Monday, September 01, 2008

Reading challenge 2008

Last night I made a Saturday evening tactical error:  after finishing my "sermon" (actually a guided meditation) I decided to read The Shack.

It was actually pretty well written, and a compelling story.  The theology was basically sound (in my opinion)--I was reading fairly quickly so I don't remember any egregious theological errors (nothing that made me cringe anyway) but if I missed something, I'm sure someone will let me know.  I liked that God was portrayed in ways that made the main character uncomfortable, as in NOT a grandfatherly type.  I liked that it was repeatedly pointed out that God loves every single person, regardless of their actions, and that God's love can't be lost, but that in order for us to experience eternal life NOW (this has nothing to do with "eternity" but with a quality to our life together now) we need to rest and trust in that love.  Even the stuff about atonement (and I'm pretty sure substitutionary atonement is the norm for this book, which is something I don't always agree 100% with as I think it's a limited theory in need of the other theories for us to get a fuller picture) was relatively subtle most of the time.  And the portrayal of the loss within Godself at the death of Jesus was profound and lovely.

However, the book is totally sad (I mean, hopeful and all, but the basic storyline is heart-wrenchingly sad).  I don't know how anyone could read it and not cry unless you are stone-hearted.  And it also definitely pushed some grief buttons for me. (hence the saturday evening error--I cried and ended up dehydrated and with puffy eyes as I headed into Sunday.)  But anyway...

read it and tell me what you think.


  1. the book was givne to me as a gift. It has also been recommended by (I lost count) many folks.
    So, now I need to read it. Will let you know what I think...lets see what day can I get away with puffy eyes?

  2. I am glad I took it off my list now. I don't want a sad book at this point in my life. I put the Stephenie Meyer's series at the top of my list instead.

    Did you read Twilight? What did you think?

  3. I'm finishing the 4th book now, so I'll let you know soon!!

  4. Very very very sad...
    My first take is that I liked the way God was portrayed. And I loved what it had to say about prayer.

    But the theological discourses were BORING. There is no way that God is that BORING.