Friday, March 20, 2009

Book Review of "The Shack"

At one point The Shack by William P. Young was going around as the latest craze within the "Christian circles" so I was immediately intrigued. I wanted to read it, if anything, just to know what all the fuss was about. I know this review comes a little late in the game but I figured I might as well express my opinion on it. It's been a while since my last post and since I have nothing else on the horizon to blog about, a book review will have to suffice.

Just to give you a little bit of an idea of what this book is about, this is the description on the back cover:

"Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!"

Now on to my review.

I had a very hard time with this book. I didn't really care for the story line let alone the theology that was portrayed in it. I know it is fiction but it is fiction trying to pass itself off as Biblical theology and that is where I have a problem with it. When it is sold at the Christian bookstore I tend to have more of an expectation that it will be a little more theologically accurate. If someone who was not very familiar with the God of the Bible was to read this book they would get a skewed idea of who He is.

I'm no theologian but I have read my Bible and do know a little something about it. A few specifics that bothered me:

-A lack of respect and awe when face to face with the Creator of the universe to the point where Mack (the main character of the book) feels okay to even curse in front of God.

-Papa (the author's name for God in the book) telling Mack when they first meet that they will do things "on his (Mack's) time and on his (Mack's) terms." We do things God's way; not each person choosing what's right for him. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" is repeated twice in the Bible, once in Proverbs 14:12 and again in Proverbs 16:25.

-The idea that there is no submission to authority within the Trinity. The author even portrays it as sinful to think that there is any authority within the Trinity. A few verses that completely contradict that are 1 Cor 11:3, 1 Cor 15:28, John 6:38 and John 8:28. Those verses do not mince words that God the Son is subject to God the Father. The author portrays that there cannot be equality if there is authority involved.

-God the Father being portrayed in human form. In John 4:24 we read "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." Jesus was God in human form, not the Father.

There is more but I think I'll leave it at that. If you've read it, let me know your opinion. If you haven't read it, I still welcome your thoughts.

1 comment:

Fisher's said...

I saw your review first in goodreads and I was well on my way to tell you that this was blog worthy. Something happened and to get to the point I didn't send you a comment. Anyways, I"m glad you blogged your review. I saw the book Saturday at Wal-Mart and I wanted to hide all the copies in the shoe department! :-)