Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Shack: A Story of a Journey

Since yesterday I posted a review critical of The Shack, here's a more positive one from Michael Spencer: Difficult Concept Workshop: Repeat After Me…”The Shack Is A Story”

...I’m going to start and finish this post with the same encouragement: TELL YOUR STORY. WRITE YOUR STORIES. TELL THEM YOUR WAY. IN YOUR WORDS. Don’t be afraid or intimidated. The story matters. Some will NEVER see it, but it’s no less true. Keep putting your journey into a story. Keep writing. Be an artist. Be a creator. Mess up some lines. Mix up some colors. Offend some know it alls. Don’t stop until your story is out there.
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.....It seems that a willingness to denounce The Shack has become the latest indicator of orthodoxy among those evangelicals who are keeping an eye on the rest of us. It’s a lot less trouble than checking out someone’s views on limited atonement, that’s for sure.

Hear me loud and clear: it’s every pastor and Christian’s duty to speak up if they feel The Shack is spiritually harmful. I’d only add one point: it’s equally the right of those who find The Shack helpful to say so.

Obviously, The Shack isn’t for everyone. Like a lot of Christian fiction, it has a certain amount of gawky awkwardness. No one will ever call William Young a skilled wordsmith. I wouldn’t teach The Shack in a theology class, even though I find Young’s willingness to explore the Trinity commendable and personally helpful.
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It’s the presentation of God in The Shack that creates the controversy with the critics and the buzz with the fans, but the longer I’ve talked about this story with other Christians, I have to wonder if all the focus on Young’s “Trinity” isn’t missing the larger point of the book- a point that many theological watchblogs don’t seem to see at all.

The Shack is a pilgrimage. It’s an allegorical account of one person’s history with God; a history deeply affected by the theme of “The Great Sadness.” It’s a journey, and overlooking what’s going on in Mack’s journey is a certain prescription of seeing The Shack as a failed critique of Knowing God.

These are excerpts only - read the whole thing to see the I-Monk's full argument.