So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17
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Finally blogging about 'The Shack'
Okay, I should have blogged about this long ago, but I kept putting other things in front of it. Anyway, there's this book I read about a year ago called The Shack, a half-allegory-half-novel that chronicles one man's encounter with God in the midst of profound suffering. I found out about it because I frequent Wayne Jacobsen's blog, and he and a couple of others were involved in independently publishing this little book that was rejected by several publishing houses.
Boy, some of those folks have got to be kicking themselves now. The book's spread like wildfire since its release (originally being shipped out of one of the fellows' garage). A couple of months ago, USA Today did a feature on it and now Jacobsen is reporting on his blog that this little novel will be #1 on Sunday's New York Times Best Seller List for Trade Fiction. Heh.
So, why haven't I blogged this book before? Mostly because I wasn't sure how. There were portions of the novel that moved me so deeply that I literally wept. Even now, there's a repeated phrase from the book that still brings tears to my eyes because it reminds me of the depth of God's love for me and everyone else in this world. And experiences like that drastically dim my ability to look at a book or film objectively. At times, the editor in me realized aspects of the novel could have been done better, but something in the novel seems to make up for that. A friend of mine read it in her book group (made up of Christian women), and she reported that it "created the most amazing book club meeting" they'd ever had. They agreed the novel was flawed, but she says "two members were reduced to tears at realizing God loved them, that he wants a relationship with them, that all the things they were constantly doing to get on his good side were not necessary at all to that love." If the hundreds of reader reviews on Amazon.com are any indication, The Shack seems to do that fairly consistently.