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The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight

Monday, 20 October 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Non-fiction: Christian Hermeneutics. Advanced Reader Copy from Zondervan Publishers. Published 2008. 240 pages.

I was very excited to be included in the advanced readers for Scot McKnight‘s newest book, The Blue Parakeet. I read his blog regularly, though if I’m going to be honest, I’ll have to admit that much of what he says on theology goes right over my head. This book, however, is written in a very “ordinary person” friendly style. Subtitled Rethinking How You Read the Bible, it’s aim is to get us to think about how we are interpreting what the bible has to say. He gives a good description of the different ways people approach the text (I certainly saw my faith heritage well described there, CENI anyone?), and goes on to point out what he feels are the downfalls of each system. (One of the main problems being what you do with texts that don’t seem to fit the rest of what the bible is trying to say: the “blue parakeets”.) Then he gets down to presenting what he feels is the best way to go about engaging the word of God (as a Story).

Though there were times that the book did not seem to flow real well to me, when I got to the end of it I felt like he has it right. He spends the last half of the book showing how this method of interpretation would look when applied to women in the church, which was very interesting. However, while the book did give a bit of advice on how to approach the bible, I felt like I would need a lot more help in order to actually accomplish what he is suggesting. This may not have really been possible in the format he was aiming for, and though I am not sure, I think he may be planning to provide more examples over time via his blog.

All in all a very interesting, thought provoking book.

Publisher’s Summary:

Why Can’t I Just Be a Christian?”

Parakeets make delightful pets. We cage them or clip their wings to keep them where we want them. Scot McKnight contends that many, conservatives and liberals alike, attempt the same thing with the Bible. We all try to tame it.

McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet has emerged at the perfect time to cool the flames of a world on fire with contention and controversy. It calls Christians to a way to read the Bible that leads beyond old debates and denominational battles. It calls Christians to stop taming the Bible and to let it speak anew for a new generation.

In his books The Jesus Creed and Embracing Grace, Scot McKnight established himself as one of America’s finest Christian thinkers, an author to be reckoned with.

In The Blue Parakeet, McKnight again touches the hearts and minds of today’s Christians, this time challenging them to rethink how to read the Bible, not just to puzzle it together into some systematic theology but to see it as a Story that we’re summoned to enter and to carry forward in our day.

In his own inimitable style, McKnight sets traditional and liberal Christianity on its ear, leaving readers equipped, encouraged, and emboldened to be the people of faith they long to be.

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  1. Steve
    Tuesday, 21 October 2008 at 9:14 am

    Well, you’ve convinced me that I would like to read the book, so I guess the idea of letting you have an advance copy of the book wasn’t a bad one.

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