Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Opus 2017-185: Book Review: The Shack, part 1 of 3

I just finished The Shack.  It was a best seller about five years ago and finally ended up on the free shelf at a local library.  That tends to be when I get to best sellers, when everyone else is done with them.

On the good side, it was well written and held my attention.  On the bad side I am not sure I would recommend it to people of weak faith or limited knowledge of the Bible.

If you are not familiar with it, Mackenzie has a tragedy in his life.  His daughter is kidnaped and it does not end well.  Years later he gets a note from “Papa” to meet at the shack where the girl was killed.  He goes and meets Papa who turns out to be the Father in the trinity.  He proceeds to interact with all three persons of the trinity and finds release from the depression of his loss.  Once I got past the setting of the scene with its depressing desperation, it was an easy read.  Like I said, it was well written.

Some of the things that I remember hearing were troubling didn’t bother me at all.  God the Father was portrayed as a black woman named Elousia.  The Holy Spirit was an Arab woman called Sarayu.  Jesus was a homely Jewish carpenter.  No problem; allow the guy some artistic license.  He explained why it was more effective that way. When Mackenzie, or Mack, the protagonist, had a hard time with it, Papa explained it this way:
"She picked up the wooden spoon again, dripping with some sort of batter.  ‘Mackenzie, I am neither male nor female, even though both genders are derived from my nature.  If I choose to appear to you as a man or woman, it’s because I love you.  For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.’
    “She leaned forward as if to share a secret.  ‘To reveal myself to you as a very large, white grandfather figure with flowing beard, like Gandalf, would simply reinforce your religious stereotypes, and this weekend is not about reinforcing your religious stereotypes.’” p. 93
And a few pages later He shared it this way,
“‘I’m not who your think I am, Mackenzie’”, p. 96
I get the point and since it is a man-made story, I can go with that even if it sidesteps the entire politically correct nature of the choice.

Young, William P.  The Shack.  Los Angeles:  Windblown Media, 2007.

To be continued...

homo unius libri


  1. From some of the things I've heard about it, I'm a little surprised at the 700 Club pushing it.

    1. I have never watched it enough to have an strong opinion but some things are hard to explain to the masses. The things I heard about the book almost kept me from reading it.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.