• Review: “The Blue Parakeet” by Scot McKnight

    November 1, 2009

    theblueparakeet Always, it seems, there is some new book telling us to rethink how we do church and how we read the Bible. Such books usually bore me at best, annoy me at worst. So many of them seem like little more than the author’s preferences on how to do church and study Scripture.

    The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible (Zondervan, 2009), is refreshingly different. Author Scot McKnight brings to bear solid scholarship in his critique of how we’ve read the Bible in the past and his proposal for how we read it moving forward. Along the way, McKnight guides readers to ask tough questions of themselves: Why do I believe certain commands from the Old Testament were for ancient times but not for today? How do I determine which are still relevant and which are not?

    Take Leviticus 19 as an example. In verse 11, the writer says, “Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” We would all say these instructions are for today. But just a few verses later in the same chapter, we read, “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material” (vs. 19). Is that also a command for today? What about other laws in the same chapter that say not to trim our beards or tattoo our bodies? Regarding the Bible’s instructions for living, what do we keep, and what do we toss?

    McKnight’s solution to these questions is both intelligent and intriguing, and his writing style is–unlike that of so many authors of similar books–never dry. He keeps your attention with well-reasoned, sometimes hilarious prose. In what is perhaps my favorite quote, McKnight says, “… Some folks see some of the goofiest things in the Bible, and I wish I could just blow Holy-Spirit-air on them and cure them of their silliness.” The Blue Parakeet is Scot Mcknight’s attempt at just that. It’s an attempt well worth reading.

    Posted in: Book Reviews

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