Thursday, November 06, 2008

How Cool is That: Scot McKnight, Atheists and a Renegade Bird

Blue Parakeet

A long time ago I interviewed Scot McKnight. I learned that he writes books based on burning questions. Soon after, I decided I probably should read one of his books, so I picked up The Jesus Creed and found a kindred spirit. He seemed to love all things Jewish, as do I.

But what probably impressed me more was how down-to-earth he was for a theologian (somebody please cry, 'Biased against theologians!' at this juncture). Now the cool side of Scot has come out full force in The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible.

Let's just say I was a little under the influence when I started the book (What are you thinking?! I was foggy-headed from residual flu syndrome). Yet I still managed to read half the book in about an hour.

That's because, flu or no flu, I could see that Scot had outdone himself in down-to-earthiness, pursuing yet again a burning question (this time one that reminds me of things my atheist friends are always saying, like... 'how come Christians pick and choose what they'll follow from the bible?') Scot turns that question into his main question, which is 'How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?' (sound familiar?)

He asks that question and then he (serious bible-commentary writer that he is) talks about a blue parakeet escapee, uses words like snarky, starts a chapter with a generous discussion of blogging, calls the Bible a set of wiki stories and remarks at one point, 'How cool is that?'

Even in a brain fog, I could see this was, to date, not only one of the most thoughtful books I've come across on how to read the bible but definitely the down-to-earthiest too.

Really, how cool is that?

Photo of Blue Parakeet by L.L. Barkat.


Random Acts of Poetry: Prepare Your Mind With Culture and Poetry at High Calling Blogs

Random Acts of Poetry: Morning Comes... at Erica's

I was so pleased to see Sara and her family in the New York Times. How cool is that?

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Blogger Joy said...

You know, you do not help my book wish list at all. Not at all...

9:55 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, L.L. I literally and utterly love that book. I loaned my reader advance copy out, and need to get a new one of my own. It's probably my favorite read to date, on that subject. And I think an important book as well. And he keeps me, a lover of exegetical, theological books interested, even with all he throws in there. But makes a great mix into a great book.

Your take here is a different look at it, and makes me think. That is, concerning the point on atheists which you make.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, you've convinced me that I should get this book. Sigh. So many books. So little time.

Really. Scot McKnight has GOT to come to Laity Lodge.

(Also, I'm trying my open ID. Did it work?)

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, that open ID thing was really ugly. I'm trying this again in a different way.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Billy Coffey said...

There's much to be said for down-to-earth theology. I'll have to check this one out. Thanks for the heads up!

9:51 AM  
Blogger christianne said...

Okay, so I enjoyed the thoughts you presented ABOUT this book, but I enjoyed the WAY you presented them even more. You made me laugh several times! :)

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm fond of accessible, down-to-earth authors.

Plus, I own a blue parakeet.

Those two factors combined with your enjoyable review has made it clear:

I need to get me a copy and see how Scot concludes we are to live out the Bible today.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sounds cool to me. Yessirreebob. And it's definitely "the residual flu syndrome"...though mine's about over now. Feel better.

5:14 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Joy... well, maybe I help the list... but not the acquisition? : )

Ted... Scot has a lifelong fan in you. Lucky writer. :)

Numbers, Blah, Blah, Blah [alias M Goodyear?]... you could borrow it from someone. Or not. I wanted to read it because I enjoy Scot as a person. Then I liked the book. Then I had to write about it. Here.

Goodwordediting... now, that was prettier. :)

Billy... he definitely made it accessible. And fun.

Christianne... you made my day. :)

Ann... I love your logic.

Sarah... oh, that's right. You know what this is like (was like). I do feel better now. Yesireesuzie. ;-)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

I love the premise of this book and your review has me excited to read it and anything by Scot McKnight. Thank goodness my library has a couple of his books for me to start on (my current book list is larger than the Borders gift card I have can accommodate. But then again, there's always Christmas). Thanks for sharing your review.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

It sound interesting. I hadn't hear of that author before.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

A really nice post. I think you do a good job of capturing what so many of us appreciate about Scot McKnight. While he is top notch scholar in general and renown New Testament scholar, he continues to be very down to earth. This is evident in both his books and blog. He is to be commended for the blessing he is to many Christ-followers today.

2:13 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

i am putting it on my list to read

5:11 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

I love down-to-earthiness... I may have to check this book out.

12:51 AM  

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