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More 'Shack'

A couple of weeks ago, Christianity Today posted a review of The Shack (a novel I recently blogged here). Personally, I think Derek Keefe does a fairly good job at getting near the heart of the book as well as the root of some of the controversy surrounding it. But I did find myself wondering if perhaps Young's novel is still being misunderstood.

At one point, Keefe says:
. . . Young's book has clearly struck a nerve, likely with those who have been burned by deep tragedy, bad church experiences, and churchgoers who consistently misrepresent Christ. Judging from The Shack's continued sales and largely glowing reviews, this is a sizable group.

Indeed, that is a swath of folks who resonate with the book. But there's also a sizable chunk out there, I suspect, who don't feel burned by bad experiences but resonate with the novel because they simply long and thirst for more, for the authentic Love and Life of God--something that seems rare among believers in current church culture. Why is that? Among other things, I think many of us don’t experience that ever-transforming Life because we aren’t living in relationship to the Father. Young's story gets at what that looks like and some truths that help us enter into that relationship. I think it's easy to overlook this core aspect of the novel (and the chunk of folks who resonate with that) in the noise of all the controversy.

For what it's worth, it's been an interesting deal watching this book launch into the mainstream. I heard about it from Wayne Jacobsen's blog (where he periodically mentions the progress they're making towards putting the story to film) when it first came out--when you could only get it from the garage that served as their publishing distribution center. These days, I've seen the book everywhere from the grocery store to Borders. Heh, recently, both of my sisters-in-law (who live on the other side of the continent from me) asked me if I had read it.

If you haven't, you might think about it.


Anonymous said…
The Shack was the most powerful read by far for my book club last year. Our experience proves your point. Even those in the club without deep wounds loved the book. But, yes, the two women who wept long and openly were deeply wounded, and it was so good to see them receive the heaping dose of the love of God which this book so surely measures out. --Susie
Don Hendricks said…
I loved a subtitle I saw years ago on a book. "for new and used Christian". As a long used and sometimes abused pastor I began asking myself this simple question several years ago when I became disillusioned with trying to keep "butts in the seats", which is my favorite definition of church planting, by the way. I asked and searched out this question. "Who is God, and what is the Gospel"? I have been led to many joys in that search, including reading the Shack.
Carmen Andres said…
don, fwiw, my journey also started with a question several years ago: Why did Jesus really come - and what is the Kingdom and what does it look like? and, like you, it has been the best ride of my life!

susie, that's what resonates with me the most from this book - the experience of God's love. the more i walk with Jesus the more i'm coming to realize that Love (being loved by Him, loving Him and loving others) is the foundation of it all.