thoughts on the shack

i finished “the shack” last night and i have mixed feelings concerning it.

it’s mediocre.

i don’t really think it’s the earth shattering book that i have been told about by so many. part of this may be that i heard way too much about how great the book was before i read it. eugene peterson (whom i greatly respect) said the book may well be this generation’s “pilgrim’s progress“. i really do respect eugene peterson but i have to disagree with him. “pilgrim’s progress” is a classic and is still earth shaking after over 400 years. in my opinion, “the shack” won’t last a twentieth of that time. it’s not written well enough or profound enough to last like “pilgrim’s progress.” in fact, i almost quit reading the book after finishing the second chapter. it read like a first year literature student’s work (instead of walking across an icy driveway the character he traverses across a mini glacier). i continued reading the book because of some friends of mine love it.

with the above said, the book got better after the second chapter and i do understand why this book is connecting with so many people. for some it really helps them to begin to see how wholly other (holy) the love of GOD is. for that i’m grateful. for me, however, i connect much better with the fictional portrayal of JESUS found in aslan. the image of CHRIST found within the chronicles blows “the shack” away.

the irony is that i was much more profoundly effected by the description of JESUS found within the book that i finished before “the shack” (which was “the jungle”) than i was by the description of JESUS found within “the shack.” “the jungle” forced me to consider how the love of CHRIST would interact within the world and fight for the weak. “the shack” focused on how the love of GOD would cuase me to think about myself. “the shack’s” message is a great thing but i was much more impacted by “the jungle”‘s message.

i would be intrigued to hear how one of my atheist or agnostic friends would review the book.

okay, friends. i know that some of you love this book so you are now welcome to correct me.

SIDE NOTE – the last pages of the “the shack” absolutely drive me crazy. it’s actually not part of the story. the last pages of the book discuss “the missy project” which is the publishers desire to get people to help them spread the message of “the shack.” how are you supposed to help spread the message of “the shack”? according to these pages within the book you buy copies of the book and give them away. you write friendly reviews on every website you can. you specifically talk to people of influence and encourage them to say positive things concerning “the shack.” when you do all of this the film industry will take notice and produce a film based on “the shack” and the book’s message will be spread. is this really what we’ve come to? not only am i bothered by this concept but the name “missy” comes from a child within the book who is kidnapped and murdered. do we really want to connect the name of even a fictional character of suffering with a plea to sale a book?

my run for the day
distance – 5.0 miles
time – 48:49
pace – 9:46/mile
weather – 17º/snow flurries

now to color in the lines … or maybe outside the lines … hey what lines

the prayer, thinking, doodling, and asking is over. the image above is the logo for tapestry. to be honest i actually liked the design just below this one a tiny bit more (this one was my second choice) but the logo is not about whether i connect with it. instead, the logo is about whether it helps other people to connect with the church. all of the people i have talked to that i believe are in the group that the church will connect with the best said that this logo conveyed the most to them. that’s good enough for me.

so met the logo of tapestry. i think i’ll call it fred. folks, say “hi” to fred. you’ll be seeing a lot of her (yes i know that fred is generally a guy’s name, but the church is a bride and therefore female – girls can be named “fred” too).