Tag Archives: the blue parakeet

the blue parakeet

the blue parakeet: rethinking how you read the bible, by scot mcknight

i was stoked to get a pre-release copy of scot mcknight’s book in the mail, asking me for an endorsement. the publisher was asking for a stupid-quick turnaround (one week!); but that just gave me an excuse to put it on the top of my “to read” pile.

if you’ve read any of scot’s other books, the first 50 pages will feel a bit like a review of the paradigm he uses for his theology and writing (a good review, but a review nonetheless). but then things really start to kick into gear (i’d just started wondering if he was going to write anything with some teeth in it when i got past the first 50 pages and found them — the teeth, that is).

in many ways, this is mcknight’s edgiest book (and will certainly get him blacklisted by more extremists than his previous, excellent — but less controversial — books). not that mcknight pushes things in a way one might expect from, say, brian mclaren, or tony jones. mcknight is truly endorsing an approach to reading and applying the bible that acknowledges original intent, communal discernment, historical context, historical interpretation, and a few other variables. he forces us to admit (well, many of us were easy to convince on this one) that none of us — even the most ardent biblical literalist — does everything the bible says to do. we all “interpret” selectively.

this reality — that we all interpret selectively, apply selectively, choose which parts of scripture are to be taken at face value, and which parts are “for then, not for now” — gives us a humility when approaching scripture, and a humility when we articulate or live out our understanding of scripture.

mcknight gives a helpful bunch of examples — case studies, really — of themes and subjects (from homosexuality to women in ministry to many, many more), showing how to apply the ideas in the book. on the last subject, women in ministry, mcknight reveals his cards (on the others, he stays somewhat neutral), using the principles in the book to build a case for complete egalitarianism. (it should be noted, this isn’t a book about egalitarianism — it’s just an extended and thorough example of the author applying the suggestions he makes previously in the book as to how we should approach scripture).

here’s the “official” endorsement i wrote for the book:

Scot succeeds in articulating that often-elusive “third way” that so many of us long for: an option between the fighting polarities of liberal and conservative (a fight many of us have grow weary of). The Blue Parakeet gives us (gives me!) a practical and theologically grounded approach to reading, understanding, and applying the living and active Word of God.

monday morning update, august 4, 2008

the weekend that was: mostly packing for the move, and some running kids around. liesl had 7 friends over for a pool party saturday night, and i hosted that also.

where i am at the moment: at my desk, for one day this week.

on my to-do list this week: today is a crunch day. a couple key projects to work on, and a handful of meetings. but mostly, this week will be about family and rest, as we’re leaving on a 9-day vacation tomorrow.

moving update: thanks to all of you who prayed. things seem to be back on track. the buyers asked the appraiser if he could raise the appraisal at all, and he raised it 3 grand. our realtor kicked in an additional 3 grand. the owner of the home we’re buying can only drop the price at all if the appraisal on that one comes in lower than our price, so we’re having that appraisal done in the next day or two and hoping we can eek out another few grand. but i think we’re back and track and moving forward either way. i worked on a new mortgage the other day, and was happy with what i found. and i packed about 25 boxes this weekend. we’re going through the new house tomorrow (before we fly to our vacation) with a measuring tape, to get detailed info about each room, so we can make decisions about what’s going where. move date: august 28/29.

procrastinating about: everything except moving stuff!

book i’m in the midst of: i took a break from the book of general ignorance to read scot mcknight’s upcoming release, the blue parakeet (which was great, and which i’ll review soon). i’m just starting an edited manuscript of phyllis tickle’s upcoming release, the great emergence (which i’m really looking forward to reading, ever since i heard her give a talk at our convention last fall based on the book).

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: mostly had itunes on party shuffle this week. but, yesterday, i took a couple hundred cds into music trader, and came home with a few:
beck: modern guilt
sheryl crow: detours
elvis costello: momofuku
b-52s: funplex
rolling stones: live licks
system of a down: system of a down
beastie boys: to the 5 boroughs

next trip: my family flies to calgary tomorrow, for a 9-day vacation. we’ll spend the first two nights at the fairmont banff springs (a hotel i could never afford, but which wants our canadian business, and is comp’ing me a room!). then we’ll drive to radium hot springs, and spend 7 days in the condo of the parents of a gracious friend. some good friends from seattle are driving over and staying with us. should be a wonderful time.

how i’m feeling about this week: fantastic. can’t wait to chill. when we return, we’ll have two weeks ’til the move date, and it will be serious crunch time.