We went to a matinee showing of the movie 'The Shack' yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised.
I'd read the book when it came out and I liked it - I liked what it was attempting to do - though I wasn't in love with it the way some people were (I just can't refer to God as "Papa"). I didn't ever see it as the work of the devil the way some did though. However, when I heard there was a movie, I wasn't all that thrilled about going to see it. I am not a big fan of "Christian" movies. It just seems like in order for it to be "Christian" there has to be bad acting, or directing, or something. I figured it would be lame. Jane wanted to see the movie, though, so I figured 'what the heck'.
I don't think it will be winning any Oscars, but I liked it. I couldn't really remember much from the book, but I thought they did an alright job. I also think they handled their theology pretty good. I know some have been bad-mouthing it for just that reason, but even though there may have been some things that could lead you to believe one way or the other, I didn't think they came right out and stated anything for sure.
As for the movie, it IS a tear-jerker. It was pretty emotional but at the same time it left me, anyway, feeling very very good when I left the theater. I have to say it helped me bury some bad feelings from the past and somewhat breathed some fresh air into my mind and heart. I really felt a greater sense of God's love after it was over.
I would actually recommend some people go see this movie (which I rarely do). I think it would be good for people who are skeptical of Christianity. Also for those who have been turned off by the church. Maybe more importantly, I think those who are wondering why a good God would allow bad things, or those who feel they've been punished by God. I believe that to be the main message of the book and movie. We do not have a punishing God, but a God who loves us beyond measure.
A friend of mine wrote a little blurb on Facebook in defense of the book one day. I thought he had some good points. This is from Tim Hallman:
"Great book with relatable, engaging, thoughtful theology. It's rooted in theodicy - how does a good God allow evil? And instead of seeing this as an apologetics issue or a doctrine to "get it right" it uses a story to help open up our imagination of how God deeply and radically and prodigally loves us. It's all reflection on the Bible, especially the gospel, definitely Luke 15. And I love that God the Father is a feisty big hearted black woman. It blows up our concept of God as an old doting grandfather or this distant constantly disappointed authority figure."
So there ya go. I liked the message, and the movie was okay. I know some people that I wish would go see it.