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Using the Bible as the Lens for Life

March 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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Using the Bible as the Lens for Life

Seeds of the Word (Week 10 of 11)

Have you ever logged into someone else's Facebook account?

If you did, especially if it's someone who doesn't share all your viewpoints, you may be surprised at how things appear in their feed.

You might, in fact, start to question whether the algorithms that underlie the way we consume information—in many more places than Facebook!—might exist for some reason other than your well-being.

I was struck, as I read this week's selections, by Barron's essay “Reading the Scandal with Biblical Eyes,” which considered using the Bible as the lens through which we see.

It's all too easy to apply different viewpoints (or to convince ourselves that we're trying to, at any rate). I wonder, though, how often I just default to what I'm going to think, how often I just, well, fail to think.

Considering the sex-abuse scandals, Barron points out:

…though [it] has been analyzed legally, institutionally, psychologically, and culturally, it has rarely been looked at biblically—even by Church representatives themselves. And this is tragic, for the Bible, the Word of God, is the definitive lens through which the whole of reality is most rightly read, and church men and women above all should know this.” (emphasis mine)

He continues, pointing out the lessons we learn from using a biblical reading of these tragedies.

  1. People behave badly.
  2. The Church has enemies.
  3. God regularly chastises his people to cleanse them.

Barron's next essay, “Biblical Wisdom for Troubled Times,” continues the theme and relates more insight we would do well to follow.

It is most important to note that, for the biblical authors, God is active in all things and at all times, both when Israel flourishes and when Israel suffers. God steadily loves his people, but that love appears in different guises according to circumstances.

I need that reminder: God always loves me. Even when it doesn't so much feel like what I'd call “love.”

“The very best rubric under which to read the Old Testament texts,” writes Barron, “is this: God bringing life out of death, opportunity out of impossibility.”

Might that also be a rubric—or at least a start—we can use when placing the lens of the Bible over the circumstances in which we now live?

Reading Assignment:

Why are… – Sex, Love…

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you read the Bible daily? If not, consider how you can make time to do so.

2. How can you use the Bible as a lens for how you view current events in your life?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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