the road ahead


The Shack 2.0
February 24, 2009, 6:56 am
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality, Uncategorized

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I have had an incredible number of responses to my earlier post regarding The Shack. If you have not looked at the comments, take a moment to read through them; they are very instructive.

Regardless of your opinion of the book, it has been a publishing phenomena! The author wrote the book initially for his family, but the message impacted them so greatly that they began to share it with their friends and the rest is history!

A self-published book with sales exceeding 5 million!

From the comments that post received, it seems that many of you think one of the most significant reasons why the book connects with people has to do with the character and nature of God. One person commented how the book helped him or her connect with the personal nature of God: “It does open a person’s mind to the personalness of God and how he really does care about the details of our lives, and how he orchestrates events for his purpose.” I understood this comment to mean that God is approachable, understanding of our human condition, and sympathetic to our troubles. God is available and relational. Review the comments others have left, and see if you see the same recurring theme.

So what do you think? Is this the real reason why The Shack connects with readers?

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4 Comments so far
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I’d say it another way. The book is successful because it deals with a part of life that everyone faces in one way or another at some point: The Great Sadness. Maybe it’s not a homicide, or the casualty of a family member in war, or a friend’s eventual succumbing to death because of a slow and painful terminal illness. It can be facing an unfair circumstance in life, having a friend turn away, or not being able to understand why life can seem so uncaring. It’s the central issue in the Book of Job. It is what C. S. Lewis wrote so profoundly about in his final book, Till We Have Faces, which Young is familiar with. It is the opportunity to come before God and put into words what seems so undeniably unfair about one’s own life. And then know that God hears, and understands.

Comment by J. D. Sloan

Wow! Watched the interview and it confirmed some of my fears. Get too far from the Word of God and you begin to drift into some very dangerous territory. Jesus wasn’t our example? What does the Word say? 1 Jn 2.6, Jn 13.15, Rom 8.28-29, Eph 5.1, Phil 2.5 These are just a few that came immediately to mind. Interesting read but shaky shack theology.

Comment by Chuck Wood

I read it. There were some parts that didn’t really make a lot of sense or line up Biblically. I think some people had a hard time seeing God played as an older, large black woman–however, one of my friends who lost his father to suicide said that picturing God as something other than a father figure was just what he needed to overcome some of the bitterness he’s experienced…

Comment by Anna Meadows

Another—perhaps slightly cynical view—is that people are desperate to understand things that that are mysteries. We want to understand why there is pain and suffering. It’s hard for people to reconcile a loving, merciful God with the pain and suffering we see every day. So we look for a way that makes sense to us to explain it. And what about the Trinity? Ever try to explain “One God in three Persons” to someone of the Islamic faith (or even adequately to someone of the Christian faith)?

I completely understand someone trying to make sense out of things that appear not to make sense. I understand and even applaud the struggle. But there is a huge difference between someone wondering aloud (on paper) if something “perhaps might be like this” and someone saying, “This is the truth.” Let’s let people write fiction, but let’s not be confused about what is fiction and what is truth.

Comment by Michael Smith




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