Thought-Provoking and Real
Posted July 02, 2009
There have been a number of books that have had the world talking. Books like ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, ‘The Purpose Driven Life and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ comes to mind. The Bible has already accomplished this for centuries. Another book that comes to mind is ‘The Shack’ by William P. Young. Many an enthusiastic (reading) audience has likened this book to the new generation’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ – a statement with which I must agree.
Though not as ‘fantasy’-based as Bunyan’s novel, (and with fantasy, I refer to completely imaginative from start to end) ‘The Shack’ remains spell bounding and gripping. The third person point of view (which tells Mack’s story) creates an atmosphere of sitting in on a conversation where Mack is speaking a foreign language and his friend is translating (with a few random, personal inserts here and there). Interesting, well- (and enthusiastically-) told as well as realistic enough in its inventive imaginativeness (a mouth full, but yes, this is all possible in one book).
The story takes us on a journey with Mark – a man with a painful past and an even more tormenting future – when he receives a note from God in his mailbox to meet him in the shack in which his daughter was murdered. In the weekend that follows, Mack discovers God (or rather, God reveals Himself to Mack), the Trinity and has the opportunity to discuss forgiveness, grace, love and other concepts that affect God’s children with God (the Father), Jesus and the Spirit.
Many people has noted this book to be sacrilegious and blasphemous in some instances, but, remembering that this is only Young’s interpretation of certain spiritual concepts to explain pain to his children and close friends, we, as readers, can draw some deep truths and lessons from the book, even if we only learn to have our beliefs challenged, but still remain standing firmly in the truths of God’s Word.
I do not agree with some of the statements made in ‘The Shack’, but it has taught me to measure all that I read according to God’s Word and create definite lines according to which I believe and to which I can return for reference when my beliefs are challenged. Being able to be flexible and open (but allowing this to cause growth in your spiritual walk and not teach you ungodly concepts) is and aspect of freedom of reading (in comparison to freedom of speech, or in this case, writing).
I enjoyed this book. It may, though, not appeal to the more conservative reader. If you decide to read this book, read it once as a story, then read it again to understand it completely and finally read it a third time in order to study, research and compare its statements to Biblical truths. It is relatively easy reading, continually compelling and heartfelt in its honesty to all the questions asked. All these aspects make this a brilliant book to read.
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