Unpacking the Parakeet (Part 1)

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I have been reading Scot McKnight’s new book Blue Parakeet and wanted to share a few thoughts. Hopefully those who are also reading the book can chime in and those who are not reading the book might get curious enough to start. Before I begin I must be honest and say that many of my thoughts here my be riddled with distraction and loving agitation as I am now the parent of a one week old baby boy.

So first thing is first let’s start with the cover of the book. I usually like to start with the first page but the cover of this book is interesting enough to warrant its own post. You have a picture of a parakeet sitting atop a nondescript pair of binoculars with a subheading that is more helpful than the title itself – “Rethinking How You Read the Bible.” Flip it over and you find some interesting yet exaggerated blurbs about how great this book is. I say exaggerated very kindly because what I have read so far inside the book is enlightening, challenging, and creates a sort of self-examination and eye opening experience that I have not had in quite some time. I have found myself over and over again thinking “that is what I have been trying to say but just didn’t quite know the words” as McKnight makes insightful comment after insightful comment. Here is the claim on the back of the book,

Until Scot McKnight wrote The Blue Parakeet, today’s Christian had little choice – either side with out-of-touch fundamentalists or unrealistic liberals…which left millions in the middle disenfranchised, unsure how to read the Bible in a postmodern world.

Now if you are like me that statement is a highfalutin way to describe your book! We have no choice, no options, no way to think for ourselves? I think it is the lack of sleep that is doing it to me but that just struck me a little odd and I was a bit surprised McKnight let that be put on the back cover of the book. But don’t let that bother you…what is on the inside is a worthwhile read and unpacks the way many have viewed and still view scripture, the problems that come along with faulty intrepretive schemes, and a healthy alternative (the Bible as story) that many authors have advocated but few have described and outlined in as practical and helpful way as McKnight has in this book.

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