Part 8: Partiality in their midst
Having set the stage in his introduction, James now turns to discuss one of the major themes he has introduced, that of wealth and charity. A discussion that expands on the previous statements in 1:9-11 and 1:22-27. Following James’ theme of responding to God’s implanted word in action in the previous chapter (1:22-25), the author now starts situate the behavioural patterns that ought to be manifested by his brothers and co-servants who have received the word. He does so with the emphasis of practicing equality within the church, as James clearly believes that the poor have a very important place in the church because of the levelling effect of the Christian gospel, to which he argues that true faith has no place for the social distinction of the world.
A review of Gustavo Gutierrez’s We Drink From Our Own Wells
Title: We Drink from Our Own Wells: The Spiritual Journey of a People
Author: Gustavo Gutierrez (Translated by Matthew J. O’Connell)
Publisher: Maryknol, Orbis Books, 1983
Gustavo Gutierrez is probably the best-known liberation theologian as he has written what remains to be the classic exposition of this movement, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation the book that has permanently altered our modern theological landscape, by challenging us to hear the Gospel message from the “underside of history,” from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed.
Born in Lima, Peru, Gutierrez is of Native American heritage, being of mixed Quechua descent he earned degrees in psychology and philosophy (Leuven), and obtained a doctorate at the Institut Pastoral d’Etudes Religieuses (IPER), Université Catholique in Lyon. Ordained as a Dominican priest in 1959, he lives and works in a poor slum in Lima, dividing his time between pastoral work and teaching at the Catholic University. He holds the John Cardinal O’Hara Professorship of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and has been a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a visiting professor at many major universities in North America and Europe.
It wasn’t that long ago when I brought a friend from Adamson to a Sunday school class much like the one that we had now. It was the old Men’s class of Kuya Ponch Valenzuela, who also taught on this same chapter that we are studying now.
After learning that my friend was an athlete he began to speak about how the writers of the Bible especially the ones in the New Testament, used the language of sports and analogies of athletics in expounding spiritual realities. Much like the passage that we are studying now.
It is that lesson on this same chapter that we are studying now that he expounded on this chapter through the analogy of a race where we are all participant runners and all the saints mentioned in chapter 11, are there on the grandstand cheering us on in a race towards our end goal that is the crown of righteousness in Christ that has been promised to all believers in 2nd Timothy 4:8.