Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Review: The Shack

I hadn't planned to read this book. The last book on my Theology list that I had planned to read this week to finish up Lent was Jose Saramago's Gospel According to Jesus Christ HOWEVER.....I got about 40 pages into it and decided that Sr. Saramago's vision of gospel and JC was NOT mine, and my mind would just not go that far. So, I needed something to read, wasn't ready to tackle Karen Armstrong History of God and my eye fell on The Shack which I'd picked up off the donation pile at our library last week just to look through to see what all the fuss was about. I'm one of those people who can read a book like this and love it. Oh, I can see how some people who take their Bible very literally are NOT going to like this. Others will have trouble with the level of the writing, which is as one reviewer said 'kinda hokey.' Ten years ago, I would have thrown this book in the trash heap. But now, the fact that the author states up front and at the end that you can believe it or not, makes it a wonderful grace if you choose to accept it. I for one have no difficulty at all with having pancakes with God as long as she pours Maine maple syrup on them --- and I don't mean that to be flip. I think we go thru stages in our life where we have different perceptions of (and therefore relations with) God, religion, sacred scripture, etc. In fact, this book and some of it's theories (and its vision) came up for discussion several times in a Lenten scripture study I just finished at my church. It's a great book for office lunch discussions...lots of different ideas but encouraging all to be respectful and mindful that others don't always believe the same way we do. I found it a thought-provoking read and will probably recommend to several people I think will like it. For me it was a 4 star, for others it will be trash. For a few it will be a life-changing event. I think most books in this category will have widely ranging ratings depending on the reader's background and reason for choosing the book to begin with. Not sure I want to see the movie, but the book is worth a look.


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