Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The book is nether liberal nor conservative put provides the third option that so many hungry young Christians crave. Scot McKnight, in his book The Blue Parakeet, holds great insights on how Christians selectively interpret the Bible. And by saying selectively, I mean: there are parts of the Bible we choose to obey and there are other parts we choose to ignore…we select which part of the Bible we want to follow.
Some examples of selective interpretations would be:
• “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:11) I have never known a single Christian to take this commandment literally. How did we come to firm understanding that the Sabbath (as described in the Bible not by modern man) is no longer needed?
• “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them has done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Lev. 20:13). It is safe to say that modern Christians that fall in the conservative an traditional camps would say that homosexual intercourse is “detestable” yet none would attempt to kill someone for doing so. So why would they believe in just of half of the verse and disregard the rest.
• Jesus said, “…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) There are many wealthy Christians but no one is suggesting they give everything up. No house. No bank accounts. Nothing. We have taken a direct teaching from Jesus and come to the conclusion we do not need to follow this teaching. How did we come to this conclusion?
The Blue Parakeet forces you to rethink how you read, thus teach, thus live out your Bible. I frenquely talk about change in the church. I think this book holds great insight on how we need to change the way we talk about about our Bibles. Also, once again the great Protestant phrase Sola scriptur, Scriputur Sola (Latin for only Scripture and Scripture only) is in fact impossible to live out.
I think the first half of the book would be great for a Sunday School class or small group to read together. The last half however, though I found it to be excellent, will be too controversial for conservative and traditional leaders to place in the hands of the “flock.” McKnight uses the issue of woman in ministry as a detailed example to support the front half of his book. By the way, he makes some great points (using the Bible mind you) why gifted woman should be able to hold positions in ministry.