The Book of James Bible Study

| Book of James Bible Study | Introduction to James | Themes in James | James and Jesus | About the Author |
James 4

A Damning Friendship - James 4:1-5

Arrogant Self Righteousness

Exposition of James 4:1-5

How to Have Genuine Faith - James 4:6-10

Who are You to Judge! - James 4:11

One is Lawgiver and Judge - James 4:12

Plans for Today and Tomorrow - James 4:13-17

A Damning Friendship

BACKGROUND: James deals with the opposite attitudes of humility and pride in James 3:13-4:10. Attitudes are firmly held points of view or ways of regarding something. Attitudes come from wisdom.
There are four sources of wisdom: earthly, unspiritual, and demonic and from heaven (3:13-17). The first three belong to man’s sinful nature, manifesting themselves in bitter envy, selfish ambition and selfish desires that lead to conflict with the Spirit of God. Wisdom from heaven resides in the believer’s new
nature, manifesting itself in peace and righteousness.

If we embrace wisdom shaped by earthy, unspiritual and the demonic, we choose to be a friend of the world and become an enemy of God instead of His friend. From the beginning, this battle has been raging within the human heart. When God no longer rules man’s life, the pursuit of pleasure takes over, and peace and righteousness is disrupted. Since the Book of James is a test of faith, we must keep in mind in
this section that “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Such thinking is not popular or acceptable in the twenty-first century.

A hundred years ago, the world along with the church was beset by modernism. Modernism was a worldview based on the notion that only science could explain reality. The modernist, in effect, began with the presupposition that nothing supernatural is real. If nothing is supernatural is real, then much of the Bible is untrue and has no authority, including the supernatural elements of Christianity, including God Himself. Modernism was anti-Christian at its core.

Modernism is now regarded as yesterday’s way of thinking. The dominant worldview in secular and academic circles today is called postmodernism. Postmodernists have repudiated modernism’s absolute confidence in science as the only pathway to the truth. In fact, postmodernism has completely lost interest in “the truth,” insisting that there is no such thing as absolute, objective, or universal truth. Unlike modernism, which was still concerned with whether basic convictions, beliefs, and ideologies are objectively true or false, postmodernism simply denies that any truth can be objectively known.

To the postmodernist, reality is whatever the individual imagines it to be. That means what is "true" is determined subjectively by each person, and there is no such thing as objective, authoritative truth that governs or applies to all humanity universally. The postmodernist naturally believes it is pointless to argue whether opinion A is superior to opinion B. After all, if reality is merely a construct of the human mind, one person's perspective of truth is ultimately just as good as another's.

Having given up on knowing objective truth, the postmodernist occupies himself instead with the quest for "understanding" the other person's point of view. So the words truth and understanding take on radical new meanings. Ironically, "understanding" requires that we first of all disavow the possibility of knowing any truth at all. And "truth" becomes nothing more than a personal opinion, usually best kept to oneself.

That is the one essential, non-negotiable demand postmodernism makes of everyone: We are not supposed to think we know any objective truth. Postmodernists often suggest that every opinion should be shown equal respect. And therefore on the surface, postmodernism seems driven by a broad-minded concern for harmony and tolerance. It all sounds very charitable and humanitarian. But what really underlies the postmodernist belief system is an utter intolerance for every worldview that makes any universal truth-claims—particularly biblical Christianity. In other words, postmodernism begins with a presupposition that is irreconcilable with the objective, divinely-revealed truth of Scripture. Like modernism, postmodernism is fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Next Section - Arrogant Self Righteousness

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Decoding Daniel

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

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