I have added the following article to the James Bibliography and Recent James Scholarship pages.
Kamell, Mariam J. 2009. “The Nature of Eternal Security in James: Divine Grace Pairs with the Imitatio Dei.” Paper in the current open online volume 2 of Testamentum Imperium, 28 pages.
The pdf article is available online here.
Mariam and I are very much on the same page regarding the overall message in James. While it is so easy to focus on the commands in the letter and the believer’s responsibility to have faith with works, Mariam recognizes the crucial message in James that such a living faith ultimately comes from the grace of God through his word. It also includes the extravagant mercy of God that triumphs over judgment. Thus, James conveys a theology that spans election through eternity, and this perspective is foundational to understanding the imperatives in the letter.
It’s good stuff to think about at Easter. While the moral obligation in James is hopeless for humanity, everything is possible with God. It reminds me of a quote I saw entering the library the other day: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” –Pope John Paul II
Thank you Mariam, and congratulations on nearing the completion of your program at St Andrews! We look forward to much more good stuff from you.