Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Shack

I read The Shack earlier this year and was impressed enough to buy a number of discounted paperbacks to give away. Yet I also made it clear that my endorsement was not in toto, and some readers have asked why. A few critics have also asked how I can endorse a book that distorts God (the Holy Spirit is consistently presented as female), and the ecclesiology in the book is abominable. So, I offer the following few thoughts....

Sometimes it is hard for us to comprehend how much God loves us. This is especially hard when we are faced with horrible things in this world. The age-old question is: Why is there evil if God is all-powerful and all-good?

This is an incredible book in the way it brings the reality of God’s presence into a tangible setting that we can understand. Yet, keep in mind that no book gets everything right (except the Bible). Someone has said a person is most often right in what he affirms and most often wrong in what he denies. The affirmations in this book are mostly right-on; the denials in this book are best skimmed over. And for all its power, one should read this remembering it is fiction (when “God” is talking, it’s really the author of the book). The author gets a lot of things right; the author gets some things wrong.

Still, the overall message of The Shack is powerful and we need good vehicles for understanding God’s presence and activity in our lives. So, please read it.... with all this in mind, but most of all with a heart that cries, “Lord, let me know you more fully.”

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