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Practice Makes Perfect: The Book of James Simply Explained

By Anthony Bird
October 2009 | Review by Paul Brown


The book of James is one of the most practical books in the New Testament. It is filled with advice about facing the trials of life, coping with poverty, the desire to be rich, controlling the tongue, making plans for the future and much more. In this book, author Tony Bird hand-holds us through this wonderful section of God's Word. Raise the bar on your Christian life!

  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0852346938
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: £3.05
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Book Review

I rather suspect this book was written before the credit crunch and recession which now affect so much of the world. Yet the comments on James 5:1–6 are absolutely on target for today. In fact, here is a reminder that the Word of God is always up to date and the wisdom of God for our lives.

I understand that, at the moment, it is Christian fiction, biography and ‘how-to’ books which are selling at the expense of books directly on the Bible. This book, however, takes us to the text of one of the most practical of New Testament books and in reading it we are interacting directly with readable, helpful comment on God’s instruction through James.

The author lectures in New Testament at the Presbyterian Theological College in Victoria, Australia. He also worked as a missionary in West Java and is active in Donvale Presbyterian Church in Melbourne, where he preached a series of sermons on James.

So he brings to his exposition scholarship, experience and a sermonic approach, which includes suitable illustrations and appropriate, down-to-earth applications.

The author breaks the letter into 25 parts and writes eight or nine pages of comments for each section. This makes for easy reading; a section a day followed by prayer would be profitable for any Christian.

There is an appendix relating to chapter 2:18–26 entitled ‘The interpretation of James 2:24′. This is more technical, but valuable for those who want a more thorough explanation of the relationship between justification by faith in Paul’s letters and James’ words.

Reading this book will give you more valuable instruction in godly, Christ-like living than half a dozen ‘how-to’ books!

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