Saturday, September 20, 2008

Abi Appreciates Scot McKnight's "Wholiness"

In his Weekly Meanderings today, Scot McKnight provides a link to a wonderful preview of the second half of his newest book ... the one I have just begun reading and blogging my way through -- probably lasting right up to its release in November.

Please take the time to read Scot's lead article, "Women Ministering", in the August edition of E-Quality. This is an wonderful example of exactly what I will be highlighting as I work my way through The Blue Parakeet: Scot brings a welcome and timely sense of appropriately detached wholeness (wholiness? :^) ) to our study of the Bible, where we are reminded that "Bereans" are to strive to look out through God's eyes, not slap God's name onto our, all too frequently distorted, view of the Kingdom.

The Abbess, a sometime deputy over at Scot's "One T Saloon", is grateful for his no-nonsense, truth-telling, fair-playing ways.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Abi's Processing The Blue Parakeet

At the risk of being labled a Scot McKnight groupie, I will begin yet another series of posts about one of his books...but this one is different! Scot's newest book, The Blue Parakeet, due out from Zondervan in November, is the first one I've received as a pre-release review copy.

A couple of months ago, in a brilliant marketing move, Scot announced that Zondervan's would send a free copy of the book to bloggers who would read it and then blog about it. The response quickly outstripped the number of copies offered...and Zondervans even added more books to the pot! I got in late that day, time zones being what they are, and figured I'd missed out, but I send an e-mail to the address indicated stating that I would love to be involved in this.

Lo and behold...I got a response asking whether I was still interested! I quickly replied that I was, and provided my mailing address, as requested.

And my review copy arrived this past Monday!

Now, one of the things that I decided I would NOT do is this: read other blogger's reviews before I read the book myself. This is always a good thing for me, because I like to read things fresh and get my own perspective before being influenced by another's. I learned this from my classes on Biblical Tools for Exegesis and Analysis (fondly shortened to "Tools") -- where we were challenged to read the text, try to get as much context from the text as possible, do our word studies, and ponder our interpretation before reading from handbooks and commentaries.

I wish more people would do their own thinking first, using the thinking of others to sharpen their own instead of just adopting it outright! Sigh....

The other thing I must mention is that I will be doing this as a series--much like the series I did on Scot's The Jesus Creed for Lent, leading up to his next book, 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, which I read during Scot's Preparing for Pentecost series, which was where I blogged most of my comments about that book.

I have begun to read Scot's little blue bird book...and have decided that, again, I will blog it as I go. And I have to say that this one looks to be fabulous! For me, reading Scot McKnight is the plainer, American version of reading C.S. Lewis: he says the things that I think in straight forward language. He is asking the same questions I'm asking. And his process of getting to the answers is so familiar....

I'm just a page or two from finishing the first chapter, so stay tuned for that first post. Maybe my series will function as a lead-up to the release of the book. Wouldn't that be fun! I promise not to give the whole thing away...although I wouldn't worry too much about that. I'll be talking more about what the book prompted in my thinking than "reviewing" the book in a normal way. I don't seem to do anything in a normal way....

...they don't call me AbiSomeone for nothing, eh?

More with Abi and The Blue Parakeet soon....

Abi's Links to Articles about The Shack

Well, friends...I continue to see so many comments everywhere about the swirling controversies about Paul Young's book, The Shack, that I felt it might be a good service to offer a series of links to blog posts and on-line articles that might be helpful to folks trying to find their way through the fog.

Some of these links have been highlighted elsewhere in this blog, but I'm going to keep this post as a place to update what's I don't have to keep wondering where those links are! And if it is helpful to someone else, that's a plus, eh?

So, here goes...the following are links to a really broad look at what this book is about and what it is not about. I have included those that I feel balance the strengths and weaknesses of the book and do it in a generally thoughtful manner. This should be more than enough to assist you in "being Berean" about it all and do some critical thinking for yourself!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Abi's Recommending "The Last Lecture" to Everyone!

Some where, some how, I managed to neglect sharing this wonderful book and poignant story with you. While I'm off today on a million little errands, I did want to stop and make amends for my oversight.

As I have been processing the cancer news of my sister-in-law, I was reminded to go back and look at Dr. Randy Pausch's personal web page and then the website for his book, The Last Lecture and viewed the charge he delivered to the 2008 graduates at Carnegie-Mellon University. It is three minutes that you really must spend. Please.

While you're at it, go to the media page and watch all the coverage of the announcement that he had finally succumbed to the cancer on July 25th. Especially, watch the interviews with Diane Sawyer, too.

This is a man who ended up having just short of 48 years on earth, leaving a wife of only nine years and three young children. But I know that there are hundreds of students and colleagues and friends--and millions of readers and viewers--who have been touched by the way he lived his life and the way he left his life as an amazing legacy that his children will not fully understand for many years yet. Carve out a little over an hour of your time to watch the actual last lecture.

And, please, after you've said a prayer of thanks to our gracious God for the amazing gift of Randy Pausch ... please say a prayer for his precious widow and her parents and extended family as they go about living life and raising the children without Randy's presence, but not without his influence.

The Abbess of the Purple Martyrdom salutes Randy as one who truly gets it. May his tribe increase....