Skip to main content

Wednesday's Word: The Shack

A year after the rest of Christendom, I have finally read The Shack.

Two things surprised me.

1. The theology wasn't nearly as wacked out as I'd been influenced to believe. In fact, I don't think the theology is any more misinformed than my own theology is. What I mean is, it's not perfect, but I don't think it's that far off. I would be totally willing to suggest the representation of God in this book as a decent starting point for understanding who He is. And it was a good reminder to me of the centrality of relationship in my worldview and interaction with God.

2. The writing was awful. The story itself has great potential, and there were moments of really powerful dialogue. But I wasn't even halfway through the prologue before I thought, This is going to be painful. This may be in part that it's a very didactic text (that is, a text intended to teach a specific point). But for a book that I believe made it on the NY Times Bestsellers' List, I was surprised. I had to skim. I was always one step outside the story. And that disappointed me.


So. I would recommend this book for a good spiritual discussion. I wouldn't recommend it for a good, mesmerizing read.

Comments

Kirsten said…
dude...nice summary.
question: I thought no blogging until Sunday at the earliest?
... said…
oh kirsten, come now. resolutions like that are meant to be broken.

thank you, beth, for agreeing with me (unbeknownst to you). I thought i was the only one who didn't find it entirely heretical....
Nadine said…
I was super-late to read this, too. The hype exhausted me. But...

...it made me cry. At a certain point I stopped caring about the poor writing and got caught up in a narrative that felt really personal.

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…