rating: 3 of 5 stars
My favorite nun, Sister Mary Margaret Weber, recommended this book to me and then the very next day there was a story about William P. Young and his book in our paper, the News and Observer. Sister Mary Margaret and I work together on programs for her center: A Place for Women to Gather and on Monday she held a book discussion about The Shack. What I took away from this book was the idea of forgiveness. God tells Mac, the main character, that he needs to forgive his daughter's murderer, but not forget what he did. I liked this, since this concept still makes the wrongdoer accountable. Another idea that I gleaned from this book was the idea of relationship and the absence of hierarchy. God wants to have a relationship with us -- it's not one-sided. Lyn, one woman in the group said, "It's like chips and salsa in a Mexican restaurant: you don't ask for them, but they are always there. And when you eat them all, the server brings you more." This is a great analogy describing God's love and presence. Another idea that I will carry away is the notion of God's image. I guess I don't have an image of God. To me, he or she is like the Force in Star Wars -- a Spirit, always moving, kind, caring, forgiving, creative and with a strong sense of humor. But to others who have a strong sense of God's or Jesus's image, The Shack may shock you a little bit.
Young says some smart things in the book when he discusses the evil in the world and how it emerged from man's independence after the Garden of Eden. We also learn that evil, as well as good, is subjective.
I was curious about this book since it was first a self-published book and as an editor, I wanted to see if it was "ready for prime time." I'd say mostly. The middle part of the book could have bit cut down and the campsite scenes needed to be scenes so we were there in the moment. Instead, they were told in summaries.
Read this book to affirm your beliefs or to learn a different spiritual point of view -- you'll be glad you did.
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