Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cue the Gaelic Music - It is Time to Discuss The Shack

I don't know...I just picture Gaelic or Celtic melodies playing during parts of this book, perhaps because it was mentioned in a passage I read or perhaps that is just the type of mysterious, intense kind of music that would accompany such a book.

But, I digress.

I happened to find a cool little blog that has daily quotes from The Shack. You can find it by clicking here.

Anybody sensing sort of a random start to this "kick off"... for that, I apologize.

I've tried to actually organize my thoughts (and, that's the problem because I don't "think" in an organized manner...big shocker there) and wondered if I should go through some of the discussion in the order of the book or just summarize principles found throughout. Since some of you are actually still reading, I think I will try to start at the beginning and work my way through.

First, the controversy in general surrounding this book.

People, for the most part, either hate it (or the idea of it because many who bash it have not actually read it) or they love it. That fact alone kept me away from it for a long time. I alternated between being offended about the parts I heard about, yet strangely fascinated at the same time. Was The Shack just some book that was out to shock people for the purpose only of entertainment? Or, was it a life vest to drowning people who are searching for something other than man made ritual and religion?

The other main reason that kept me away from it was the abduction of Mack's daughter (coincidentally named Melissa or Missy).

I was not in a place of wanting to open up a door of fear in regards to my children. Because, let's face it, this book delves right into why bad things happen to people. Even Christians. So, it made me wonder why I pray protection over my family when some lunatic can still have his own sick free will to to do the unspeakable. I was reminded of the Holocaust Museum in DC. You can view the exhibits, but you can also choose to peak over the exhibits into monitors that play real footage from the Nazi concentration camps. There is a reason those monitors are not out in plain sight. Every person I ever spoke to who looked at them regrets that they did. The horrific images cannot be erased from their minds. That was my fear centering around the whole abduction and brutal murder in this book. But, it wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong...it is heart wrenching, but a part of the process that draws you into the story. We all have our giants to battle. Mac's giant just happened to be my worst nightmare.

So, I'm looking for your comments on either or both:

1. The "controversy" surrounding the book.

2. How you thought the whole abduction sequence was handled and IF it was necessary to the progression of the story. Would this book still be powerful if Mac lost his job rather then his daughter and still had this encounter with God?


Anonymous said...

I'll be honest. The controversy didn't keep me away...and actually, I am drawn to controversy...Jesus is (I believe) the embodiment of controversy.

I have heard what the book is about and what liberation it has brought to some in reading, and yet it hasn't caught my interest. It might someday - but not right now.

I am certainly not one of the bashers. But, I'm not one of the "it'll change my life"-ers either. I've read quite a few books over the years, and the only one that has changed my life is the Bible. Others may press me to inquire differently, but only The One caused me to change the way I think....

Livin' Life said...

I personally believe the controversy lies more within the Religion area. It really makes you break the religious thought process. I know many had a hard time with Papa and Jesus and the Holy Spirit as Mac saw them but I felt it made me realize I put God in a box so many times. I don't think this was a life changing book. God has changed my life in an amazing ways but this book really showed me God outside of Religion. I did bounce some of the theology off of Biblical truth but for the most part it did not go against the Bible.

To answer the question about the abduction I guess I have faced too many tragic and dark moments to have that effect me or bring fear. I know this world is full of darkness that many don't want to consider but I hold to the truth that God is in control and will get me through whatever circumstance comes my way. I believe 100% the book would not have been so profound if Mac had only lost his job. It was directed towards those who have lost a great deal and need God's touch in their life. There are so many out there faced with the Great Sadness. They need to know God will touch them in the midst of the most hopeless of situations. I hope some of that make sense. Those are just my thoughts. :) I love that you are doing this.

Trish said...

I felt like they handled the abduction well, bringing out the story in pieces and slowly showing you how much it had affected the main character's life and faith.

I love books that try to transcend our traditional interpretations of things, especially if they are able to actually do it and not end up being cheesy, which this book most definitely is not!

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