There seems to be a proliferation of material recently on how preachers need to keep the text focused on Christ. In my hermeneutics class I was always encouraged to read the text Christologically.
This is great.
But how does one actually do that?
Up until lately there have been few resources that actually walked the reader through each book of the Bible, drawing their focus on how the book contributes to a Christocentric understanding of the Bible.
Thankfully, however, a new resource has just been released by Zondervan entitled How to Read the Bible Through the Lens of Jesus by Michael Williams. In this review, I have been asked to particularly interact with how Williams deals with the Wisdom literature of the Bible.
Each chapter is brief, spanning no more than 5 or so pages. Williams structures each chapter on a book by introducing the major theme and then focusing on how Christ relates to a particular book and finally, he deals with contemporary application for the book (each chapter also closes with some great small group questions).
In dealing with Job, Williams sees the major theme as God being active in ways that we do not see and understand. The Jesus lens in Job points us to Christ as the ultimate righteous sufferer. In Proverbs, the reader is reminded that God has created an order in the world which he should be mindful of. Further, the Jesus lens reminds the reader that Jesus is the perfect model of wise and wholesome living. Finally, in Ecclesiastes, Williams sees the theme as God prompting the Teacher to ask the meaning of life. The Jesus lens focuses us on life "above the sun"--that is, in Christ. Williams encourages us to remember that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and, as a result, brings meaning to this world.
The structure of the book is fantastic and should really serve many people quite well. My only real complaint is that I wish each chapter were longer. I realize that Williams was trying to reach as many people as possible and not just pastors and seminarians. However, I enjoyed each chapter so much that I wouldn't have complained if he had expanded just a few more pages to each chapter.
Overall, I high recommend this book. I know that I personally will be using this book with my youth small group. It provides a fantastic overview of the text and really puts together the puzzles pieces of the Bible. This is one resources I know I will be turning to again and again.