Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


March 16, 2010

Jesus tells his followers: "Why do you call me,'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46) The connection between faith and actions, doing, it's always been dicey.

What good is it, brothers and sisters, if people claim to have faith but have not deeds?
- James 2:14 TNIV


Martin Luther questioned whether the Letter of James ought to be in the Bible at all, because of its seeming departure from the teaching of "justification by faith through Christ." And even the bearer of the good news, Jesus, says, faith that merely is words is of no value. So we are left in a pickle. Any faith that somehow does not connect with actions, with our lives--such is grounds to question faith altogether.

The great WWII dissident theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, gave us the term "cheap grace," a grace that excused all sin, but produces little lifestyle discipleship. Maybe Rev. Bonhoeffer, a German, like Luther, tried to grapple with the joy of faith in Christ, yet the responsibility for our faith to spring us into action. And so like James, we all wrestle with the joy of faith, and the summons to obedient discipleship.

Dale Patterson