I read The Blue Parakeet a few years ago. I remember liking a good bit about the overall message, though I found the writing style too folksy for my taste. For several years I've been reconsidering approaches to the Bible that seem well-established and often unquestioned within the evangelical milieu, so the book was definitely helpful to me, but I don't remember many details about it.
One of the things I've considered is the "age appropriateness" of some parts of the Bible. Several year ago—when my son was eight or nine, I think—my wife initiated a move for us all to read through the Bible in a year. It wasn't really my thing, but it also wasn't something I wanted to be contentious about. I remember one day reading with my son when we got to Genesis 19 (I think), which I heavily redacted, and thinking, "In what way can this be considered appropriate material for a young boy? Does the fact that it is in the Bible make it indubitably so? Why are we so cautious about what our son is exposed to in all other realms, but not in the Bible?"
My son is twelve now. He is thoroughly interested in military history, and we've started to watch some war movies—including some that are R-rated, but always after I've done a lot of research and thought and prayer about what he will be exposed to. So, does it make sense that I would decide that he cannot watch Saving Private Ryan for several more years but that I would not give comparable restrictions about his exposure to the brutality and genocide in the book of Joshua? I know movies are different than books, so I'll add that, though he read and loved The Hunt for Red October a few months ago, I've told him that other Clancy novels are off-limits because of some of the subplots that I've heard come up in them.
I also recall mentioning some of these ideas to a friend who was one of the pastors at our church, to which he replied along the lines of, "Yeah, I guess some parts of the Bible are PG-13." I had to restrain a guffaw as I though, "Yeah, how about NC-17."
I heard about the Telling God's Story series a few years ago and was very interested in reading through it with my son. But I do the bulk of the math, geography, and history work with him, and there hasn't been much time left for other things. He and my wife have done Bible studies through Community Bible Study for the past six years. I think it's been a great experience overall, though I don't know a lot about the approach to the Scriptures that the guides take. They did a study called Return to Jerusalem (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and several of the prophets) this year, and my wife has been on a big Zionist kick recently (which I am not in accord with, to put it mildly), though I don't know if that was baked into the curriculum or more of a product of her background and/or the particular women in her group.
Christy (or others who have used it), how have you liked the Telling God's Story series? My sense is that my son is too old for the target audience. It seems like the intent is to publish twelve parts that would go through grade twelve, but if they are only publishing one a year (at best?), that won't really work for us.
Well, I have more thoughts, but that will have to be all for now.