The Shack and lots of reservations

The more I think about The Shack (reviewed earlier this week), the more I’m disturbed by a lot of its theological message. It’s presented in such a way that I missed some of the more controversial aspects. The book pretty much takes modern Christianity and throws it away, but it does so in such a way, you almost don’t realize it because so much of what is presented is true. Some Christians do desperately need to learn that their judgmental nature is the biggest turn off ever for unbelievers and even those who believe but choose not to be active in that belief. Some Christians need to realize that living outside of the mainstream world flies in the face of everything Jesus stood for. Several people at my church are handing this book out to people everywhere they go. The people I’m talking about are amazingly strong believers who aren’t the least but preachy, but they were touched deeply by the book, and want to share it with others. Maybe I’m making too much out of it. I mean, it is a book of fiction, but when I read it, it seemed like there was something else going on. One of the reasons I didn’t like the book: It was extremely preachy. When I read inspirational fiction, I hate feeling like I’ve been smacked upside the head with the bible. But The Shack’s bible smacking isn’t the bible I know, and I think that might be worse.

My earlier review:

Mac is a grief-stricken father in mid-life about to have an
extraordinary experience with God. His great sadness began four years
ago on a weekend camping trip, when his 6-year-old daughter, Missy, was
murdered. …

Review
The Shack is the most
absorbing work of fiction I’ve read in many years. My wife and I
laughed, cried and repented of our own lack of faith along the way. The Shack
will leave you craving for the presence of God. Michael W. Smith,
Recording Artist –Michael W Smith, Recording Artist – personal
endorsement

Reading The Shack during a very difficult
transition in my life, this story has blown the door wide open to my
soul. Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist –Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist –
personal endorsement

This book has the potential to do for our
generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s
that good! Eugene Peterson, author –Eugene Peterson, Professor
Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

I was given this book by a family member who loved it, and I thought it was a touching sotry about life and forgiveness. I’m not real sure I understand some of what Young was saying. I appreciated God being a woman. BUT it didn’t touch me the way it’s touched every other person I know. I thought Steven Curtis Chapman and family’s appearance on Larry King Live this week was far more powerful. (If you don’t know Chapman’s son ran over anad killed his five-year-old sister. That family’s pain was so evident and yet, every one of them held fast to the belief that as bad as the grief and anger and true depression got, they embraced the full knowledge that their base was there, their foundation could not be moved. God was and is and is to come. Now to me, that’s POWER.)

The idea that God is always here, even when bad things happen is easy to understand, and I believe it. The knowledge that only through forgiveness can we truly move past pain is another idea I fully embrace. The truth that God is God and we are human and can never be GOD and God doesn’t expect that of us is a given.

The book just didn’t resonate with me. The two things I did appreciate greatly included a conversation about music and God’s appreciation for all music genres and the way he overlooked Mac’s “damn”. I really hate that I didn’t love this book. Like I said, everyone else I know who’s read it, LOVES it.

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