart from its actual, behavioral manifestation in the lives of believers (James 2:14).
This book seeks to shine the light of Scripture into the darkened recesses of the contemporary church by shining the light of James into the hearts of its contemporary readers. This is an intensely personal work in the sense that it attempts to get at issues that few people (or preachers) are willing to talk about, but are essential for the gospel to take root in our lives.
As such, it will provide a critique of the contemporary church from a biblical perspective, that of James. Many beliefs and practices of contemporary Christians and their churches will be found to be short of the biblical mark. As James has been grist for my mill, so this book is offered as grist for yours.
Rather than a straight-forward commentary on James I have put together various thoughts and tangents that have been inspired by James in the midst of ministry. My objective is to help people see that James is applicable today in the same way that it was when it was written.
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Phillip A. Ross has pastored churches in Berkeley, California; St. Louis, Missouri, Evansville, Indiana; Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; and Marietta, Ohio. Following his post-ordination conversion to biblical Christianity, he has labored for Gospel renewal through radio, music, counseling, and writing. Coming to see the counter productivity of his B.S in Philosophy, and his M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, California, he repudiated his formal education, and reeducated himself in the historic traditions of Protestant Christianity. With more than twenty-five years of ministry leadership, Phil has both an understanding of and experience with the unique circumstances involved in ministry. He has particular understanding of and commitment to historic Reformed Christianity, and is the author of many books on biblical exposition. Phil resides in Marietta, Ohio, with his wife, Stephanie.