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Friday, April 17, 2009

The Shack....

OK. I've joined the millions of folks who've read The Shack by William P. Young. Here are some of my thoughts and opinions.

First, I really liked this book. It is very different, to say the least. There were some things I didn't like (I'll get to those in a minute), but for the most part I found it a good read. Mr. Young is a good writer, although he got a bit wordy in some places and I admit that I...gasp!...skipped sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs! As an author, I hate to admit to doing that, because I understand how important each word is to the author telling the story. Sorry, Mr. Young, but ya gotta watch out for "fluff" that doesn't move the story forward.

When I opened the book, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't read any reviews other than a few Tweets on Twitter from author friends and such. I didn't even know what the story premise was when I started reading, which I think was a good thing. I had no expectations, so therefore I wasn't disappointed or forewarned about anything.

WARNING: If you haven't read the book and plan to, I am going to get into a little more detail about the story now.

I had no idea that Missy was kidnapped and murdered! Oh, the horror I felt reading that! As a parent, I completely understand Mack's anger and mistrust with God because of what happened to his little girl. And while I hate that Mr. Young used such a terrible tragedy to tell this story, I don't think it could have been told without it.

I confess to being uncomfortable, at first at least, with God--or "Papa", as the character calls him-- being depicted as a big black woman. I mean, come on. The Bible is clear that God is our Father. But I see why Mr. Young did this and I eventually overcame my issue with it.

I also didn't like that Jesus seemed kinda goofy at first. Maybe it was just me and the way I read it, but as Mr. Young described Jesus, I got the image of a Jethro Bodine-like character. NOT the way I see Jesus!!! But, again, as the story moves forward, I was able to get past that and I truly enjoyed the dialogue between Jesus and Mack.

I did like the way Mr. Young showed us the Holy Spirit. Not as an Asian woman (again, my understanding is the Holy Spirit is God, which would make him a him), but as this kind of ethereal, not-really-here-but-here figure.

What I truly loved about the book was the relationship between God-Papa, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Mack. I loved that God took the time to help Mack through his pain. I loved that he was able to see his Missy and know that she was wonderfully happy in heaven. And I loved that by the end of the book, I treasured my relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit even more!!!

So, while The Shack has some theological flaws in my understanding of things, I think this is truly a book worth reading.

Here is a link to a pretty in-depth review that I found interesting. I don't agree with everything this reviewer says, but then we're all entitled to our opinions. Just like William P. Young.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most people don't realize when they read this book and critique it is that Young never intended to publish the book. It was written by him for his daughter and he never intended for the world to see it.