Our life group at Central spent the last couple of months going through Scot McKnight’s book The Blue Parakeet. It is a terrific look at how to read the Bible in context. It shows a lot of the areas where we allow our personal biases to shape our conclusions about God and the Bible. In particular, he spends the last section of the book exploring the role of women in the Church. Whether or not you agree with all of his conclusions, it is a great book for anyone eager to take their personal time with the Bible to the next level.
Here are some of my favorite sections from the book:
I have now come to the conclusion that this question—How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?—is a pressing question for our day.
What we most need is not a return to the first or fourth or sixteenth or eighteenth century but a fresh blowing of God’s Spirit on our culture, in our day, and in our ways. We need twenty-first-century Christians living out the biblical gospel in twenty-first-century ways. Even more, if we read the Bible properly, we will see that God never asked one generation to step back in time and live the way it had done before. No, God spoke in each generation in that generation’s ways.
God did not give the Bible so we could master him or it; God gave the Bible so we could live it, so we could be mastered by it.
God is not the Bible. To make the Bible into God is idolatrous.
Our relationship to the Bible is actually a relationship with the God of the Bible. We want to emphasize that we don’t ask what the Bible says, we ask what God says to us in that Bible. The difference is a difference between paper and person.
As you can see from the quotes above, McKnight does a terrific job showing you how to appreciate the Bible without missing the God of the Bible in the process.