Long time ago, Martin Luther proved how controversial the book of James is! Selvaggio with a uniquely different style from Evangelical Press offers a solid and helpful New Testament commentary. The book reads as a collection of sermons or Bible studies adapted for publication. As such, it possesses three important qualities that will benefit all. Firstly, this book is redemptive in focus. It is easy, while studying James, to lose sight of its redemptive focus, reducing it to a collection of moral imperatives. Selvaggio carefully avoids that error.
Second, the book is reasoned in its exegesis. Selvaggio's conviction that the text of the Scriptures should be carefully followed is evident throughout the book. Each chapter lucidly opens up a portion of James, providing the reader with a theme and then subsections that expand on that theme. The chapter divisions also provide pastors with ideas for homiletical outlines.
Third, the book is relevant in its exhortations. This is highlighted by the title of the book, The 24/7 Christian. One of the challenges with any book of the Bible is not just the "what?" of a passage, but the "so what?" of it. Selvaggio drives home the practical nature of the issues James addresses, such as greed, pride, gossip, prayer, trials, and faithfulness. I really longed for Selvaggio not to bottle it (!!) as he is conspicuously silent on the exegetical and pastoral issue of whether anointing the sick with oil should be continued in the church today. Both clergy and lay-persons will face this question when studying James, and therefore it should be addressed in any study of the book. Helpful, assured but lacking sparkle and inspiration!