Some people find the Bible to be confusing. Others compound the confusion by treating the Bible as if a catalogue, rule book, science or history text, or other lesser volume than its intended purpose.
Still others attribute claims to the Bible — for narrow, controlling purposes — that the scriptures don’t make for themselves.
However, there is a more honest, insightful and hopeful approach to better understanding and applying the biblical revelation according to its intended purpose of showing us how to live in right relationships with God and others.
It is to read the Bible through the lens of its culminating figure and the fullest revelation of God: Jesus.
Such is the timely mission of Leroy Spinks in his insightful and readable book, The Jesus Lens: Bringing the Bible’s Story into Focus, newly published by Nurturing Faith.
“Jesus never wrote a word; yet, we will not be mistaken if we consider him the true author of the climax to the literary saga of the writing of the Bible,” Leroy writes. “After all, he lived the transformative life that changed history.”
A thoughtful, well-read retired pastor and gifted writer, now living in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area, Leroy affirms: ““If we read the whole of the Scriptures through its climax in the gracious, self-sacrificing, God-revealing Jesus we can truly understand it all.”
This much-needed perspective comes amid the often misguided use of biblical concepts that replace the primary call to follow Jesus with a politicized ideology that only bears the name of Christ.
Here’s the kicker: “Read everything before Jesus and everything after him through the Jesus lens.”
Nurturing Faith is pleased to publish Leroy’s insightful and important book as part of the emerging Jesus Worldview Initiative — that calls for placing the high priority of following of Jesus above any and all other agendas.
“The Jesus Lens is full of insights that give meaning to the texts, introducing lay readers to the work of biblical scholars,” notes Dalen C. Jackson, Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. “Spinks’ attention to the purposes and artistry of the human writers of scripture complement his confidence that God spoke through those human writers and continues to speak through the texts to readers today.”
The Jesus Lens: Bringing the Bible’s Story into Focus by Leroy Spinks is available now at nurturingfaith.net.