Δίψυχος, or double-minded is used twice in the NT, both occurrences are in James. According to James, double-mindedness and doubt are identical. This man, as one looks at v. 6 is one who doubts. This goes to certainty. The Greek word translated doubt here means, “to think that something may not be true or certain.” Clearly, James is telling us that to engage in διακρινόμενος is sinful. In this context, doubting has to do with one believing that God will respond to a petition for wisdom. But the lecture James delivers seems to extend beyond just this immediate context. The idea being expressed here is one of a soul that is caught between the world and faith. This is seen in Augustine’s famous prayer, “Lord, grant me purity, but not yet.” Double-mindedness does not only lead to despair or lend itself to despair, but it is despair.
Scholarship is filled with double-minded men. They want to hold to a high view of Scripture and evolutionary theory at the same time. They have engineered a variety of strategies designed to support their aspirations over the years. They want God and the idols within science so-called as well. There are those who wish to hold to the Christ event while at the same time finding a way to accept the homosexual choice as morally legitimate. They want the world and God at the same time. There are those who have even found a way to justify the murder of innocent babies through abortion, and they call it respect and love and being sensitive to the victim, I mean mother. The baby is the real victim. Modern leaders desire popularity within the culture. They desire to loved, approved and accepted. This is what the sin of self-love does to us. It is a problem for all of us. Modern scholars lust for academic respectability and willfully compromise fundamental truths of Scripture in an effort to attain it.
John Calvin, in his writings on the life of the Christian man had this to say:
“For it is a doctrine not of the tongue but of life. It is not apprehended by the understanding and memory alone, as other disciplines are, but it is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds a seat and resting place in the inmost affection of the heart.”He continues,
“With how much better reason, then, shall we detest these trifling Sophists who are content to roll the gospel on the tips of their tongues when its efficacy ought to penetrate the inmost affections of the heart, take its seat in the soul, and affect the whole man a hundred times more deeply than the cold exhortations of the philosophers!”