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Blue Parakeet [Hardcover]

By Scot McKnight (Author)
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Item description for Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight...

The Blue Parakeet is author Scot McKnight's deeply reasoned, compelling statement of how to read the Bible in a new evangelical generation. In re-examining the Bible, McKnight provides an exciting "Third Way" that appeals to the millions in today's church who long to be authentic Christians, but don't consider themselves theologically conservative or liberal. --from publisher description

Publishers Description

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."

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.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christianity Today - 01/01/2009 page 69
  • Publishers Weekly - 10/13/2008 page 51
  • CBA Retailers - 11/01/2008 page 48
  • Christian Retailing - 11/10/2008 page 17

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   236
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2008
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310284880  
ISBN13  9780310284888  
UPC  025986284886  

Availability  0 units.

More About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight Dennis R. Venema (PhD, University of British Columbia) is professor of biology at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, and Fellow of Biology for the BioLogos Foundation. He writes and speaks regularly about the biological evidence for evolution.

Scot McKnight (PhD, University of Nottingham), a world-renowned scholar, writer, and speaker, is Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including Kingdom Conspiracy, The Jesus Creed, The King Jesus Gospel, and The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life. He is also a popular blogger (Jesus Creed).

Scot McKnight currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois.

Scot McKnight has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Ancient Practices
  2. Biblical Guides
  3. Bringing the Bible to Life
  4. Guides to New Testament Exegesis
  5. Library of New Testament Studies
  6. Living Theology
  7. Mersion: Emergent Village Resources for Communities of Faith
  8. New International Commentary on the New Testament
  9. NIV Application Commentary
  10. Rzim Critical Questions Discussion Guides
  11. Story of God Bible Commentaries
  12. Story of God Bible Commentary
  13. Studying the Historical Jesus

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Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth > Spiritual Formation
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Blue Parakeet?

Slow Going.  Jan 30, 2010
I have really enjoyed other Scot McNight works, especially A Community Called Atonement and his blog. The writing style that McNight uses in The Blue Parakeet seems like he is trying too hard to be someone else. There are a lot of books in the world and so little time to read. Use your precious reading time on one of his other writing projects.
A disservice to Scripture and Christianity  Jan 8, 2010
The Blue Parakeet is another in a stack of published works that make a claim to Christian belief that is unsupported by the contents. This book uses feminist theology as its foil for argument, although it hints that the same proposed way we should read the Bible would yield changes in Christian perspective regarding other controversial topics, i.e. homosexuality. But the fundamental problem with McKnight's work here is that he believes Scripture should bend and twist to conform to changes in cultural norms over the course of human history. That belief is a problem because it is clearly not supported by any teachings found in the Bible, and because it leads to humanism. To McKnight and to anybody else who believes as he does, I can only say that it is OK for you not to be Christian if that is your desire, but don't mislead the innocent by claiming that what you are and what you believe is Christian. Just say you are a worshipper of humanity and human culture and let that be your religion; why the deception?
Stellar Book and Swell Reading!  Jan 7, 2010
I had to purchase this book for class, and didn't know much about the book before buying it. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and that makes doing assignments for class much easier. McKnight shares new insights on how to read the Bible and new ways to look at it. Love this book!
McKnight lays out his general framework for bible reading  Aug 5, 2009
The Blue Parakeet is a fantastic book. Scot McKnight basically goes about laying out a general framework for reading the bible, and for interpreting those tricky passages that you might struggle to make sense of- he calls them Blue Parakeets.

His general framework consists of reading the bible as a story, with "wiki stories" within it. And his idea is that you need to interpret the Blue Parakeets within those wiki stories, and within the overall story. He also talks about reading through tradition, which is a middle man that lies between A. being a slave to tradition and B. Ignoring tradition altogether. Another key idea which he hits on is that everyone has presuppositions, and everyone has different frameworks for reading the bible, and that basically every person picks and chooses when they read, so it isn't as simple as some people on either end of the spectrum (liberals, fundamentalists) make it out to be. I couldn't help but think, as I was reading, that McKnight was spot on in his claim that everyone reads things into the bible- things that are based more on their own personal philosophies than the text itself.

