Funny, but the author of "The Shack" had to get in a giant legal mess to even get paid for his work. Kind of ironic, that a dude so into Christianity had to fight to get paid his $8 million. And, I found it interesting that the Holy Ghost was manifested as an Asian female. I'm not ripping it. Just find some things interesting.
It seems like there is a lot of disagreement on how this book stacks up to truly following the Scripture.
The Shack went largely unnoticed for over a year after its initial publication, but suddenly became a very popular seller in the summer of 2008, when it debuted at number 1 on the New York Times paperback fiction best sellers list on June 8. Its success was the result of word of mouth promotion in churches and Christian-themed radio, websites, and blogs.
As of May 2010, The Shack had over 10 million copies in print, and had been at number 1 on the New York Times best seller list for 70 weeks. The Shack was also released in hardcover, and translated into Spanish as La Cabaņa. In June 2009 a German translation with the title Die Hütte – ein Wochenende mit Gott (… a Weekend with God) was released. it was also translated into Croatian as "Koliba" and it became very popular in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In his "Doctrine" series, Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll criticized The Shack for presenting a non-Biblical view of the Trinity including the use of graven imagery, goddess worship, and modalism. Evangelical author Chuck Colson wrote a review called "Stay Out of The Shack," in which he criticizes the attribution of "silly lines" to characters representing the three Persons of the Trinity, and the author's "low view of scripture". R. Albert Mohler, Jr. called The Shack "deeply troubling" on his radio show, saying that it "includes undiluted heresy". Apologist Norman Geisler has also weighed in with a critique outlining 14 theological "problems" with the book.
Theologian Randal Rauser has written a generally sympathetic guide to The Shack in his companion volume Finding God in the Shack (Paternoster, 2009). In the book Rauser responds to many of the objections raised by critics like Colson and Mohler.
Wayne Jacobsen, one of Young's early collaborators, wrote a detailed response to several common points of criticism. His column "Is the Shack Heresy?" was published online by Windblown Media.
And, the basic concept seems to be about dealing with pain, like a known element to being Christian. Why does life have to be full of pain? I know everyone has trials and tribulations, but why do we have to accept life as being full of so much pain. What if you happen to have a life that has very little misery? What's wrong with that? It seems Christianity, and Catholics more specifically, want to condition us to get ready for misery. Why is that such a given? Some people have charmed lives.
If you want to know why I recommended it...read it. If not, ignore it. That simple.
Even in a completely secular read of the Bible, I can see value in having a belief system and doing something for a greater purpose and that greater purpose can transform a man.
I sense you buy into the teaching of JC. But at the same time think the story isn't true. And I'd say that's fine and reasonable. But consider the key to the whole story is the faith piece. So for you perhaps the faith piece should be considered a reference to something abstract.
I think you could still get more out of the story if you have a faith in the abstract and do good works in the world as a result.
Some of the comments you've made, make me sense that you do have faith in something. I'm not sure what that something is. And in that context, the good works you do have more value and meaning. And it has a lot of similarity with Shawn's literal faith.
I'm not sure i completely agree with your assessment in your first paragraph. I believe the Bible is saying its impossible for us to do anything of real value outside of God. Jesus is God revealed to mankind in the flesh. And when left to our devices even our good deeds come from selfish motives. Jesus was calling us out of selfishness into something bigger than ourselves. Do you know why I spend my life serving addicts? Because, of Gods mercy. I am thankful and that is the source of my desire to serve God by serving addicts. That doesn't come from me. That is something I only have in relationship to God and Jesus.
i see what you are trying to do Flippy...you have always been a peacemaker and I love your heart. But, sometimes we can dilute things that shouldn't be diluted. Jesus and His teachings are something that IMHO should never be diluted into fairy tale stories, and symbolism.
The Bible is full of symbolism and fiction. Why can't we look at the most important parts as symbolic? I'm not trying to dilute anything. The books in the Bible were written by man and they were written at a time and can be read in the context of the time they are written.
I'm being completely sincere in the way I view this. For example, scholars debate books like Revelations. Many believe Revelations to be completely based on symbolism. Many/Most read it as a book about end times. But some argue it is a book written at a time that Christians were being prosecuted and it was a call to remind them to hold fast because Jesus wins. And it may not even have to be interpreted as Jesus wins in the long term, but Jesus wins here and now.
Some scholars have argued that the afterlife can be experienced here and now as opposed to the idea of "heaven" being after we die. Many believe in the concept of being "reborn". Is it possible that the afterlife comes once we are "reborn"?
This book is the "living word" of God. It's open to any interpretation we want. We'll all get something different from it based on our life experiences. I'm not suggesting that I can even possibly dilute your life experiences and your own reading of these words and how they impact you. But I am very open to the idea that everyone will get something different based on their own life and own interpretation.
It's an awesome book for those of faith as well as those without faith. I've read and studied this book with people the world has discarded. People that most would believe have done acts so heinous that many devout Christians may believe these people were unforgivable. And I've learned a lot reading though the eyes and experiences of others. The more a man's been through, the more powerful I believe this book can be.
I just say, read the book. Read it literally if you want. Read it as symbolic if you prefer. Either way, I can almost guarantee anyone who reads it will get something positive out of it.