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Faith is perhaps the most critical part of our Christianity.  After all, we are saved “by grace through faith” in Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately, sometimes we think and many times we behave as if faith is something that happened at some finite time in our past when we “asked Jesus to come into our hearts.”  We equate the word “faith” with the word “belief” and we say “sure, I believe” and so we think we’ve got the faith thing under control.  To some degree, we can fault the limitations of our English language for that.  Our English language cannot easily translate from Greek the verb form of the word we know in English as faith.  The closest we can get is “believe” and so we say “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

True faith, though, is so much more than intellectual assent.  Faith goes beyond belief.  As Christians, we are to live our lives every day walking by faith and not by site.  The book of James is an excellent resource for the Christian wanting to know how to do exactly that.  James looked at his flock scattered throughout the dispersion and said “now that you have placed your faith IN Christ, let me tell you how that faith should manifest itself in your lives on a day by day basis.

Faith Beyond Belief was birthed from my own study of the book of James and came as a result of a 10-week discipleship class that I taught on the book of James.  It was a study that changed my life before I ever taught the first word of it.

Faith Beyond Belief will take you on a journey through the book of James in much the same way you would if you were in that discipleship class.  Through it, you too can discover the characteristics of a life lived in true faith.  As you read it, allow the book to challenge your traditional ways of thinking about your Christian walk.  If you do that, your life might just be transformed in a way you never imagined possible.

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Faith Beyond Belief Reviews

Joel Dison's book  "Faith Beyond Belief " is an outstanding work on the Biblical book of James.  Dison makes clear presentations on the words and message of James. I like the way he enumerates key concepts and brings clarity and application to the proverbs within James.  In addition he has a talent for integrating concerns of today into the context of the Scripture. He has a logical mind and explains concepts with understandable thoughts.  In addition, he makes good use of Old Testament quotations as they relate to the book of James. 

Bob Hall, D. Min.
Professor of Discipleship
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


Faith Beyond Belief explores the theological debate between grace and works based faith. Breathing in is an absolute necessity, but only if you also breathe out. One cannot survive by only inhaling oxygen, if you don’t exhale you will die. Likewise, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ is not to only intake the Scriptures of God; he must equally internalize these truths into action and right living. Faith Beyond Belief beautifully paints the picture that good works are not the cause of salvation, but they are the result of it. It reveals James’ desire to show the intertwined connectedness of faith through grace and practical application.  

Chris Bond 
Executive Director                                                                                                                                                                             Designs For Hope 


The book of James is sometimes seen as confusing and challenging for readers, because it has a heavier emphasis on "works," than grace. Because of my own background, I certainly struggled with understanding the message of this epistle. God used Joel Dison's book, Faith Beyond Belief, to help me develop a sense of appreciation for and fuller understanding of the book of James.

When I read the introduction to Faith Beyond Belief, I was encouraged to learn that Martin Luther also had difficulties with the book of James, yet he often quoted from it and never disputed its validity. As I continued to read, I discovered what I had been missing by keeping the book of James at arm's length - namely, a practical guidebook to living my life as a Christian! I learned that the passages in James regarding works are not describing the WAY to salvation. Rather, those passages are describing what Christian life looks like AFTER we have been saved. A simple expression of this concept is "Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works." I also found that James covers a number of topics that are very helpful to living the Christian life - things like how to handle suffering, how to gain wisdom, the importance of doing the work that God has called us to do as an outpouring and evidence of our faith, the importance of showing mercy, how to pray, and a number of others.

Faith Beyond Belief is an easy-to-read explanation of the book of James. The author interprets Scripture in the light of other Scripture and draws conclusions that are sound and beneficial to the reader. His transparency and modern-day examples make it easier to apply the concepts in the book of James to my own life. I would encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. It will make an excellent companion to a renewed reading of the book of James.

Tammy LeGlue
Asheboro, NC


Faith Beyond Belief is an excellent read. The author's decision to use The Book of James as the foundation for taking us through a better understanding of Faith is wonderful. As Christians, we all struggle with faith on some level or the other, but Joel's teaching style, the injection of other scriptures in the text, and his knowledge of the material on faith have given me a much clearer understanding as to why I (we) need to be joyful when trials and difficulties are present in my (our) life (lives). Joel's analogy of the Testing of our Faith to the Testing of our knowledge, in the class room, was so tasteful!

I do believe that Joel is a servant of The Lord and God is using him to educate us on the steps, guidelines, and hard work needed to complete the good work He, God, calls us all to do.
This book is a great Quiet Time material, and is helpful as a referral.
Thanks Joel and am looking forward to your next book!

Angela Barnes
Birmingham, AL


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