Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Shack

I feel that as soon as people read the title of my post they will either groan or cheer. The Shack was a phenomenon a few years back. People seemed to either love it or hate it. At my family's Christmas present exchange the year it came out, three of us received it as a gift. I sometimes like to read a book simply because everyone else is reading it and I want to be able to join the conversation with an informed opinion (God knows I join conversations all the time with an uninformed opinion. Forgive me if I have ever done this to you.) However, with The Shack I did not do this. I was interested in reading it but just never got around to it. Well, maybe two weeks ago I started it. I took it a chapter or three at a time and finished this weekend. Here are my thoughts:
1. It was written at a sub-par level. There were moments when I groaned at the low level of writing. I am not a fantastic writer but I read enough that I can spot poor writing. Actually, the book was written at a more-or-less average level with moments of poor writing and moments or great writing. The problem is inconsistency in quality of writing, in my opinion, makes for a poor reading experience.

2. It did have some awesome moments. The author did a good job showing the type of intimate relationship that we can have with God. He did a good job of presenting God as loving, at breaking down the mental walls we have that make us legalistic. He did a great job of showing how all three members of the trinity are truly one God. The image of Papa with scars in his hands, just as Jesus has scars in his, was particularly useful.

3. I am blown away that the only thing I had heard about the book was that God was a black woman. Did these people who were up in arms about this even finish the book? In the same passage the Holy Spirit is presented as an Asian woman. If you were upset about God being black or being a woman why were they not equally upset about the Holy Spirit being an Asian woman? And later in the book God shows himself as a man. I just want to throw my arms up and ask, "What is the big deal? Did you pay any attention to why God was presented in these ways? It was clearly explained! Are you so small minded?!"

4. It was a good time for me to read this book. It was not life changing but it did remind me of some life changing moments and seasons I had a few years back that I had gotten away from. That is how I would sum up the book; it was a good reminder. A quick and easy read that had something worthwhile to say.


  1. Thanks for your thoughts and comments. I haven't read this yet but really want to at some point. I appreciate honest criticism - looking at both the positive and the negative of something. Great post.

  2. I agree. I liked that you looked at the positive and negatives. I did love this book, but I agree about the writing.