Monday, October 13, 2008

The Shack -- Initial Impressions

I had heard of The Shack a few months ago, but did not feel impelled to go out and buy it. A week ago a friend recommended it and I put it on my mental "to do" list. Friday I was at Barnes and Noble doing my regular browse-the-shelves thing, and I found myself walking past the religion books and saw the book. I pulled it from the shelf and added it to Susan's choice and began reading it at around 7:30pm Saturday evening. About 1:30am Sunday morning I read the last few lines, closed the book, and went to sleep.

The Shack proved to be a moving story and one I could not easily put off, once I reached a certain point. If you are looking for traditional theology explaining how a just God can allow evil, then this book will disappoint. If you are willing to let yourself view God in some non-traditional ways then give it a try.

In many ways, this is the Book of Job written for the 21st century. I saw a smattering of C.S. Lewis scattered here and there, but mostly this was an account of what might happen if a grief-paralyzed man had an opportunity to question God. There are twists and turns even up to the last page, but it was, for me, a moving account of how God might interact with even me.

One piece of theology expressed in this book (paraphrased) is in the protagonist's asking if all roads led to God. The answer was no, most roads lead nowhere -- but there are no roads that God would not take to reach those whom he loves. And that casts far wider a net than most of us can imagine.

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