By John D. Pierce

Retired educator Annette Spinks has written a superb study/teaching guide for use with her husband Leroy Spinks’ book, The Jesus Lens: Bringing the Bible’s Story into Focus, recently released by Nurturing Faith.

Together, the guide and book provide a thoughtful and thorough understanding of the Bible’s formation and its culmination in the revelation of Jesus.

Although Jesus came to reveal God more fully than any other source, many who claim his name settle for lesser lights. In doing so they end up embracing and advancing a “Biblical/Christian worldview” rather unlike Christ.

Often I’m asked why that happens; why do so many Christians use the Bible in ways that don’t reflect Christ? Answering why is somewhat challenging.

Perhaps it’s because following Jesus is hard — or that one prefers a more rigid and less loving religion but wants enough of Jesus to get to heaven. Maybe it’s because they fear they might have to change their minds and hearts.

It is easier to understand how someone takes that approach than why, which implies motives.

The how is to treat the Bible as a flat, pick-and-choose catalog of rules, or to miss how the scriptures came into current form and relate to one another, or to seek “truth” through a lens other than the clearest and brightest one: Jesus.

Through his book, The Jesus Lens, Leroy, who has faithfully studied, preached and taught the Bible for decades, gives a heaping hand. And Annette makes the reading, studying and discussion of the book’s many important topics more insightful and meaningful.

Her study/teaching guide provides helpful graphics, overviews, discussion questions and more. The book may be ordered here and the study/teaching guide is available as a free download at the blue link.

The book and guide may be used in a variety of ways — starting with personal study.

Reading the book and working through the guide give scholarly but accessible insights into the Hebrew texts (Old Testament) — amassed over centuries as sacred and varied literature — and then the New Testament, written over just decades with Jesus as the clear focus.

Group study (classes, book clubs, etc.) can provide a multi-week exploration of the important topics of how the Bible came into being, how the various parts relate to one another, and how it is best interpreted through the lens of Jesus.

In retirement, Leroy and Annette live in Ringgold, Ga., and are members of First Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tenn. Their commitment to helping fellow Christians better understand and live out biblical truth in light of Jesus is a gift to be received.

Jesus is the Christ child we await. He is Savior and Lord. He is the one who still calls, “Follow me!” He is the one who came to make God’s love and grace known, and the lens through which we best understand the biblical revelation.

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