'A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.'

'But the tongue no man can tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.'

These and other phrases are among those most famous lines in the Bible and can be found in the General Epistle of James, the subject of a new study class at Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church in Fairview.

The study will take place Sundays starting March 18 and concluding June 24.

Concurrently, the same study will be offered at Ruth Hermance's private home starting March 21 and meet on consecutive Wednesdays for two hours each session until May 9.

Marcia Chiaudano, a church volunteer, will lead the Sunday study, and Ruth Hermance will lead the Wednesday group.

The discussions are based on 'James: Mercy Triumphs,' a book and video series created by Beth Moore, a popular evangelical Christian TV and radio personality.

The study notes James - believed by varying scholars to be a brother, half-brother or cousin of Jesus Christ - was skeptical of the messianic nature of Jesus until he appeared to James after his resurrection.

The Epistle of James has been compared to the Hebrew scripture about Amos as well as the Jewish Book of Proverbs, and also has been compared to the Talmud.

Topics in Moore's study include: joy, hardship, faith, reversal of fortunes for rich and poor, wisdom, gifts from above, single-mindedness, the dangers of the tongue, humility and prayer.

Chiaudano has used Moore's studies before for her discussion groups and is a big fan.

'She is so transparent, she's funny, and she just cracks me up,' Chiaudano says. 'She just risks it all, putting it out there, and we all resonate with her.'

Hermance says she admires Moore's scholarship, and adds that folks can participate in a variety of ways in the course, from simply watching the videos to going so far as memorizing the Epistle of James.

'They will like the fast pace, the freshness and how applicable it is to their personal life,' she says.

Hermance says the Epistle of James 'makes you take inventory of yourself. And that's a good thing if we're going to call ourselves Christians, to look like the person we follow as much as possible.'

If you go

WHAT: Bible study 'James: Mercy Triumphs'

WHERE: Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2420 Fairview Ave.

WHEN: 8:15 a.m. Sundays, March 18 to June 24; home study 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, March 21 to May 9

COST: $16 covers cost of course workbook

INFO: For church study, 503-667-6800; for home study, 503-665-1949; to register and/or order workbooks, write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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