Tuesday, April 1, 2008



A good friend of mine read the book, "The Shack," by William P. Young, several weeks ago and she told me how she had felt about it: unclear and possibly somewhat confused, but ultimately she believed that it was about forgiveness.

I ordered it from Amazon and I have spent the last several days reading it, just finishing it yesterday. I also as of this moment have not totally crystallized my thoughts and feelings about it. I found it to be an enjoyable read that captured my imagination, although there were moments of sadness, but also parts of it that were joyful.

The book begins on a fairly low note, describing the main character's childhood of abuse, then after he (Mack) has married happily and has had 5 children, he experiences a parent's worst nightmare, the abduction and apparent brutal murder of his youngest child, a daughter named Missy.

A key component of the story that unfolds after this is in the Oregon wilderness, where Mack has been summoned back to the apparent site of Missy's murder in a tumbledown shack by what appears to have been a note from God. There, he experiences some remarkable happenings.

I am not going to give away the ending, but I think that it may have been reading this book over the previous few days that brought about my awareness of my independence issues, which I mentioned in yesterday's entry.

"The Shack" does present some thought-provoking ideas about evil and good, and why there is evil in the world, and what God thinks about it. It also does touch more than once on the question of whether independence is a good thing or not.

My friend told me that she learned after reading the book that it is considered quite controversial. I can see where that could be the case among conservative churchgoers. It does skewer some stereotypical ideas about race and gender and religion -- including expressing God's acceptance of one large church that I especially don't like, as well as one major world religion that I have difficulty accepting. I was made uncomfortable, but maybe that was a good thing.

If you are able to take in concepts that may be new and different, even regarding religion, then you probably will find this book quite intriguing, if not enjoyable. I believe it may be worth giving it a chance, even if it tells a controversial story. I'm thinking that it's not necessary to accept every idea it presents; I certainly don't. But, ultimately, I did feel better for having read it and -- to me -- that counts for a lot.

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