Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Shack - Review

I just finished reading a great book, The Shack. I got it on Sunday night, and by Tuesday morning I was done. That is incredibly fast for me.
Eugene Peterson's endorsement will give you a taste of why this book is good: "When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of The Shack. This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!"
Here's the basic plot summary from the back cover: "Mack's 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."
The book specifically asks us not to give away the secrets of the book when writing reviews. Let me just say this. This book is great for several reasons.
1. It has soaring theology. It's picture of the Trinity is both shocking and beautiful.
2. This theology arises naturally - and without any effort to the reader - from within the flow of the narrative. The narrative gives birth to the theology, not vise-versa as in McClaren's trilogy.
3. This book gets at some of the core issues most of us wrestle with when dealing with spiritual things: the problem of suffering, the nature of God, and the nature of relationship with God.

As with any book, there are points at which I disagree with the author (William P. Young). If you read the book, we can talk about those. However, over all, I am blown away by this book's amazing picture of God and life transformed by God's loving presence. I highly recommend it: easily 5J's!
Thanks to Ron Thornton - a KNU newbie bound to be a regular conversation partner - for a great loaner!
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