The Blue Parakeet

the blue parakeetOur 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.

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Jeremy Jernigan

This is the personal blog of Jeremy Jernigan husband, father, executive pastor, and student of truth

7 Comments

Tyler

about 2 years ago

Of the quotes you posted, I love this one the most: "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." I think we often focus way to much on scripture as "God-breathed" as a means to prove to others that our message is authentic. It is like we are saying..."see, see God wrote it, so it has to be real". That feels so fearful and untrusting that Jesus is actually alive today. I think Scott is hitting the heart of the "All scripture is God breathed" verse well here. He seems to honor both the process that God was there participating in scripture's writing through the authors, but acknowledges that God continues to "enliven" it for us today and everyday. That makes scripture even more beautiful, powerful, and authoritative in my mind. His perspective feels like a messier but healthier way of looking at Scripture's value for us today. Instead of looking at scripture like a historical book in a museum that was written and isn't continuing to tell us how to live in different contexts, this quote invites us to follow after the uncontrollable God that is bringing meaning to The Bible everytime we read it.

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peter

about 2 years ago

I'm trying to understand the second quote, "...living out the biblical gospel in twenty-first-century ways." So I gather that Scot still sees the Bible as relevant - thank goodness. But does he explain what the biblical gospel is? I hope so, since I believe many, if not most, professing Christians/ Christ followers/ insert current trend label here, don't know what the biblical gospel is. People tend to think it's something we do, instead of something Christ did. And out of what He did, in light of what we deserve, we worship/ follow Him. It's funny how the good news seems to have the power to convert an unbeliever to a believer, but doesn't have the power to sustain a believer. We must "do" something. It seems Scot wants us to "do" it in twenty-first century ways. Does he reveal a plan on how we do it?

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Donna

about 2 years ago

It would be interesting to see where this author scored on the progressive/conservative biblical survey you posted a while back. What do you think?

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Robert

about 1 year ago

Looks like a great read. I just got it on Kindle and I'm digging in.

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jeremy

about 1 year ago

It's solid, you'll like it.

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Robert

about 1 year ago

I already can't put it down. I'm supposed to be sleeping... :)

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Steve

about 1 year ago

I am one of the biggest advocates of going back to living life like we did 150 years ago, and while i totally agree with scots supposition of a ' spiritual rebirth ' being ideally what we need, i do not see it as likely - in fact i see it as QUITE UNLIKEL, so i'm left with little choice but to hope for a reversal of life priorities in the hopes that somehow all of us are able to reverse the trend of spiritual apathy. I believe that we need to be humbled as a group - i really don't see that as happening without devine intervention on a massive scale. BTW - my fervent desire and prayer is that i am wrong about that.

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