Book Review: How to read the Bible through the Jesus lens
Michael Williams in this new book How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens has created an incredibly valuable tool for the church. I highly doubt that you will have many people wondering what this particular book is about.
The title is as clear as puritan sermon titles, which often would go into entire discourses just to tell you what the sermon was about. Williams does not go to that extreme in titling his book, but he has chosen a very precise title for this work.
As one may guess the purpose of the book is to display how every book of the bible looks to Christ in its fulfillment. The book devotes a chapter to each book of the Bible. The first section of each chapter is devoted to giving the overview of each book of the Bible. Within this section Williams highlights major themes and key figures within the book. Also, within this section Williams offers a memory verse, which generally highlights a major theme from the book.
Next, Williams has a section titled, “The Jesus Lens.” Within this section, Williams points out how the particular book points to Christ and his finished work. I found this section to be extremely helpful, especially when looking to the Old Testament, where it is sometimes difficult to see Christ. Williams also does an incredible job at showing how the book of James is a Christian book pointing to Christ.
Often times when an expositor gets to the book of James, his sole focus becomes what he should do. As a result of this, James begins to sounds like a book whose focus is work’s righteousness.
Williams shows how the book of James is a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for us. As a result of what Christ has done for us, we now have commands which we are to follow. Our works are the fruit of one who has been changed by Christ’s finished work.
The next section of the chapter is called, “Contemporary Implications.” During this section Williams addresses how each particular book and its message will have an impact upon how we view our present reality.
Williams seeks to give the reader a “lens” through which he can apply the message of the text in their own day. Finally, Williams concludes by offering a “Hook Questions” section. Within this section Williams offers group discussion question, for those who are using this book for group discussions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Often time’s biblical theology (i.e. the study which focuses on looking at the full narrative of scripture as a whole) can be difficult to follow for those who are not acquainted with its jargon. Just like in every field of study, words often are created for simplicity of conversation, for the people who spend a great deal of time writing within their particular field.
Williams does a great job avoiding this language and providing an incredible introduction to the field. This book belongs on the self of every pastor and laity alike. If you are a pastor preparing to exposit a book of the Bible, you will definitely benefit from having this book upon your shelf. I am thankful Williams has written this book, in order that even young students of the Bible will be able to read all of scripture through the lens of Christ.
Binding Type: Paperback
Book Grade: A