I was definitely persuaded by mcKnight's ideas. A lot of the stuff he talked about linked in with thoughts I've had throughout the years. In other words his central thesis makes sense, and I pretty much agree with arguments.

I give the book 4 stars. As I was reading through, there were a few issues which arose where I wished McKnight had actually discussed them in more detail. The book isn't lengthy at all, so I'd love to see something along these particular lines but with an extended treatment on a few things. The treatment on the topic of women in ministry was a fantastic case study, but it did take up a third of the book so in the final analysis there were only 10 short chapters on McKnight's central contentions. So I'll deduct one star. But overall this is a readable and thought provoking book, and I recommend it to anyone who has much involvement with the bible- ie: you like reading it yourself, or you goto church and hear it preached on regularly.
Best Popular Level Book on the Topic  May 21, 2009
The folks over at Zondervan were kind enough to send me a copy of The Blue Parakeet (2008) by Scot McKnight quite a while ago. However, the pressures of the semester drowned it out in Matthew 13 fashion, and so I'm just now getting to it. (All page numbers taken from an advanced reader copy.)

By way of introduction, the title refers to a phenomenon the McKnight witnessed in his backyard: a blue parakeet disrupting a group of sparrows. At first the sparrows were afraid, but eventually they became accustomed to the blue parakeet and let it just be.... a blue parakeet. Thus, this book is an attempt to offer a means of dealing with blue parakeets in the Bible, difficult passages, and how to live them out today.

This book, which is essentially about reading and interpreting the bible in a postmodern age, totals out at 239 pages, sadly it has endnotes rather than footnotes. However, it is intended for a popular audience so I can see why Zondervan would have requested it. The book is split into four parts, including an introduction and five helpful appendixes. A PDF of the table of contents, along with the first sixteen pages, can be found here.

In the introduction, McKnight articulates his vision for reading the Bible. He distills the multifarious hermeneutical approaches out there into two essential models: (1) Reading the Bible apart from tradition; and (2) Reading the Bible through tradition. After offering a critique of these, he then presents his own view, which is to read the Bible with tradition. This view, McKnight maintains, recognizes the value of tradition while still allowing the Bible to critique or even correct tradition.

In the first three parts, comprised of a total of ten chapters, McKnight demonstrates his model of reading the Bible with tradition by answering the following questions:

What is the Bible? (pp. 41-82)
What do I do with the Bible? (pp. 83-114)
How do I benefit from the Bible? (pp. 115-152)
The rest of the book represents McKnight's attempt to demonstrate this method via one of the Bible's "blue parakeets": Women in Church Ministries Today.

Though he doesn't refer to it as such, McKnight essentially opts for a redemptive-movement hermeneutic, though his approach is slightly different. Rather than looking at the issue negatively ("How were women treated `back then'?"), he asks the question positively ("What did women do `back then'?"). First he surveys what women did in the OT, then in the NT, and only then does he deal with the anomalous passages which silence women.

His approach is to be commended, as is his overall tone throughout his treatment of the topic. He lets the readers into to his own personal struggles with this topic and invites us to watch the evolution of his views. This alone, in my opinion is worth the price of the book. It was encouraging to find so much in common with his personal journey on the topic.

What view does he take? I won't tell you! You'll just have to read the book to find out. ; )

My critiques of the book are minimal. I would have liked to see more, perhaps, on the issue of how our own experience colors the way we read the Bible, just as the experience of the original authors colored the way they wrote it. However, this is a minor gripe. Some readers, those who are looking for a more academic treatment of the topic of how to understand what might be called "the inculturation of the Bible", will find this book lacking in a detailed dialogue with other viewpoints. However, McKnight makes clear up front that this is not his purpose here. Those readers would do well to check out Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William Webb (InterVarsity Press, 2001), which offers a more comprehensive and more academic treatment.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for people, with or without seminary training, interested in how to read the Bible as Scripture and who are interested in understanding it as a group of documents that are highly contextualized

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