Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Shack - by Wm. Paul Young

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
There really haven't been too many books out there lately that have grabbed my attention like The Shack has.

To borrow a line from the back cover of the book, "In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?"

Over the last few months I've been going through a rather difficult time. If you've been a regular reader on this blog, you may even have noticed that something was up when suddenly there seemed to be an absence of new posts to the blog. Without subjecting you to all the details of this difficult time, let me simply say that our Heavenly Father graciously (and maybe even ironically) used THE SHACK to bring me back again into a closer and deeper relationship with Him. Praise God!

When I started reading this book, at times I found my theology being challenged, as I suspect may have happened to many other readers as well. This is especially true given my Baptist seminary education, and especially regarding the Trinity. However, as I continued being absorbed in THE SHACK, it is interesting that many of those theological challenges seemed to disappear and I found myself seeing our great and loving God with fresh and new eyes. I had never before thought of the Trinity of God in such a fashion as the author describes in this book.

I know there are many critics of this book, but I think most of their problems with THE SHACK stem from the unfortunate bad habit that many of us still have of always wanting to put God into a religious box of our own making. In one You Tube video I recently saw, some pastor kept on slaming this book as being heretical quoting this scripture and that scripture. In truth, his own rantings were equally, if not more so, anti-biblical than the book he was being critical of (see some of my other articles on this blog regarding pastors and institutional churches for more on that).

However, if we stop to think of how the Bible repeatedly describes God as a God who is passionately in love with us, then the author's portrayal of the Trinity of God is suddenly not as far fetched as some would like us to think. Perhaps even more importantly, those critics need to remember that the author never intended this book to be a theology textbook. It is, after all, a novel. Let's not forget that.

I generally don't read too many novels, but I do highly recommend this one. It will challenge you (again, if for no other reason then because of the box we tend to put God into), and it will rip at your heart strings and bring tears to your eyes. Then when you least expect it, THE SHACK will also bring you face to face with your "Papa." May God bless you and give you peace, whatever or whomever your "Missy" may be.

1 comment:

  1. A friend recently shared a quote from this book. "We routinely disqualify testimony that would plead extenuation. That is, we are so persuaded of the rightness of our judgement as to invalidate evidence that does not confirm us in it. Nothing that deserves to be called truth could ever be arrived at by such a means." Hmm, an interesting thought.