February 19, 2009
A Bird’s-Eye View of Paul
A Bird’s Eye View of Paul. That’s what Mike Bird’s book is called in the U.K. We call it Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message. And you thought the Brits were the ones with the humorless, stiff upper lip. Well no, that would be us in the U.S.A. We were going to try to mess with his Aussie humor too, but it wasn’t allowed.
For instance, there’s this:
“When I was a youngster, Jehovah’s Witnesses rarely came to our house. My mother scared them off with colourful expressions indigenous to Australia, which made it crystal clear they were not welcome!” (And it gets, uh, better before he redeems himself. Something about a Doberman named after a religious figure. But I don’t want to attract hate mail.)
“Sometimes it is assumed that what God really requires is X number of frequent flyer points in order to fly persons from hell to heaven. Yet because of our sinful and wretched state, we have no frequent flyer points of our own. But Jesus has earned plenty himself and has put his frequent-flyer points in our account so that we can go to heaven when we die.” (And what exactly is wrong with that, Mike?)
Scot McKnight recommends it (“the first book to put in the hands of the student or layperson”) and says it “sparkles with wit.” He would.
Michael Gorman says it’s “occasionally witty.” And “insightful.” “Reliable.” Even “serious”!
Well, you will have to be the judge. We did the best we could to tame this Aussie.