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A Lens of Love

Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World

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Westminster John Knox Press
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In order to engage the Bible in the spirit of justice, compassion, and love, Jonathan L. Walton suggests reading the Bible in its world for our world. Perfect for individual or group study, A Lens of Love helps Christians to read and interpret the Bible morally and confidently as they engage society’s pressing issues. Walton provides interpretive tools to help understand the context of the Scriptures along with the Scriptures themselves in order to engage the richness of the Bible as they strive to live in the world in a biblically grounded, theologically sound, and socially responsible way.

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Jonathan L. Walton is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Professor of Religion and Society, and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church of Harvard University. He is the author of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism.

A Lens of Love
Reading the Bible ...
by Westminster John Knox Press
Jonathan L. Walton
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 “Jonathan L. Walton is one of the very few grand figures in American culture who is both public intellectual and prophetic preacher. His brilliant work and visionary words are legendary at Harvard and throughout the country and the world. This timely book is another testament to his calling, rooted in the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Elijah Mays, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Fannie Lou Hamer!”
—Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard University

“A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World excels in bringing together intellectual engagement and a passionate love of God and Scripture. Clearly and beautifully written, it sets a model for how to do biblical theology right—how to come together and reason, how to live faithfully toward justice. It shows how to bring practical theology and social ethics together and inspires its readers to live out a just and faithful Christian identity.”
—Laura S. Nasrallah, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Harvard Divinity School

“Springing from the questions, anxieties, and frustrations of the millennials whom he serves, this text gives voice to many of the reasons why people of Christian faith have become either activated or disillusioned by the tyrannies of this moment. Through the powerful narratives of his young constituents and a reclamation of a historical lineage of progressive evangelicalism, Walton contends that the development of a just, contextual, and informed biblical hermeneutic is a critical tool for showing up and speaking up.”
—Neichelle R. Guidry, Dean of Sisters Chapel and Director of the WISDOM Center, Spelman College, and creator of shepreaches organization


“In a culture of extreme polarization and otherizing, I’m grateful for the voice of Dr. Jonathan L. Walton and his latest book, A Lens of Love. In a society that tends to place ourselves—intentionally or unintentionally—in an echo chamber where our assumptions a

"[Walton] brings a critical voice—that of the progressive evangelical, counterpoint to the conservative strain of American Christian evangelicalism—to the table. And he is driven, first, to illuminate the ancient world in which the Bible was produced, to lay bare its timeless teachings, and ultimately to apply those moral imperatives to our own wrestling with 'the big questions of contemporary life.' His inquiry is guided at every turn by both a critical mind and sensitive heart....In Walton’s hands, the Bible becomes—for all of us, skeptics to die-hards—a tome of fathomless instruction." —Chicago Tribune

"Walton sat with a diverse range of young adults each month teaching the socio-historical layers of Scripture and demonstrating ways to interpret it through the 'lens of love.' He describes it as an effort 'to promote ethical and responsible biblical interpretation among non-specialists.' It’s a well-written, useful guide to the Bible by one who uses it for love in the world." —Presbyterian Outlook

"Reading, interpreting, and enacting Scripture in today's world is a difficult practice; it is of paramount importance to view Scripture through a frame of love and scrupulous conscience. Chapters discuss 'Explaining the Inexplicable: Sacred History and Suffering in the Dynastic Literature,' 'Origins, Apologies, and Attacks: Political Allegory in the Pentateuch,' 'Is God Racist and Sexist? Inappropriate Metaphors and Perverted Interpretations,' and much more. A Lens of Love is highly recommended for Bible study groups, church libraries, and Christian readers from all walks of life." —Midwest Book Review

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