Michael Williams writes,
“Reading the Bible through the Jesus lens is reading it the way it was intended. It keeps our reading, understanding, teaching, and preaching properly focused on God’s grand redemptive program that centers on his own Son. Seeing how each biblical book makes its own unique contribution to that redemptive focus enables us to use these diverse materials with much more confidence and accuracy. The Jesus lens ensures that our exegetical bowling balls stay within the lane and don’t go crashing over into areas where they can cause a lot of damage to the faith of believers and to our ability to use the Bible fruitfully in our service to God.” (How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens, 9).
I used to have a lot of concern about having an “agenda” when approaching Scripture, especially when so many tend to read into Scripture ideas and concepts that are simply counterproductive to the flow of redemption. Yet what better way to read Scripture than through the “Jesus lens”? Williams’ explanation of this way of reading Scripture focuses on several important concerns:
- Canonical Intention. The Holy Spirit inspired all of Scripture and there was a central focus in mind (Jesus).
- Diversity of Contribution. Reading through the “Jesus lens” seeks to consider how each specific author in Scripture adds to the “Jesus story.”
- Christological Safety. Jesus… is… the… center. Let’s move towards him and stay “in the lane.”
- Fruitful Scripture Usage. There is a proper way to utilize Scripture and improper ways too. Williams uses the word “fruitful,” which implies that there are unfruitful ways of reading it too. The “Jesus lens,” according to Williams, seeks to provide some focus towards pointing Christians to… Jesus.
This clearly seems to point towards a Theological Interpretation of Scripture (TIS), which has recently been reviewed in D. A. Carson’s essay, “Theological Interpretation of Scripture: Yes, But . . .” (a great read!)… yet it also has some significant unique features that lead towards evangelical assumptions.
Thoughts? Does the “Jesus Lens” sound attractive, or do you have concerns about reading too much into Scripture?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.