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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Mockingbird Parables

To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary EditionSince seventh grade, sitting in Ms. Thompson's homeroom, I have loved the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird (linked to my thoughts/review).   I read the book on my own every year of high school (7th-12th grades), and finally bought my own copy after I left the English teacher's homeroom.  Wow, has my perspective changed and grown over time as I have matured and lived life.  I never had the opportunity to discuss TKAM in a literature class.  Sadly.  There is so much there.

The Mockingbird Parables: Transforming Lives through the Power of StoryNot only is TKAM worthy to be read, but Matt Litton has written a book about it.  The Mockingbird Parables: Transforming Lives through the Power of Story.   Matt Litton takes each character and major situations and examines them through his Christian worldview.  As a long time fan of the book, I appreciated the deeper insight that Litton brought.

Throughout each chapter, there were many headings.  I really appreciated these and came to anticipate them.  Here are a few.

  • The Meanest Old Woman in Maycomb: So Who Exactly Are Our Neighbors?
  • Walking in Someone Else's Skin: Caring For Your Neighbors Begins with Compassion
  • The Bravest Man Who Ever Lived: Courage Is the Decision to Put Others First
  • Mad Dogs and Morphine Habits: True Courage Doesn't Begin with Power
  • Bad Language and Honesty: Being Real with Our Children
  • He Looked Like His Stomach Hurt: The Sadness of Telling the Truth
  • The Maycomb Missionary Tea and Racism: The Dangers of Political and Religious Correctness
I like how the author laid out the chapters and including these additional headings throughout the book.  More importantly, he used a lot of Scripture throughout the chapters.  This book is his insight, but as a Christian and a TKAM fan, I really enjoyed this book.  

I do want to point out one section of the book that could be offensive to some readers.  In the chapter of "The Parable of Scout Finch: The Role of Women in Faith", there is a section called "Miss Caroline Fisher's Class Spokeswoman: The Role of Women as Church Leaders."  Matt Litton has much to say about women as church leaders.  
"Today-in the twenty-first century-according to the doctrine of the country's largest Christian denomination, women cannot be leaders at church or at home."
Several paragraphs later, he asks, "How can we pretend as people of faith that it is biblical to hand authority only to men as 'head of household'?  How can we exclude the voices of women from our pulpits?"

As a woman who has participated in churches on both sides of this particular fence, I noticed Matt Litton did not give any reasons why limiting female leadership can be beneficial, nor the Scripture that some churches may use.  One that comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 11:3 "But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."  As strongly as he spoke in this section, I didn't feel it was well balanced, instead emotional.

Each page made me think of a part of one of my all-time favorite books.  Since I have read TKAM many times, there was not one reference that I was not familiar with.  I really appreciate this book as another way to celebrate a great piece of literature and think any fan of To Kill a Mockingbird would also enjoy it.  

(Another book was published this year in celebration of 50 years of TKAM called Scout, Atticus, and Boo.  I like The Mockingbird Parables so much more because of how it is all about the book itself, not how it influenced famous and not-so-famous people.)  

I definitely recommend this book for any TKAM fan even if I didn't always agree with his theology!

Thank you Tyndale for providing me with a review copy of this book.

1 comment:

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Thanks for linking me to your review, Annette!

This sounds like a great book--one that I'd really enjoy and learn from. :-)

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