Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Shack

I just finished reading 'The Shack' by William P. Young. Currently, The Shack is "THE" book to read among Christian circles. People seem to either love it or hate it. I'm going to tell you the basic premise of the book. Nothing I say will give away the ending. 
The Shack is a NOVEL. It is a story, written by a father for his kids, that got published. It is NOT a textbook. 

The Shack is a novel about a man, Mack, whose daughter is murdered. Her body is found in a shack. A few years after the murder, the family is still in midst of thick grief. Mack gets an invitation from God to return to the shack. Once there, Mack has an encounter with the Godhead - God the father, son, and holy spirit.  

Fine enough premise. Some people have had near death or out of body experiences in which they encountered the trinity or one of the three. Where this book takes you is not like any of the other stories. You have to remove your theological glasses and remove your personal lenses that tint the way you see and relate to God. If you don't, I think you will hate the book.
I believe the book is trying to make you think about God in terms of a relational being and not a stern task master that decrees and controls us little puppets down here. The book tries to get us to put aside the religiousness of our lives and live in the freedom God wants us to live in. It's not about the rules or the hierarchy. It's about having unique, two-way relationships with each member of the Godhead. 

Yeah, there were times in the book where I thought it was hokey. But you just have to put all of that aside and go with it. That's what the book is about. Putting aside what we humans think is right and wrong, black and white, and just going with it. Most of how we relate to God is based on an Earth to Heaven viewpoint. This book gives us the view from the top down. And it is a much easier view on the eyes.

Did I like the book? I'm not sure it is a question of liking. Did the book challenge me? Absolutely. Will I approach God and my life differently. I sure hope so.


Anonymous said...

I Hope the movie will be as good. I loved the way he appeared to Mack and the reason why.

Amanda Donaho Photography said...

I love talking to people after they've read the Shack... so many different responses! It was really a life changing book for me.... so many things that really blew me out of the water. Even though there were really some crazy things in general that happened in the book, by far the best most thought provoking parts for me were the conversations Mack had with each one and the talks around the table. Really good stuff.