I won The Shack from @scrollmotion on Twitter. It’s a full-form book as an iPhone app. Yep, I read the entire book on my phone.
And at first I didn’t know quite what to think. Honestly, up until this morning I thought the whole thing had really happened. Or at least someone thought it had happened. And I didn’t know how to fit all of that into my theology. Yes, I can be gullible and naive like that. And if you’ve read it, you probably know that the foreword is written as if it’s all real. That Mack exists and his friend Willie wrote the book for him. It’s quite deceiving if you ask me. I had not read one review on the book before, during or after reading the book so I was just sitting with what I had read.
I believe in God. I believe in God in three persons. I believe that he wants a relationship with us through his son Jesus Christ. In fact, I’ve been challenged lately on just how intimately he wants to know us. So much of that part of the book rang true for me. I believe he CAN leave a letter in someone’s mailbox if he wanted. I believe he CAN transform a shack and make someone walk on water. But there were some things that bothered me.
God as a woman? Nope. He is our Father. God is never disappointed in me? Um, no. He flooded the whole earth because he was sick of his creation screwing up. Mack’s father in Heaven? I doubt he had made a conversion in his drunken, poisoned stupor (I know I’m going out on a limb on that one, but it was just something I questioned). God not sending any of us to hell? Definitely not. All of us as a unique light? Possibly. I don’t know what Heaven is like but that sounds a little New Age for me.
So yeah, I was questioning things.
After this morning, I realized that the ideas in the conversations were real but the author used a fictional story to tell his conversations with God. And I can appreciate that. I actually agreed with a lot of what he said. But not all of it.
So do I recommend the book?
I think so. I definitely don’t recommend all of its theology. What I do recommend is if you read it, please, please, please use it as only a springboard to challenge what you believe. Go back to the Bible and find the truth for yourself. For that matter, ask God yourself what He thinks. That nagging feeling I had about it should have been my warning sign. But with many truths present, it’s hard to distinguish. I’m reminded of the Da Vinci Code. That was a fantastic book. I highly recommend that as a read. But I don’t recommend you glean your theology from it. If nothing else, read The Shack so you are an informed reader. I hate when people put down something they know nothing about. It’s just like this Obama speech. People were up in arms about it. Lots of water but no fire. Know what you’re debating. Have an open mind. Be able to actually converse about it.
All in all, I’m glad I read it. I think if nothing else, I’m reminded one more time that God wants an intimate relationship with me. He’s a good God. And He’s especially fond of me.