Real Faith: Studies in the Epistle of James
D. Eric Williams
Lewiston, ID: D. Eric Williams, 2009
My Rating: 7 out of 10
Who might this book interest? I think that Williams’ book would be of interest to pastors who are preaching in or through the Epistle of James. In addition, the length of the chapters would make it a useful daily devotional.
Quick Summary: Pastor and Bible teacher, D. Eric Williams, provides us with a theological exposition of the Epistle of James in his work, Real Faith. Williams completed his bachelor degree from University of the State of New York and master’s from the Southern California Graduate School of Theology and has pastored for over 20 years in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (4Cs). He states, “My ministry is focused on Christ centered expository Bible teaching that is covenantal in nature." This work on James is fruit of his approach.
Williams’ exposition covers the entire Epistle of James. His theological approach can certainly be described as Reformed, Covenantal, Presuppositional, and Theonomistic (to some degree). From this theological approach, he provides an exposition of James that explains the past meaning of the text as well as applies the text to present-day living. His exposition is Christ-centered with an emphasis on the Gospel for personal and corporate living. I appreciate this aspect of his approach to the Epistle of James.
Evangelical Assessment: Unquestionably, D. Eric Williams’ work fits broadly within the evangelical tradition and specifically within the Reformed tradition. His exegesis and exposition is generally competent. Obviously, his theological commitments do shine through in his exposition. At times, his use of Paul to interpret James may create problems for James, but understandably, as he seeks to explain James, he does so within the wider context of a biblical theology, which takes into account its’ relationship to the canon of Scripture as a whole. Thus, it is a theological exposition of the text.
In terms of writing, Williams generally does a good job of connecting chapters together, which aids the flow and continuity of the work. But at times, I found myself lost within the chapters in trying to find out which phrase or verse he was discussing. A remedy may be to add sections headings within the chapters. Overall, he provides a clear exposition of James’ epistle.