September 02, 2009


James 2:14-26

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:26


In the book unChristian, David Kinnaman points out that millions of young people in our society between ages 16 and 29 have lost respect for Christianity. In their opinion Christians in today’s culture don’t even look like Christians. These name-only Christians are therefore unChristian because they don’t live out their faith.

The easiest response would be to dismiss the content of this book as the bias of the unbeliever.

But the best way to counter the criticism of people outside the Christian faith is to live by the Christian faith. And this will involve carefully listening to James when he tells us that “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26)?and putting our faith into practice.

Perhaps the time has come to reevaluate our lives and our churches to see if our faith is accompanied by deeds. According to an Anglican bishop, Mark Dyer, “Every 500 years the church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale.” Perhaps the time has come for the 21st-century church and for today’s Christians to clean out their “attics” and get rid of baggage that might keep us from putting our faith into practice.

Each one of us has to ask, “Can the people in my life tell by my actions that my faith is real? Does it show in the way I reach out to people in need, and in the way I share with others?”

Lord, sometimes I look the other way when someone needs my help. Open my eyes and my heart to truly share what you have given to me. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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