The Shack



We read this book as part of the book club last month. I kept meaning to sit down and write a review of it but I'm just now getting around to it.

I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it either.

The first thing that chapped me was the fact that it's ALL fiction. The way the author writes the preface makes you think it's not, which I think is very deceptive. That bothered me big time. But besides that it's just not worth all the hype. I felt like it was a waste of time. I am spoiled by C.S. Lewis. Books like Screwtape letters, The Great Divorce, the Narnia Series, they are all SO much better at metaphor and allegory.

Oh, and I read that someone said it was like today's Generations Pilgrims Progress, well that's crazy, Pilgrims Progress is today's generations Pilgrims Progress. Read the real deal. The well written-learn some new words and phrases-good stuff. I say go read books written back when writing and words were fluid and melodic, back when they weren't writing something thinking it could be a movie, they were writing to tell you a story, trying to bring you into the story.

So, no I'm not as extreme as Mark Driscoll, (click HERE to see his take on the book) I don't hate the book or think it's heresy, but I do think there are books more worthy of our time.

Comments

"I say go read books written back when writing and words were fluid and melodic, back when they weren't writing something thinking it could be a movie, they were writing to tell you a story, trying to bring you into the story."

Amen sister! As a person with a bachelors in English and an MA candidate in English I second that comment!
Joyce said…
You know I have been wondering about that book. I nearly bought it again but I thought about asking you what you thought. I am SO glad I found your post regarding it today. I think I will "skip" it now forsure.
Thank you!!
I think your criticisms are warranted, Carole, but I still highly recommend the book. I'm definitely with you on the language thing. Our culture has become tremendously lazy, linguistically speaking. Even so, I thought Young's challenges to in-the-box views of God, church, relationships, etc were well worth the quick, easy read.

And by the way, didn't Lewis set up Screwtape Letters as though it was a "real" series of letters he had somehow uncovered?
Anonymous said…
In addition to receiving wide acceptance from the Christian community at large, the author speaks at many evangelical churches. On September 8th and 9th, for instance, Young will be speaking at North Valley Calvary Chapel in Yuba City, California, church of Calvary pastor Bob Fromm. 2 However, even though this is a Calvary Chapel church, Calvary Distribution (the resource and book venue for the Calvary Chapel movement) has issued an "Official Statement" regarding The Shack. Calvary Distribution's book reviewer Keyan Soltani calls The Shack "a dangerous book." The Official Statement reads:

Due to the popularity of this book and the positive endorsements it has received from the Christian community, we felt that it would be prudent to explain why, as those who hold fast to the word/nature of God as inerrant, we will not be endorsing this book. Some of our concerns include:

* The minimizing of the word of God: The Shack errs in the presumption that God desires to be freed from His word as expressed by the characters, yet, the Psalmist tells us in Psalm 138:2 "For You have magnified Your word above all Your name."

* The redefining of the nature of God: the book implies a theology of modalism which is defined as the non Trinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons in God Himself.

* The book's conversational tone is intended to catch the reader off guard with overt casualness. There is a personalized-trademarked version of God that requires the least bit of commitment; seeker-friendly experience over truth; an air of anti-authority for the spiritually lazy consumer. The double-speak and theology that is embedded in this book with its underlying condescension, protesting agenda, and liberal theology are genetic markers of the emergent church.

We recognize the enormous popularity of The Shack but are wary of the overlying theological implications and the presentation of the person of God within this book.
anonymous - I know there have been many concerns and criticisms of "The Shack." Understandably so, given the very earthy, out-of-the-box portrayal of God in this NOVEL. However, I'm not so sure about the points of contention in this official statement.

- "God desires to be freed from His word" - Some quotes/examples here would be very helpful, as I'm not so sure about this one.

- The criticism of the Trinitarian view in The Shack doesn't make any sense to me, having read the book, but maybe I'm just slow. And seriously, if the critical distinction here on Orthodox Trinitarianism is "The Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son, and Holy Spirit are three different modes or aspects of God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons in God Himself," then I would say all of Christendom is in serious peril. What, exactly, is the almighty difference? Again, maybe I'm slow, or maybe it's because I didn't get an advanced degree at the right seminary, but I'm not seeing it.

- As to the third criticism, I would certainly agree this NOVEL speaks resoundingly to the so-called "emergent" church, and I could understand how its tone would come across just as you described here.

It's good to be part of the conversation!

Popular posts from this blog

Gay Adoption

But Did You Die?

The Womb, Being a Woman and Baby Loss