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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (October 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310284880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310284888
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Infused with common sense and seasoned with candor, the latest work from McKnight (The Jesus Creed), religious studies professor at North Park College, takes a stand in controversial territory by bravely asking the question: how is it that even Christians who claim to be led by an authoritative Bible read it so differently? In response, the author asserts that believers need to take a fresh look at how they adopt and adapt Scripture before they can read the Bible in a way that renews a living relationship with the God behind the sacred text. Using the analogy of a water slide, McKnight argues that the Gospel is the slide, the Bible and church tradition the walls that both protect and liberate the believer as he or she discerns how to apply Scripture as a living document. In the last section, McKnight tackles the controversial issue of women's role in church ministry in a way that is both scholarly and confessional, documenting his own journey alongside that of the apostle Paul and other biblical characters. Enriched by folksy anecdotes, this volume could be very useful for evangelical readers and any others wanting a safe place to ask the same bold questions. (Nov.)
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Review

Infused with common sense and seasoned with candor, the latest work from McKnight (The Jesus Creed), religious studies professor at North Park College, takes a stand in controversial territory by bravely asking the question: how is it that even Christians who claim to be led by an authoritative Bible read it so differently? In response, the author asserts that believers need to take a fresh look at how they adopt and adapt Scripture before they can read the Bible in a way that renews a living relationship with the God behind the sacred text. Using the analogy of a water slide, McKnight argues that the Gospel is the slide, the Bible and church tradition the walls that both protect and liberate the believer as he or she discerns how to apply Scripture as a living document. In the last section, McKnight tackles the controversial issue of women's role in church ministry in a way that is both scholarly and confessional, documenting his own journey alongside that of the apostle Paul and other biblical characters. Enriched by folksy anecdotes, this volume could be very useful for evangelical readers and any others wanting a safe place to ask the same bold questions. (Nov.) -- Publishers Weekly <br><br> (Publishers Weekly)

More About the Author

Born in Southern Illinois, came of age in Freeport, Illinois, attended college in Grand Rapids, MI, seminary at Trinity in Deerfield, IL.

Now a professor at North Park University.

Two children.

Kris, my wife, is a psychologist and the greatest woman on earth.

Customer Reviews

Very insightful book.
EllenB
After these general observations and admonitions, Scot McKnight challenges us specifically to read the Bible as story, to learn to listen, and to develop discernment.
Michael Mercer
This book will help you if you are interested in learning how to read the bible.
Mark Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Eric Nygren on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Any book that forces you to stop, think, and reevaluate what you believe is a book worth reading. Scot McKnight's new book The Blue Parakeet is that kind of book.

McKnight uses an odd encounter with an out of place bird (I won't spoil the story) to illustrate the way many people approach reading the Bible. In particular McKnight's concern is that Christians aren't making the effort to understand those passages in Scripture that seem somewhat out of place from the rest. McKnight suggests that there a number of these passages which are not only being ignored because of their apparent difficulty; some passages are even being silenced by Bible readers today.

It's bad enough that Christians might choose to ignore or silence teachings found in God's Word, but as McKnight argues even worse is the fact that the Church is being harmed as a result. McKnight surveys a number of these "blue parakeet" passages in his book, but focuses in on one teaching that he believes is detrimental to the Body of Christ: the role of women in the church.

As I considered McKnight's story there were a number of points he made that resonated with me, especially related to the general level of biblical ignorance that is present in our churches. The book offered some helpful discussion to help Bible readers better under the text they have. There were other times when McKnight's arguments went in directions that I found some discord with. But even in these points of disagreement, McKnight's witting style caused me to at least reconsider that which I believed to be true.

I did feel that the sections related to the topic of women in ministry tilted the balance of the book beyond what the subtitle (Rethinking How You Read the Bible) indicated the book was to be about.
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140 of 162 people found the following review helpful By B. Auvermann on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
BE FOREWARNED: THIS IS A LONG POST. SORRY.

Special thanks to Dr. McKnight for the invitation, and to Zondervan for the advance reader's copy.

---

Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008). 240 pp. (Page references given in this review refer to the paperback "advance reader copy" and may not be accurate when used with the final, publication edition.)

In The Blue Parakeet, McKnight (The Jesus Creed, A Community Called Atonement, The Real Mary) wades waist-deep into the internecine conflict over hermeneutics and the way hermeneutical decisions shape the evolution of Christian theology, orthodoxy, and religious praxis. But that's not the language McKnight, a seminary professor, would use to describe this book. In fact, he's trying - too hard, methinks - to distance himself from his theology vocation and write primarily for the masses. His audience in Parakeet is probably best approximated by his impressively large, denominationally diverse blog community ([...] composed of laypersons, paid ministers, and academics, most of whom share McKnight's somewhat postmodern outlook.

Rather, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he is representing his blog community, not speaking to them. Viewed against McKnight's prolific web journal, The Blue Parakeet is arguably an extended apology for the emergent brand of evangelical Christianity within which most of his blog community dwells. Broadly speaking, McKnight's eclectic blogosphere is weary of mainstream American Christianity with its naive, simplistic approach to resolving the cognitive dissonance that results when the uninitiated reader encounters Blue Parakeets.

But what are these strange birds, anyway?
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Thompson on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Much thanks to Scot McKnight for his advance reader copy of his latest book.

The main objective of The Blue Parakeet is to answer the question(s) of reading the Bible in a manner which is both faithful to the biblical text while being meaningful to the modern world. McKnight illustrates this in his opening chapter by raising some questions of how to read various parts of Scripture, highlighting the fact that Christians have long taken certain portions of the Bible to faithful practice while ignoring other parts (sometimes side-by-side passages!). This is a situation which is prevalent in the church and seeks an answer. McKnight has made a solid step forward in this discussion.

The book is well-written, being both accessible to a wide variety of readers while also reflecting a solid base of academic rigor and scholarship. One can easily tell that McKnight has spent much time interacting with undergraduate students, as he is constantly mindful of showing relevance to the theoretical by including various illustrations to help in the learning process. The book itself is divided into four parts, three of which carry the weight of the book's main idea: that the Bible can be accessible and living for us, if we can teach ourselves how to read it.

Section One: Story
The primary quest of this section is to find an approach which will ". . .turn the two-dimensional words on paper into a three dimensional encounter with God. . ." (41). McKnight thus explores the notion that Scripture contains a story, beginning with his view of various "shortcuts" to a full and proper reading of the text. Against these approaches he suggests a reading which will encompass the biblical perspective, and embrace the story which is on these pages.
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