I sometimes think that James is like the little boy in the Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Story who exposed the emperor's nakedness.
James has a painful habit of exposing our own spiritual pretence: do we just talk a good game? Do we know the language, read the right books, sing acceptable songs, go along to the right meetings?
Fine, so far as it goes, but James argues that if that is our faith, then it needs to go a whole lot further: much, much further in fact, into a different way of living. We are not just to listen (although that’s crucial because you have to know what you are hearing but we must think through and engage with what we’ve learned and heard and out it into practice every day. It’s not enough to hear and to know about our faith, we are called by Christ to do something about it.