Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Shack

I picked up "The Shack" by William P. Young yesterday and I just finished it tonight. So, yeah, I read the entire book in a day. I heard about this book from many of the different blogger sites and decided to see what all the hype was about. I thought I'd throw out my own two cents and finally get to recommending the book. So here you go. ~minor spoiler warning~

(1) I won't go into the main story but suffice it to say that the book focuses on a terrible loss encountered by a father. A couple of months later he gets a letter from "Papa" to come and visit him at the very site this great loss occurred. The rest of the story are the days that he is in this "shack".

(2) God is depicted as a large, black-woman. Yep. A lot of people seem to be having a fit over this fact but I think it is an interesting point of the book. When the main character meets "Papa" the point of the story is that we constantly think of God as either a white-male or some old phogey who floats around on a cloud. God is a Spirit and therefore He does not have a sex, which is a point the author makes in the book. You will have to read it yourself to see what you think but for the most part I had no problem with this. God did appear to a man in a burning bush. I don't see why we would have a problem with God appearing in the manner He does in this story.

(3) The relationship between the Trinity in this book is astounding. It really puts into place an amazing idea of how there really is unity in the diversity of the Trinity. They are completely God but completely there own person, unified as God. There interaction is beautiful!

(4) The story itself is an amazing one and it looks at some really difficult issues like pain, suffering, loss, and bitterness. All of these are issues I am dealing with and I know many of us face all the time. For those who constantly question God this will make you bend your knee and repent.

(5) The ending to this story is really good and then becomes REALLY bad. The last page is like a drive by shooting. This did not really turn me away from the story but geesh! You would think they would have thought of this!

(6) Deconstructionism. I have read some reviews on Amazon for the book and while I can see there points on how this book seems to push a deconstruction viewpoint I don't know if I totally agree. I cannot find anywhere in my reading a point where there was "heresy" and I think the point the author makes is that when law replaces the relationship you don't have a relationship anymore. God is love and His people should love Him in it. What is the biggest obstacle to that love? Ourselves! There was never a point where the author bashes the Bible or makes it less important. He instead reminds us that the Holy Spirit should be involved in our reading! Something this Pentecostal loved to hear!

Finally, I wanted to leave you with a quote from the book:

"Let us use the example of friendship and how removing the element of life from a noun can drastically alter a relationship. Mack, if you and I are friends, there is an expectancy that exists within our relationship. When we see each other or are apart, there is an expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking. That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else." (p.205)


Charlotte said...

I've been hearing a lot about that book too, I intend on reading it whenever I get the opportunity (which will probably be months from now...).

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14