Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Shack

The Shack by William P. Young

I thought The Shack was a great book. I don't understand why Pastor Mark thought the story was about the Trinity, because it wasn't. The story was about forgiveness after a time of tragedy. For those of you who haven't read it, a quick summary: Mack is a father of a daughter who gets kidnapped and murdered while on a camping trip. Deep down he begins to hate and blame God because of what happened. God decides to meet Mack face-to-face as the three persons of the Trinity. During the weekend while spending time together, Mack learns to forgive and get past the tragedy that happened. He learns to love again and accept what has happened.

I think the main reason that Driscoll and Challies is suggesting that Christians (especially young Christians) shouldn't read the book is because many Christians are proclaiming this to be the best thing since sliced bread. I agree that believers should not hold this up higher than Scripture and say, "We can finally understand the doctrine of the Trinity now because William P. Young described it so beautifully!" That would be a mistake. This is just one guy's interpretation of it, so we should treat it as only that.

Something great to take away from the book (in my opinion) is to see how Mack, the protagonist, develops a hatred of God because He "let" his daughter be kidnapped and murdered. It's completely understandable why someone in that situation would hate God. However, this book gives a great picture of the goodness that God pours out to us even when there is so much evil in the world. Mack wrestles with God through conversation and it is good to see God's patience and compassion for him.

To see Mack forgive his daughter's killer and come into a deeper relationship with God after his daughter's death is the reason that I love this book. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book because of the controversy regarding its Biblical basis on specific parts of the story. But if you make sure to keep the authority of the Bible as your foundation and realize that this is just one man's understanding of God, then this book might be insightful for you as it was for me.