the shack

this book is just filled with goodness. somewhere along the line it somehow became controversial in some evangelical circles, though not exactly sure why--i mean if you actually read it. i loved it, every bit of it. hard to read at times for sure, but really wrestles with the deep questions of suffering and God. and unlike some other books that use story as a simply poor shroud to cover a non-fiction writing, this is truly a good work of fiction that has a lot of literary merit.

i don't know if there is better praise than this: "this book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. it's that good!" ~Eugene Peterson

any of you out there read it yet? thoughts?


  1. dang. i saw that book in the airport when i went to portland. i passed it a few times (i had a long layover) and it looked so interesting! maybe i will try to read it some time. that's cool that you read it and enjoyed it.

  2. I just read it last weekend, and I AGREE. Pure goodness. I have absolutely no idea how it's become "heretical" in certain people's eyes - but I agree, they must not have even read it.

    "The Shack" boosted my faith, made me see God in a new way, and left me trusting him more. EVEN in the face of suffering. EVEN in the face of uncertainty. And any book that does that is a good one.

  3. ughh i hate to be the "con" of this whole thing, but i have a lot of apprehension about reading that book. i think it's probably because the first review i heard about it was a negative one from a Christian leader. albeit the leader is known for his being against anything that everyone else likes, but i felt like i could agree with him on a good few levels of his reasonings for disliking and disagreeing with the book.

    ... i think that my apprehension also comes with my gradual formation of a faith in a God that i don't want to pin a physical description on. i go back and forth with this a lot, because i do love the picture of Christ as Aslan or allegories like Pilgrim's Progress. but i know that when i learn about islam and how muslims don't put any physical attributes on God and then think of how we've formed our own picture of Christ and what God would look like (and i have these ideas in my head and i don't know if they came from me, or came from societal influence, or instances of Scripture or what...), i feel like the muslims have a reverence for God (sometimes misplaced) that i envy and that i have this picture of God that isn't revered at all. and to add onto that would make it more complicated.

    and yeah, i know, Jesus was a physical human being and we're of the likeness of God and heavenly beings, but i always think of the blue eyed, scruffy haired glamour shot of Jesus that was in my childhood Sunday school or the lovely jim caviezel. i'm still getting over all of that.

    and maybe the fact that the trinity includes an elusive asian woman and a motherly african woman kind of throws me off too. for reasons i don't want to get into right now.

    and yes, i'll try to read it sometime. sorry that this was so longwinded and a wimpy attempt to put into writing my jumbled thoughts. but i thought you might appreciate another perspective.

    the end.

  4. oh, and i wouldn't go as far to say that i think the book is heretical. i actually wouldn't claim theological correctness or incorrectness of it.

    i just don't know if i want to read it for my own confused, little faith's sake. ...if that makes sense.

  5. rachel-i appreciate your thoughts and your apprehensions. i read it before i heard about all the controversy and i'm glad for that, because it didn't put a negative spin on the book for me. but i think it would be good for you to check out the book before coming to any of those conclusions, because i think it is far more likely that the book would be an encouragement to your faith.

    i said that the critical people had to have just not read it, because it is not about trying to portray some sort of physical description of God (though Jesus is accurately described as middle eastern). God or "Papa" is for most of the book a big African woman yes, but also at another time is an older man. the appearance in both cases, as in those of the holy spirit is manifestations of what the person needs to have at the time. it is for the person's sake, not for a representation of what God really looks like or anything like that.

    also, i think this sort of representation is important to christianity as opposed to islam because of the idea of the incarnation. God is not an immaterial being strictly, and his/her/its desire is to be able to manifest himself so that we can know him. through jesus yes. but in this story in other ways to be able to grasp the personhood of God. i think the book, rather than putting on more false impressions of what God is like (physically and metaphysically), does more to open up people's misconceived notions of who God is (both as glamor shot and jim caviezel and loving nature).

    as for heretical in that or any other theology--i think it isn't anywhere close. i resonated so much with the descriptions and answers nearly all of the time. i would be interested to see how you would react to those things as well.

    in short (and i know this wasn't short), i still recommend it because i think it would do perhaps just the opposite of those fears created by whatever chrisitian leader decried it for you. just my thoughts :).