For Scot McKnight, the title creature in his recent book The Blue Parakeet represents biblical passages (and personal experiences) that make us think all over again about how we are reading the Bible. For example, evangelicals tend to be fairly lax about resting on the Sabbath (whether we observe the right day is another question). Yet in the Decalogue God says, "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." Our task as Bible readers is to decide whether this is a valid command for today or a context-specific regulation that we can more or less ignore. How you answer that question says a lot about your understanding of biblical interpretation.
McKnight hopes his book will help us recognize that all of us pick and choose which of the Bible's commands apply to us and which ones do not. It's not a how-to manual for exegesis. But it offers insights into three foundational principles of biblical interpretation.
In the first section, McKnight identifies five approaches or shortcuts that cause Christians ...1