Posts Tagged ‘The Shack’

Finding God in the Shack

October 12, 2011
Finding God in the Shack

Finding God in the Shack

Finding God in the Shack is a rehash of The Shack with errors.

It starts off with a synopsis of The Shack, only problem is it is riddled with errors. Not a good start.

At this point I will reiterate the advice given in Finding God in the Shack, read The Shack first, if you have done so, then please continue.

Finding God in the Shack is essentially a reader for The Shack, it looks at the theology of The Shack and asks did William Young get it right. And there is a lot of theology in The Shack!

The Shack, is not, as Roger E Olson wrongly states, a book about the Great Sadness, though it is in part. It is a philosophical discussion of the nature of God, Mack’s relationship with God and the need to forgive.

The Great Sadness is a burden Mack has to bear. His daughter goes missing, believed killed by a serial child killer, her body is never found. Mack blames himself, he blames God.

The One Big Question: why is there suffering in the world? Why does an all powerful, infinitely good God allow suffering? Maybe God is not good, maybe he is not all powerful, in which case who is more powerful, maybe he simply does not exist?

We have free will. Evil is the absence of Good, in the same way Dark is the absence of Light. We can handle Evil in theory, but how in practice when it brushes against us? How do we handle the brutal death of a child?

There are those who will say it was God’s will. Really!

When a child plummets to their death, was it God’s will? Did God give a little nudge, because God delighted in seeing the child’s head split open when the child hits the ground?

Maybe God does sometimes intervene. How often do we hear it said it was a miracle that so and so survived? But mainly God does not intervene.

Were God to always intervene, we would have the Law of Unintended Consequences, the Laws of Physics would not work. We cannot have it all ways.

Roger E Olson warns of using proof texts to prove a point, the Bible speaks with many voices, often contradictory voices, and yet he is too often guilty as charged, worse still, he then gives contrary examples that contradict the point he has made.

Roger E Olson says if you do not go to church then you are not a Christian. He then gives examples of bad churches that he himself has left!

I would turn this on its head and say there are many who go to church who are not Christians. Simply going through the motions every Sunday does not make you a Christian.

This is to ignore Holy Men who lived a life of solitude.

Paulo Coelho tells a story, or more likely retells a story. A priest goes to visit a man who does not attend church. The two sit in silence before a fire. The priest removes an ember and puts in the hearth. It goes dull and cold. He then puts it back in the fire and leaves. Point made.

Some need community others do not.

Is Christianity all happiness and light? There are are many examples of Christians who have had doubts, who have suffered depression. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy for example.

Paulo Coelho had doubts. He went on a spiritual journey which he recounts in Aleph.

Jesus warned that those who followed him were not embarking on an easy journey.

Roger E Olson confuses feeling depressed with depression.

Roger E Olson does not like the ending of The Shack and arrogantly constructs his own. He does not believe that after what happened to Mack he can rebuild his life. Why not? He had long conversations with God. He saw that his daughter Missy was happy where she was, that she did not blame him for what had happened, that she had forgiven her killer. Yes, he will feel sad, as he will miss her.

There are many well documented cases of people forgiving acts of depravity. One only has to look at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in South Africa.

If you cannot forgive, let go, it consumes. If we all exacted an eye for an eye, we would as Gandhi once said, be living in a world of blind men.

The Shack

May 28, 2011
The Shack

The Shack

People rave about this book, which immediately put me off reading it.

Mack finds God in a deserted shack in the middle of a wilderness. What God is doing there and what Mack learns is for us to find out.

Stranger things have happened. Disgraced politician Jonathan Aitken (in prison for perjury) claims to have found God in prison. At a party I was at in London, either Mark Thomas or Jeremy Hardy quipped what was God in for?

Missy, youngest daughter of Mack, goes missing on a camping trip. Her bloodstained dress is found in a dilapidated remote mountain shack. Her body is not found and she is assumed brutally murdered by a child serial killer. Four years later, Mack receives a note, allegedly from God, inviting him back to the shack for a weekend chat.

The last time God was on record sending messages is the communication of the Quran to the Prophet Muhmmad. Is this a cruel hoax? The only way for Mack to find out is to return to the shack.

The Shack by William P Young is an amazing and humbling deep metaphysical discussion on the nature of God. It will shatter most people’s stereotype image of God.

We know Jesus was a carpenter. Why are we therefore surprised to find him portrayed as of Middle Eastern appearance, looking like an Arab?

I find three copies of The Shack within three days, well a week at any rate. Each copy differed in a slight detail on its front cover, namely one, two, three million copies sold. A couple of weeks later I find another copy. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something!

Most recent copy I have seen displayed as best selling item in a Christian bookshop had seven million copies sold on the front cover!

With no publisher interested, with a little help from his friends, Willie created a publishing company with the sole purpose of publishing The Shack. Life is about following our dreams, taking risks. [see The Alchemist]

William P Young worked on odd jobs during the day to earn a living, at night he wrote The Shack. Not a single publisher was interested, “too much Jesus”, therefore with the help of friends and family he established a publishing company to publish The Shack. They thought they were being ambitious when they printed 11,000 copies to sell on the internet, but they sold out within four months, fuelled entirely by word-of-mouth. In the UK it was published by Hodder and Stoughton, where pre-sales reached 25,000 even before it hit the shops!

Word of mouth can be very powerful, especially with social media. I was recommended The Shack. I do not hesitate to recommend it to others.

Top story in The Religion Daily (Sunday 29 May 2011)!

Finding God In The Shack
Does it matter how we pray?
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
The Jesus I Never Knew
The writer and God
God is
A six-year-old girl writes a letter to God
The Alchemist
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
– Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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