Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Shack

I've had a book called The Shack on the waiting list for me to read at the library for most of the summer. It's been recommended to me by a few people and I thought it sounded interesting so I reserved it. It turns out Dr. George Grant who I greatly respect has written his thoughts about the book on his blog. Let's just say he is not a fan. Read the whole post here. The post is called Bad Books and Good Books.

If you have read the book (which I haven't yet) what are your thoughts about what Dr. Grant said? I'm up in the air about even reading it now.


"So look: I am not unaware of The Shack phenomenon. How could I be? I couldn't begin to count the number of people who've asked me to review it, who want to know what I think about it, who are wowed by it, or baffled by it, or angered by it, or all three together. But, here is the thing: the book is just dreadful. It is badly written and badly conceived. It is maudlin, sentimental, and silly. But, worst of all, it is heretical. Indeed, it is heretical from start to finish. Its portrayal of the Trinity, of Scripture, of man's calling, of providence, of the Fall, and of Christ's purposes in redemption are all blatantly, brazenly, objectively apostate. And then, there is its horrifying view of the church—according to a recent articles in World Magazine, neither the author or the publisher have attended church for years, and it really, really shows. Screwtape, Gollum, and Voldemort working together couldn't have made this any worse. Surely this is the sort of thing Francis Schaeffer had in mind when he warned about an encroaching latitudinarianism in his final work, The Great Evangelical Disaster.

But--and here is the point--it is so bad, it is likely to be about as enduring as a summertime gnat. I know, I know, it's made an astonishing climb up the New York Times bestseller list, but this really is not the sort of book that will still be in print in twenty years. It's a blip on the screen. It's a fad--like neck tattoos, droopy pants, doo-rags, tongue piercings, and bed-head dino-hair. It's just another of the tawdry passing fancies of a culture slouching toward Gomorrah.

So, I am not going to do a full review this book. Ever. Instead, I am simply going to repair to my commitment to focusing only on good books. At a time when so many of us are only too well aware of the smothering mediocrity of American Evangelical pop culture, why not direct attentions to those few works of encouragement, edification, erudition, and enlightenment?"

5 comments:

Preston 8/12/2008 10:22 AM  

Glenn,
I usually recommend the book to two kinds of people. People who are in pain and are looking for God and people who long for goodness, love, and beauty (often the same person). I recommend the book not because it has all the theological ducks in a row, but because it is the hearfelt response of the author to their experience with God in the midst of pain and loss. I think your band and that author might have at least this one thing in common! Give it a shot. We're looking forward to having the author visit us in September, we'll have a lot to talk about. Cheers, keep up the good work!

Amy Wyatt 8/12/2008 1:14 PM  

Glenn,
I'm glad you stopped by my site. I have really enjoyed getting to know your music. Hopefully my little blog will help spread the word some. I'm heading out to buy some of your music and possibly give some away in my next contest.

By the way, I enjoyed The Shack. The author never claimed it was truth... it is fiction. I have a family member who was dealing with unforgiveness that claims it changed her life. I know some people have issues with the way God is portrayed in the book.

My thoughts are that we shouldn't limit God. He can reveal Himself any way He chooses. I hope you will read the book and decide for yourself what you think.

I'd love to see you guys in concert if you come to the Atlanta area!

Clair 8/12/2008 3:44 PM  

I read The Shack and I think that it could be worth reading even if it isn't accurate.

supersimbo 8/12/2008 6:10 PM  

i really didn't enjoy the book at all ...............

Fred 8/12/2008 8:53 PM  

So I'm in the group who liked the book, realized it isn't always an accurate portrayal of God but I liked the surprises in it. I like the way God shows up...challenged my North American mindset, kept me thinking about heaven and the joy of it. I liked the intimate portrayal of God working in this man's life.

I don't like the suggesting children are in heaven...and would ask the question is immaturity of an eternity what God would want?

I have recommended the book for many reasons and would suggest a look at Professor John Stackhouse's comments here: http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/the-shack-3-some-celebrations/

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