Saturday, February 07, 2009

The shack

I was out of commission yesterday with a rotten sore throat, so I was able to get through Wm. Paul Young's book The Shack. I won't say it was worth being sick, but it seemed a good use of my time. I am always leery of reading books that have been overly hyped - unless I read it first and am the one doing the hyping. But I wasn't disappointed. I highly recommend it. I thought of several people I am going to buy a copy for. I would think it would be good for someone who has had a significant loss in their life.

I read very few fiction books, so I have no idea how well written it is. But it was a real easy read. And it just had a "feel" to it. I liked how it made me feel. I know there are some who think that's a dangerous way to rate things. Whatever. So sue me. But I was able to read this while the tv was on, and it didn't bother me at all. I can never do that. I almost always have to read in silence.

I guess I was expecting it to be much more controversial than it was. Which is maybe why I didn't find it so controversial (because of my expectations). I mean, I can see why some people are freaked out by it, but... I don't get a lot of the controversy. I mean, to me it's like looking at a piece of art. I've never been into looking at, say, a painting, and trying to dissect what the artist was trying to say or what they must have been thinking or anything like that. And even if it is obvious, who the heck am I to question what someone conveys in their artwork?! Sometimes you just need to look at it and ENJOY IT FOR WHAT IT IS. That's kinda how I looked at this book. It was like a painting, and it was nice.

One of my pet peeves are those people that, no matter what they read, they can always find something they don't like about it. And THAT is what they get out of it. This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I actually do try to find what I LIKE about a book when I read it. I figure I can learn something from just about everybody. That doesn't mean I swallow everything everyone throws my way. But it's kinda like my friend who used to say, "I can find something I like about any woman; they're all beautiful in some way." I think he meant it in a rather sexist way, but I also think there's a certain pure innocence at having an attitude like that towards all of God's creation.

I will always remember my theology professor telling us we need to write out our beliefs in pencil, because no one can come up with a perfect theology. It is impossible for the human mind to know everything there is to know about God. All we can do is try to line up all our beliefs as best we can, because they're all going to break down at some point. Otherwise there would be no point in faith. I know some people had a really hard time with this, but who among us can say we have the mind of God? So, I try to not let myself get too freaked out about things like some are freaked out about over this book. Who am I to say. Does that make me a heretic? I probably am. But it's not my beef. God doesn't need me to defend him. She's a big boy. ;)

I only have a few pages with the corner turned:

On p. 92... "Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship."

P. 155... "So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the KNOWING that grows and love simply expands to contain it. Love is just the skin of knowing."

The area around p. 169, where he says, "...judgment is not about destruction, but about setting things right."

I liked the section starting on p. 202 about "Why God gave us the Ten Commandments."

Around 224 where he talks about, "Forgiveness is not about forgetting... It is about letting go of another person's throat."

I also liked the deal about the difference between expecting and expectation and response and responsibility, but I can't remember where that is. That was good.

Okay, well, this was more than I planned to write. I thought it was really good. It didn't effect me like Blue Like Jazz or A New Kind of Christian, but it was good.

Peace out; and in.


JAH said...

This book is now next on my list. Thanks for the preview.

dan said...

Testing. It seems my comment feed isn't picking up new comments.

MR said...

Uncheck the box next to "Feed Relevant Comments Only"

Tom said...

Stephen Shields posts a good article on this book on his faithmaps blog if you haven't seen it already. He has several good links to other critiques too.